Throughout the Kansas City Chiefs run to the Super Bowl, there were many times when the team faced adversity. There are also some players who performed well who should not be forgotten about. For example, some guys that made an impact did not even play in the Super Bowl. In a Thursday night contest at the Denver Broncos, Patrick Mahomes did not get up after a quarterback sneak. Everyone, or at least most people, believed the Chiefs season may have ended right there. The Super Bowl dream was over. However, Matt Moore stepped in and performed adamantly.
Moore led Kansas City to victory in two games. In the other, he was so close to defeating Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. That was a team, whose offense was red hot at the time. If it was not for a fumble and a defensive gaffe on a pass to Aaron Jones, then the Chiefs would have been 3-0 in games where Moore was in at quarterback. Today, we look back at his performance from this season. This will be the first of a handful of guys that we look forward to writing about, as an unsung hero in the Chiefs Super Bowl run.
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The Teacher Becomes The Student
Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne fractured his ankle in the third preseason game back in August. Andy Reid wanted to turn to a veteran to backup Mahomes. At the time, the only other backup option was Kyle Shurmur or Chase Litton.
Meanwhile, Matt Moore had began coaching high school football in California. There was a lot of decisions for him to make of course. But overall, Moore just could not turn down the chance to join the quarterback room of the then reigning league MVP. When he arrived to town, he was learning more than he could have imagined with this team and offense. It was interesting to see how much Moore had to say about that, as a 35 year old vet. Furthermore, he went on to learn some tricks from Mahomes.
Jump In The Fire
It was a very important week when Mahomes got hurt. The Chiefs had just lost two straight home games to the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. Denver had the feeling that they could pull off the upset. It was a pretty good start for Kansas City’s offense. Other than settling for a field goal in the red zone, the Chiefs were dominating the Broncos like they have as of late. However, the energy was eerie after Mahomes went down. The Chiefs defense actually took more advantage of the situation. You would have thought the Broncos would have done the same offensively. Not the case.
Moore did a well enough job to lead a few different scoring drives. His ball placement on the touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill was exceptional. Hill beat the defender on a wheel route, and all Moore had to do was drop it in the bucket. Kansas City was jubilant and upbeat. More importantly, Mahomes was smiling, laughing and breaking the team down as he usually does after wins. It all seemed much better than it could have been.
Bright Lights, Happy Times
Before Moore started against the Green Bay Packers, the Chiefs received encouraging news on Mahomes dislocated knee. This gave fans and the players even more hope for the upcoming couple of weeks. The defense thrived off of this news and conservative opposing offenses alike. Steve Spagnuolo‘s defense continued to get sacks and hits on Aaron Rodgers. Moore was finding Hill and Travis Kelce with ease throughout the contest. Despite going toe to toe with Rodgers, the Chiefs fell just short. Though more importantly, Moore showed how brilliant and accurate he could be.
The QB finished with 267 yards through the air, completing 24 of 36 passes and two touchdowns. It was a difficult game. Green Bay looked to be sleepwalking at times. However, they came through when they needed to.
The following game against the Minnesota Vikings was a dog fight. It took all 60 minutes of good play from both sides of the ball. Chris Jones and the run defense held Dalvin Cook to a largely pedestrian day. This was important, because Cook was so hot entering this November game.
Once again, Matt Moore had to make throws into tight windows. He did just that, and more. We saw the Vikings defenders get tested by Moore downfield plenty of times. While that was good to see in itself, there were many times where Kansas City faced constant pressure from Minnesota’s front. It was a gutsy performance by the veteran quarterback, who went 25 of 35. He threw for 275 yards and a touchdown. Finally, Moore beat the Vikings blitz with a quick pass to Hill over the middle. This set Harrison Butker up in field goal range to hit the game winner as time expired. To boot, this emotional victory gave the Chiefs even more confidence heading into Mahomes eventual return from injury.
Without those two wins, the Chiefs could have been as low as the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs. Imagine if Mahomes was out for even longer. Moore was incredible for what we were all expecting in Reid’s offense. He fit in perfectly with the weapons. Above all, it was probably just fun for him to go out and play a couple of games for one of the best teams in the league. This team gained energy from Moore. In addition, he was instrumental in keeping the Super Bowl faith alive. Some may forget about those two to three weeks. But we could not look back on the season, without mentioning the critical performance of Matt Moore.
Be on the lookout for more Chiefs coverage. We will start to roll out 2020 NFL Draft prospect profiles soon. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.