Recency bias is an amazing drug. And the conference title games and the Super Bowl always shape narratives about how to build a team, what style of offense and defense to incorporate, what the rest of the league should prioritize during the team building process, etc. . It happens every year. After the Eagles‘ first Super Bowl win, his use of the “Run-Pass Option” made RPO vernacular overnight. Mahomes’ Super Bowl victory the following year ignited the new mold for the prototypical franchise quarterback.

Last year, I highlighted the league’s growing propensity to go for him on fourth down, pass on first down and prioritize YAC. Those trends are going nowhere. To mention them briefly here, teams are still noticeably more aggressive on fourth down than they were five or 10 years ago. That’s good.

Tea flares Y bosses he finished third and fourth, respectively, in first-down pass rate during the regular season. Eight of the 14 playoff teams were in the top 10 in first-down pass rate and first-down pass rate in one-touchdown scenarios. If the NFL is a copycat league, other teams need to copy what the best teams are doing, and one of those things is passing it more often than they run it on first down, even if the game is close.

And YAC is here to stay for a while. The Chiefs finished with the most total YAC during the regular season. Tea 49ers he had the best YAC average per reception. The Chiefs were second in that category, while the Eagles were fifth and the Bengals were 11th despite Ja’Marr Chase missing four games.

Sometimes these trends are pulled directly from the regular season. But they mostly come from the playoffs.

Let’s identify those trends before Super Bowl LVII.

Invest heavily in the offensive line

The 49ers made it to the Super Bowl after the 2019 season, ultimately losing to Mahomes and the Chiefs. Less than two months later, they traded a fifth and future third for future Hall of Fame left tackle Trent Williams. Great swing.

While they allowed burgeoning guard Laken Tomlinson to enter free agency after the 2021 season, they drafted Aaron Banks in the second round in 2021 and spent a fourth-round pick on guard Spencer Burford last April, two players who were the main starters on guard in the 2022 season.

After Burrow led the NFL in sacks taken (51) in 20221, the Bengals spent a total of $22 million in collective average annual salary on three blockers in the 2022 offseason: La’el Collins, Ted Karras and Alex Cappa. They did so despite drafting four offensive linemen since Burrow was No. 1 overall in 2020, and they selected another blocker in the fourth round, Cordell Volson, last April.

As expected, Burrow’s sacks (51 to 41) and sack rate (8.9% to 6.3%) decreased from 2021 to 2022. His interception rate also dropped from 2.7% to 2, 0%.

After a catastrophic development in the Super Bowl loss to the buccaneers — in a game without multiple starting offensive linemen — Kansas City knows the pitfalls of that development now: The Chiefs didn’t sit idly by. General manager Brett Veach signed top free-agent guard Joe Thuney to an $80 million, five-year contract with nearly $32 million in total guarantees, and traded multiple picks to land left tackle Orlando Brown from AFC rival. ravensbut the lock rebuild was not finished.

In the draft, Veach selected veteran Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey in the second round and took a midfielder over guard Trey Smith in the sixth round, a great and talented SEC blocker who dealt with blood clots in college.

Now, Kansas City probably has the best blocking unit in the AFC.

The Eagles and general manager Howie Roseman have long prioritized the trenches and have boasted one of the most devastating offensive lines in the league for a while. It’s mostly a veteran-laden group led by center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson. But Roseman’s persistence in building the blocking unit has once again paid off.

After Jordan Mailata was a seventh-round midfielder in the 2018 draft, Roseman took Andre Dillard in Round 1 in 2019. Dillard hasn’t developed into the stud many thought he would be in the NFL. Mailata has become a gigantic motor grader. The up-front arrow didn’t stop Roseman from selecting do-it-all blocker Landon Dickerson in Round 2 of the 2021 draft, who is now the starting left guard, and even grabbed super-talented center Cam Jurgens in the second round of the draft. Draft 2022 to be Kelce’s eventual replacement.

The Eagles have the best offensive line in football and they mostly roughed up the 49ers’ best defense in the NFC title game.

During the regular season, only 12 qualifying quarterbacks managed to pass a rating higher than 75 under pressure. When kept clean, a whopping 39 quarterbacks had a QB rating higher than 75.

When in doubt, take flyers on quarterbacks

In the 2020 draft, with the No. 53 pick, after five quarterbacks were selected, the Eagles selected Jalen Hurts after a highly productive season at Oklahoma that followed a one-off career at Alabama. This pick was made less than four months after the Eagles won a division title and star quarterback Carson Wentz was pulled from a playoff loss with a concussion. It was before that season that Wentz landed a hefty four-year, $128 million extension with the Eagles that included a $100 million guaranteed.

Wentz passed for over 4,000 yards that season with 27 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

The Eagles could have gone in many other directions with that pick. But they understood the potential added value of drafting a quarterback there and they went for it. Wentz fell apart in 2020 and was subsequently traded. Hurts then was the quarterback of a seven-seeded Philadelphia team that lost in the first round of the 2021 playoffs and will now start in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers made it to a Super Bowl and the NFC title game with Jimmy Garoppolo and then decided to trade a litany of early picks to move up in the draft and select Trey Lance. Of course, last April they used the last pick in the draft on none other than Brock Purdy.

Be aggressive… be, be aggressive

From the most ubiquitous cheer on the sidelines of America’s high school games to the app in the NFL. This is something of a combination of the two points above, but… be aggressive. And I’m not suggesting more blitzes. I’m talking about aggression with list building. This could really be an extension of what the rams he did before his Super Bowl-winning season a year ago.

Think about the exemplification of this idea that Roseman demonstrated last offseason. He traded a first-round pick for AJ Brown on Day 1 of the draft. If that wasn’t enough, and it would normally be considered enough, he picked up James Bradberry nine days after he was released by the giants In May. Then, to really drive home his aggressive style, Roseman traded fifth and sixth picks in the 2024 draft for troublesome cornerback Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and a seventh in 2025 in August.

Let’s not forget — and you’ll hear plenty of reminders over the next two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl — Chiefs GM Brett Veach TRADED TYREEK HILL in the offseason, an idea that previously seemed far-fetched, utterly impossible.

He scored on the Chiefs:

  • Part of compensation package to trade CB select Trent McDuffie
  • WR Skyy Moore
  • Contract void for Hill with $30M avg per year and $52.5M in total guarantees
  • 2024 fourth-round pick
  • 2024 6th round pick

Kansas City then had the money to sign the likes of Justin Reid, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Carlos Dunlap in July. It will also give the Chiefs flexibility to sign their own this offseason.

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