The only way to beat a great quarterback is to fuck him up. That’ll be true for the Super Bowl, so much so that you’ll hear cleaner, duller versions of that take spewed incessantly by the CBS studio crew—Pheel Seems, Bill Caher, BOOM, Some Former Linebacker With A Polish Last Name—in the hours leading up to kickoff. How do you beat Tom Brady? Well, you fuck him up. How do you beat Patrick Mahomes? Well, you box him in, and THEN you fuck him up.
The good news for the Bucs is that they’re good at fucking QBs up, regardless of scheme or circumstance. They ranked fifth overall in sacks during the regular season. They had five sacks alone against the Packers, which I’d argue was the biggest difference in that game. Only 27 percent of Tampa’s sacks came from down linemen, but that didn’t matter because they have the best linebacking corps in football, including spiritual defensive ends Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. And the Bucs can ruin your shit up from the back, too! Five of the Bucs’ 48 sacks came from DBs, with Antoine Winfield Jr. ranking second overall leaguewide among DBs in that category. Any Buc can fuck you up at any time.
That’s bad news for Kansas City. In contrast to the Bucs, the Chiefs got 78 percent of their sacks from down linemen in the regular season, but only ranked 19th in total sacks overall. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likes generating a pass rush exclusively from his front four. After all, that’s how his Giants defense handed Tom Brady his first Super Bowl loss 13 years ago, and it’s how you free up the back of the defense to do their usual jobs. But Spags doesn’t have that kind of front four this time around. He’s gonna have to manufacture more of a rush, and he’s gonna have to do a better job of it than he did during the regular season, when the Chiefs ranked ninth in blitz percentage (the Bucs were fifth).
Luckily for Spags, I am a Blitz Knower. And my advice to the Chiefs for fucking up Tom Brady? You guessed it: THE DREADED DB BLITZ.
God, do I love a DB blitz. I love it when a corner or a safety times their approach flawlessly and comes roaring out of the QB’s blind spot to knock the unholy piss out of him. Fucks him up real nice. It not only gives that quarterback the proverbial something to think about, but also his offensive coordinator and, most importantly, any running back in charge of blitz pickup. All of them have to account for the periphery if they know Charvarius Ward (one sack in the regular season) might suddenly materialize back there to get all up in their shit.
A DB blitz is the defensive equivalent of going deep. You leave a gaping hole open in the secondary, true. But if you reach your quarry before he can see and exploit that hole, he’s a fucking dead man. You can think of calling a DB blitz as a last resort for a struggling defense. Or, if you’re a shrewd defensive coordinator like Spagnuolo or Todd Bowles, you can think of them as pocket aces to throw on the table in sudden moments to cause havoc or, better than havoc, PARALYSIS.
Because induced paralysis is the only way to stop these two quarterbacks from doing the things that make them who they are. When Tom Brady is under duress, he’s not Tom Brady anymore. When Patrick Mahomes finds him shockingly out of available real estate to exploit, he’s not Patrick Mahomes anymore. No quarterback feels NORMAL when he gets hit, and sometimes hitting him requires you to resort to … abnormal means. Which is why I want endless corner blitzes on Sunday. One after the other. Don’t even bother covering anyone. Just program every member of the secondary to KILL MODE and see what happens. That would get my nipples hard.