2019 NFL Season Takeaways
February 10, 2020
The Mahomes/Reid Dynasty Has Started
If the Super Bowl is any indication, Patrick Mahomes will be leading the Chiefs to more championships in the future. Down in every game in the playoffs, he showed the resilience that resembles many of the game’s all-time best. He did throw two interceptions in the big game, but he never let that get to him, and he kept pressing on. Going into the game, the defense had not looked promising, and they ranked in among the lowest in rush defense going against one of the best rushing offenses in the league. However, veterans like Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark showed up big time in the game and exhibited why this defense has the potential to be elite. Obviously, the AFC has been getting some new, young quarterbacks to contend with Mahomes, such as Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen, but Mahomes stands out above them all, so expect him to win the AFC and start a new generation of elite quarterbacks. These young stars could become the new parallels to Roethlisberger, Brady, and Manning, who defined a generation, like Mahomes and the others will define the next generation.
The Browns Aren’t Actually Back
Going into the season, it seemed like the Browns were finally going to finally become a good team again for the first time in what seemed like forever. Now, it looks like the Cleveland faithful are going to have to wait a little longer. Baker Mayfield had an impressive rookie season in 2018, and it looked like the Browns just needed to give him some help. That help looked to have arrived in Odell Beckham Jr., but he underperformed, as did Mayfield throwing only 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. A lot of these struggles could be attributed to first-time head coach Freddie Kitchens, who had been just the running backs coach the year before, making him very inexperienced in his job. Although they quickly let him go, it will take a couple of years for the Browns to get back on track, even with promising young head coach Kevin Stefanski, who previously led the high powered Vikings offense.
CMC is an Elite Running Back
Going into the season, there was some doubt if Christian McCaffrey was up to the task of being the #1 option for the Panthers in both the pass and rush game, but it’s safe to say he crushed that task this season. McCaffrey had 2392 yards from scrimmage, which is a huge step up from his production in 2018. He was the only star for the Panthers the entire season because they lost Cam Newton early and had to rely on Kyle Allen. One of Allen’s favorite targets was the check-down to McCaffrey, and he was able to create in space, beat defenders, and make big plays, scoring 19 all-purpose touchdowns on the year. His role was greatly increased due to the injuries to Cam Newton, so McCaffrey enjoyed a 98.4% snap share, which was first among running backs. Going into the next season, Christian McCaffrey is a bonafide MVP contender, and if the Panthers stay healthy, they could potentially make a playoff run.
The 49ers Need a Passing Offense
The super bowl was a tough game for the 49ers offense because the Chiefs were good in stopping the run, which was the majority of the Niners’ offensive production, so the Chiefs defense was able to force Jimmy Garoppolo to make throws. Their main problem is a lack of reliable targets to throw to because Jimmy can’t throw to George Kittle every play and Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Samuel lack height to make big catches over defenders. He threw for 219 yards for 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions in the super bowl, showcasing how the Niners tried to rely on their run game, but the Chiefs were ready to stop it. The game was evident that the Niners need a new target to give cornerbacks different looks to keep them guessing. Jimmy Garoppolo is a very good quarterback, but he needs some more chances to showcase his skill and take some pressure off the Niners’ running backs.