PHOENIX — If Eric Bieniemy is departing the Kansas City Chiefs, he left them quite the parting gift.
Their longtime offensive coordinator helped orchestrate an offense that in the second half of Super Bowl LVII saw the Chiefs score touchdowns on their first three possessions and fail to get one on the fourth and final one only because they were setting up for the winning field goal.
The Chiefs wound up rallying from a 10-point halftime deficit and beating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 for their second Super Bowl victory in four seasons.
Bieniemy is a candidate for other offensive coordinator openings around the NFL and could be moving on after 10 seasons as a Chiefs assistant, the past five as the coordinator.
“Eric Bieniemy has been tremendous for us and I think tremendous for the National Football League,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I’m hoping he has an opportunity to go somewhere and do his thing where he can run the show and be Eric Bieniemy.”
The Chiefs fooled the Eagles at times in their 24-point second half. One example is the 6-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Kadarius Toney early in the fourth quarter that put the Chiefs ahead for the first time in the game. Toney lined up as wide receiver to the right and started in motion to his left. Cornerback Darius Slay was initially in coverage on Toney but left him when the receiver went in motion to the left, apparently thinking Toney was headed to the other side of the formation.
But the jet sweep motion wasn’t real. At the snap Toney abruptly changed direction and was uncovered to catch the pass.
“We saw something a little different on tape and we knew we could take advantage of what they weren’t doing,” Bieniemy said. “Kadarius did a hell of a job of finding a way to get himself open.
“We weren’t executing the way we needed to and what happened is our guys knew we played for 30 minutes and lulled ourselves to sleep [in a sluggish first half]. This is a team that we can’t relax against, because at that particular time our defense was struggling. We had to help our defense. Our goal was to find a way to get seven points every time we stepped on that field. Our guys did a hell of a job adjusting, our guys just playing through the lows and hanging together.”
“[Coaches] spend hours and hours drawing up plays just for it to be that open,” Toney said
Mahomes was selected Super Bowl MVP after throwing three touchdown passes, two in the second half. He aggravated his high ankle sprain late in the first half when he was tackled but didn’t come out of the game.
For Mahomes, the biggest casualty of the Super Bowl was his golf game. He said he doesn’t believe his offseason preparation for next season will be impacted by the ankle injury.
“I’ll for sure be ready for OTAs and everything like that,” Mahomes said. “Obviously we’ll have to continue the rehab, continue the treatment that we were doing and just give it some rest. I think the best thing is going to be rest and just trying to make sure that when we get to OTAs, I’m ready to go.
“The only thing that might take a take a hit is my golf game, so I’ll have to take a few weeks off of that.”