Patrick Mahomes found Mecole Hardman for a 53-yard bomb early in the second quarter. It set the Kansas City Chiefs up inside the opposing 10-yard line with a golden chance to take the lead in a game the San Francisco 49ers were dominating.
Then, on the next play, Isiah Pacheco fumbled the football and handed possession back to the Niners.
That's bad enough. A terrible twist of events for the Chiefs, and a major play from the Niners' staunch defense. More than stopping the bleeding, San Francisco shifted the momentum of the entire game.
Meanwhile, on the Kansas City sideline, Travis Kelce was noticeably upset with the Chiefs' play-call and personnel choices. So upset, in fact, that he almost knocked 65-year-old Andy Reid off his feet.
Travis Kelce almost knocks Andy Reid off his feet in frustration after Chiefs fumble
The reason for Kelce's anger? The Chiefs' substitution pattern. Kelce was off the field for Kansas City's first-and-goal run. Noah Gray was brought in at tight end instead — and he missed his block, opening the door for Pacheco's fumble. Kelce's message appears relatively simple: keep me in the game, coach.
That said, it's a bad look for Kelce. Emotions are running high. It's the Super Bowl, of course they are. But, physically bumping your head coach off balance is not only unnecessary, it's borderline dangerous.
Removing a star tight end for a run play is standard protocol. Gray has been a blocking tight end all season. Kelce can hardly fault the play-call or the personnel choice. It is Gray's mistake, not an Andy Reid mistake. If anything, Kelce should be leaning into his teammate on the sideline.
The Chiefs will hope to channel this frustration into more productive offense. Matt Nagy's group has not lived up to expectations so far. Aside from the bomb to Hardman, San Francisco has essentially stonewalled the Kansas City offense. The Chiefs aren't generating yards on the ground and Mahomes is operating under constant pressure in the pocket.
There's a lot of football left to be played, but Kelce has one yard on one catch as of this writing. It has been a quiet Super Bowl for the future Hall of Famer. This isn't Kelce's first rodeo — he's after his third championship ring — but he will have to get his emotions in check in order to lead the Chiefs to the promised land.