That’s all, folks. The final whistle has blown, Hard Rock has emptied, and with the Kansas City Chiefs being crowned World Champions, the 2019 NFL season has officially ended. Kansas City danced out of Miami Gardens with a fourth quarter victory over the San Fransisco 49ers after trading offensive punches almost the entire game. But Sunday night’s season finale was anything but one-sided and gave us high offensive performers on either sideline. With the help of NFL’s Next Gen Stats and Pro Football Network’s OSM, we take a look at which individual players performed the best at each offensive skill position in the NFL’s 54th Super Bowl showdown.
Super Bowl LIV was a back-and-forth battle for the most part of all four quarters (the game was tied at the half for only the fourth time in the history of the NFL) but the Kansas City Chiefs ultimately put the proverbial final nail in the coffin later in the fourth to pull off an exhilarating championship comeback victory. These post-season comeback wins are nothing new for the 2019 Chiefs. Including their Super Bowl victory, Kansas City recorded three back-to-back comeback wins from double digit deficits over the span of their playoff run this season. This is the first time in the history of the National Football League that this has been accomplished.
Before the opening kickoff, the Kansas City Chiefs had a 65.50% win probability — both the PFN Staff and my Data Analytics counterpart Jeff Neill also pegged the Chiefs as coming out on top. But with a little over seven minutes remaining in the game, the San Francisco 49ers had all the momentum and a 95.40% win probability. Last week, in my Super Bowl rookies post, I highlighted the overall OSM grades of the offensive starters and had Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers as the stronger group. But a couple of bombs by Patrick Mahomes and an untimely pass interference call later, the story was all KC and that was all she wrote.
Each offensive group had their own Super Bowl superstars in Miami Gardens, Florida on Sunday night. With the help of some showtime performances by a few key players, at any point during the contest, it still felt like it could be anyone’s game. Today, we’re going to look at the Next Gen stats and OSM data of the offensive skill positions and see who had the best game in each spot on the biggest stage in American sports. These players were selected using the highest overall OSM grades from their Super Bowl performances which translates to them being the most effective playmaker and helps us see who carried the most weight of the team on their shoulders.
Kansas City Chiefs
19.34 OSM — Average
Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes was graded as the best overall quarterback just ahead of Jimmy Garoppolo — Garoppolo ended the night with an overall OSM of 18.15. Neither QB seemed to be at their best on Sunday and both had less than stellar executions against tough pass rushing. Both Mahomes and Garoppolo would put up Average overall OSM grades for the day. But nevertheless, Patrick Mahomes was the better of the two. Mahomes finished the game with 286 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Best Wide Receiver
Kansas City Chiefs
45.18 OSM — Elite
Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins was a big-play-when-we-need-it machine for Kansas City Sunday night. Watkins finished the day with an Elite overall OSM grade and was almost perfect. His production dominated on the field against other wide receivers with no one else coming close to matching his output — Tyreek Hill was closest with an overall OSM of 31.91. Watkins finished up with five receptions for 98 yards. He averaged 4.8 yards after catch and 14.3 targeted air yards.
Best Tight End
Kansas City Chiefs
44.59 OSM — Elite
Kansas City’s Travis Kelce was the best overall tight end putting up an Elite OSM grade ahead of George Kittle’s 38.93. Kelce had perfect hands against the 49ers defense when his number was called bringing in all six of his targets with a 100% catch percentage. Kelce also recorded a receiving touchdown. He completed the night with 43 yards, one touchdown, and 2.5 yards after catch.
Best Running Back
San Fransisco 49ers
15.87 OSM — Average
San Fransisco’s Raheem Mostert was graded as the best overall running back on the night. Mostert’s run game finished just ahead of Damien Williams (12.77 OSM) as the more effective back between the two. Williams had more yardage on Sunday, but it was Mostert’s effectiveness that graded him on top this weekend. Mostert was running against eight or more defenders in the box on 25% of his snaps with a 3.93 efficiency. He finished his day with 12 attempts for 58 yards and one touchdown.
Super Bowl LIV was a wildly entertaining matchup and is one for the NFL Classics history books. With fireworks on both offense and defense for either team, it was an enthralling story until the end no matter who you were watching. For the Kansas City Chiefs fans out there, keep that chip on your shoulder at the office this week: you deserve it.
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And no. We don’t have OSM grades for the halftime show.