Chiefs 31, 49ers 20

Super Bowl LIV: Good, bad and ugly

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In the 54th edition of the Super Bowl, we got an epic performance from both teams as the Chiefs pulled off yet another playoff comeback and won 31-20 over the 49ers. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Chief's quarterback Pat Mahomes' performance was worthy of the Super Bowl MVP. Mahomes was 26/41 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He added 44 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. His two interceptions came on back to back possessions sandwiched by a 49er touchdown. However, they stayed poised and mounted their comeback behind his two touchdown throws, both in the 4th quarter.

-49er quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played a fantastic game. Coming into the game, he had only attempted 27 passes, completed 17 of them for 208 yards in their two games this postseason. Tonight however, he was 18/22 for 195 yards a touchdown and an interception. So much for the narrative of him being their Achilles heel.

-What a treat we got to see opposing play-callers in this game! The Chiefs with Andy Reid & Eric Bienemy on offense, and Steve Spanuolo on against the 49ers with Kyle Shanahan & Mike LaFleur on offense and Robert Saleh on defense. The chess match throughout was football porn for this self-professed nerd. The players executed the plays called, but to see the punches and counterpunches of the calls was awesome.

The Bad

-On their first possession, Mahomes threw a fastball in the flat on 3rd&3 that he probably wants back for two reasons: he had Sammy Watkins open on a slant and he threw a ball to Damien Williams he couldn't catch. They went three and out, punted, and gave up a field goal on 49ers ensuing possession. His pass on 2nd&3 was batted down as well.

-Shanahan decided not to use a timeout tied 10-10 with about 1:20+ left before halftime before the Chiefs punted or after they ran their first play was odd. Calling the timeout on 4th down would've given them over a minute and still have two timeouts to work with. Very Bill O'Brien-esque of him.

-Chiefs' wide reciever Tyreek Hill alligator armed a 3rd&6 conversion in the 4th quarter while they were down 20-10. It ricoheted off his arms and was picked off by Tavarius Moore. It would've been a 1st down and the Chiefs were already in field goal range. Bare minimum they could've drawn within seven points. Instead, their comeback was thwarted.

The Ugly

-Jimmy Garoppolo threw an awful interception early in the 2nd quarter which Bashaud Breeland caught. Garoppolo was pressured up the middle when Ryan Mostert missed on helping with pass protection. Instead of taking the sack, he threw up a duck as he was getting hit. This swung momentum firmly in Chiefs' favor following their touchdown on their previous possession and went up 10-3 following a field goal after the turnover.

-Mid way through the 3rd quarter, the Chiefs had a better 4th down conversion percentage (100% on 2/2) than a 3rd down conversion percentage (28.6% on 2/7). This was after converting one on their first drive of the second half. To make matters worse, Mahomes threw a pick on their next 3rd down attempt dropping them to 25% on 3rd down conversions. This from a team that converted 47.6% of their 3rd downs in the regular season and 44.4% this postseason. The turnover led to a touchdown and a 20-10 49er lead with 2:35 left in the 3rd quarter.

-The commercials sucked! We got maybe two okay ones and one really good one (the Jason Momoa one). The halftime show was meh as well. I mean, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira dancing and girating is always appealing, but where was the iconic performance/moment? Good thing the game was awesome.

I'm so happy for Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid. He truly deserves this. The man has been coaching in this league since I was in grade school. He's endured so much and has accomplished so much more. Mahomesn and this offense was able to deliver Reid what Donovan McNabb and the Eagles couldn't. Kudos to the 49ers and their organization. They're class acts and were able to put up a good fight. I'm sure they'll be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. But for now, all hail the Chiefs! That fanbase has gone 50 years between Super Bowl wins. They've remained loyal, loud and proud the entire time. They truly deserve this. What a way to end the NFL's 100th season!

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Houston scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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