With all eyes on each team’s dynamic offense entering Super Bowl LV, I was happy to be joined by three-time All-Pro cornerback Chris Harris Jr. of the Los Angeles Chargers for the season-ending edition of the Yahoo Sports original web series “Check the Tape.”
We broke down each team’s X-factor player in Sunday’s game: Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. The video, located atop the page and edited by producer Ron Schiltz and the Yahoo Sports team, is pretty cool, so please check it out.
We start with Brady, whose passer rating, according to Pro Football Focus, skyrockets from 96.6 on regular plays (12th in the NFL) to 124.4 on play-action (third in the league). With the help of augmented reality, Harris walks us through an example of Brady’s play-action mastery in the red zone, where he boasts a 28-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season.
“I remember when I was a rookie, he got me on the play-action one time, him and [Wes] Welker,” Harris recalled to Yahoo Sports. “Welker came off like he was blocking and he just ran to the sideline to the end zone, and it was all Tom because of his play-fakes. He’s going to show you the ball, he sells it so great.”
The Bucs’ defense will be preoccupied with stopping Hill, the Chiefs’ 5-foot-9, 185-pound track-star receiver who lit them up for 13 catches, 269 yards and three touchdowns in Week 12.
Hill did that to a lot of teams this season, as the three-time first-team All-Pro selection tied a career high in catches with 87 for 1,276 receiving yards and set a career-high 17 total touchdowns. He did much of his damage from the slot, where he has the fifth-most yards receiving in the NFL (591) and second-most touchdowns (seven), per PFF.
And once again with the help of AR, Harris walks us through an example of why Hill is such a headache inside, especially when Kansas City runs its favorite run-pass option play.
“You know when you see the NBA, how they play pick-and-roll [and you say] should I throw the [alley] oop right here or squeeze it in? It’s all counting numbers [for them],” Harris said. “If Pat [Mahomes] sees somebody taking Kelce, then [he throws] it to Tyreek Hill. If [he sees] nobody taking Kelce and they’re on Tyreek, [he throws] it to Kelce.”
It will be fascinating to see how each defense counters these aspects of these dynamic offenses, which both rank in the top five of the NFL in DVOA.
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