Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Three underrated players who could come up big for the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

Finishing the regular season 12-4 and as the number two seed in the AFC, the Chiefs paved their way to Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Everyone in KC could tell you Mahomes, Kelce or Mathieu are some of the biggest playmakers on the field and in the entire league. That being said, every single player on the 53-man roster needs to step up and be their best to bring home the Lombardi trophy on Feb. 2. Here are three underrated players whose impacts on the field could dictate the outcome of the game.

1. Demarcus Robinson: Robinson was drafted by the Chiefs back in 2016, so he knows the Chiefs’ system through-and-through. Robinson ended the regular season with 32 receptions for 449 yards and four touchdowns. In the AFC Divisional game against the Houston Texans, Robinson dropped a few key catches that could have impacted the first quarter of the game, especially a big drop on third-and-long, resulting in a Chiefs’ punt. Thankfully, Kansas City mounted a dominating comeback, but those few drops at the time were costly to the team. If Robinson can step up and make those key catches when it really matters, the Chiefs will be in a much better place.

2. Mike Pennel: The Topeka native did not sign with the Chiefs until mid-October of this season, but since then he’s been a game-wrecker and the team’s premiere run-stopper. Don’t get me wrong, Chris Jones is an absolute monster, but Pennel’s ability to stop the run has gone under the radar since he made his first start in week eight against the Green Bay Packers. Pennel plays sparingly, but when he does come in, he dominates. In the AFC Championship game, Pennel came up with a crucial tackle against Derrick Henry, the NFL’s leading rusher, as the Titans were driving down the field early in the third quarter. Stops like these will be needed, as San Francisco’s Raheem Mostert rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC Championship game.

3. The whole offensive line: The Chiefs’ front-five has been shaky at times throughout the season. On top of that, the offensive line has been riddled with injuries. Starting in week two with starting left-tackle Eric Fisher going down with a hernia, the injuries kept rolling in. Right-guard Andrew Wylie was out for a few weeks. Right-tackle Mitchell Schwartz snapped his 7,894 consecutive-snap streak when he went down with a knee injury. The offensive line was hit with the ‘Madden Curse’ bigtime. Per Football Outsiders, the Chiefs offensive line ranked 28th in run blocking but made up for it with a fourth-ranked pass protection. The Chiefs’ weak spot has been their run offense, and no one expects that to change when they play their most important game of football on Sunday. So as long as they can keep the reigning MVP clean in the backfield, however, they should be just fine.

kwa7xq@mail.umkc.edu

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