Two weeks ago, I recognized one player from each of the four winning teams (San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers) in the Divisional Round for having the biggest impact in his team’s victory.
This week, I recognize the players whom had the biggest impact in their teams advancing to Super Bowl LIV.
To see which players got the Impact Player Of The Week awards for Conference Title Sunday, simply view the bullet points and bold text below:
- #6 Tennessee Titans Vs. #2 Kansas City Chiefs-I was stingy last week in how many players that I recognized following the Divisional Round, with one player from each team getting the Impact Player Of The Week award. However, I won’t be as stingy this week, as I recognize two Chiefs players in their team’s 35-24 win against the Titans. First up is the reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes for leading his team back from two 10-point deficits in the first half and giving them their first lead just before halftime. Matter of fact, the Chiefs never relinquished their lead and pulled away in the second half. Overall, Mahomes’ stat line was 23-for-35 for 294 yards (292 net), three touchdown passes, eight carries for a team-high 53 yards and another touchdown on the ground. The first and second of Mahomes’ touchdown passes (both to Tyreek Hill) got the Chiefs to within three points each time, his electrifying carry of 27 yards went for that rushing touchdown late in the first half to turn a 17-14 Chiefs deficit into a 21-17 Chiefs lead, and his third touchdown pass of the game (a 60-yarder to Sammy Watkins) extended the Chiefs’ lead to an insurmountable one of 35-17 late in the game. And as for the second Chiefs player to get the award for this game, it’s defensive tackle Mike Pennel, a Week 7 free agent signee that has been a catalyst in bolstering their run defense. Pennel’s presence really showed in the biggest game of the year, as he was the standout player in a Kansas City run defense effort that held league rushing champion Derrick Henry to 69 yards on 19 carries. Pennel wasn’t credited with any solo tackles, but his nonstop motor and effort was a major turning point in the Chiefs advancing to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years.
- #2 Green Bay Packers Vs. #1 San Francisco 49ers-Heading into this game, I predicted an outcome similar to the time when these two teams met back in Week 12, a 37-8 49ers victory. And given the 27-0 advantage that Kyle Shanahan’s bunch had going into halftime, well I guess you can say that that prediction was indeed similar. The biggest reason for the 49ers dominating that first half is my Impact Player of this game, 49ers running back Raheem Mostert. In the first half alone, Mostert rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns, the first of which went for 36 yards on a 3rd-and-8 draw play to allow the 49ers to draw first blood with a 7-0 lead. And once the Packers showed signs of a possible rally midway through the third quarter via an Aaron Jones nine-yard touchdown reception to make the Green Bay deficit 27-7, the 49ers answered right back via a Mostert 22-yard touchdown run (his fourth of the game) to extend their lead to 27 points for the second time. Overall, Mostert gained 220 rushing yards and the four touchdowns on 29 carries to power the 49ers past the Packers 37-20 to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in seven years.
Well, that’s it for this week’s edition of Impact Players.
Tune in on February 3 to see my reaction to who won Super Bowl LIV MVP.