- Eric Fisher will be out for the Super Bowl after being injured in the AFC Championship Game.
- Fisher joins Mitchell Schwartz on Injured Reserve for the Chiefs.
- Will the absence of both of their starting tackles cost them in the Super Bowl?
LAS VEGAS - The matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be defined by one major detail - the absence of Eric Fisher.
Who’s Eric Fisher?
Many casual fans might ask that question. Eric Fisher is an OT for the Kansas City Chiefs who suffered a season-ending injury in the AFC Championship Game.
Fisher is a two-time pro bowler who started every single game for the Chiefs this season, and his loss will compound with the loss of Mitchell Schwartz, who was injured in Week 6.
Schwartz and Fisher are the two best offensive linemen on the Chiefs, and the pair of them started at Right Tackle and Left Tackle in Super Bowl LIV.
There’s no two ways around it - this is bad for the Chiefs. The tackle positions are the spots that go up against the dominant edge rushers in the NFL, of which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have several.
Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett have combined for 17.5 sacks and six forced fumbles over the course of the season.
One intriguing aspect of the Super Bowl 55 is that the Bucs defense tends to blitz a lot.
In addition, they tend to be good at disguising their blitzes when they bring pressure.
Patrick Mahomes, however, is uniquely elite against the blitz, making it a generally bad proposition for opposing teams.
The absence of Fisher raises the question of if the Buccaneers defense can get pressure with four rushers, with JPP and Shaq going up against backups on the edge.
If they can, this could seriously negatively impact the Chiefs offense, which has a lot of betting implications.
Patrick Mahomes Passing Yards
- Over 330.5 -114
- Under 330.5 -114
Mahomes’ passing yards O/U line is set at 330.5, which is honestly fairly generous to him in the context of the Fisher injury. Mahomes only eclipsed that number seven times this season, including the playoffs.
Even the Chiefs’ beatdown of the Buffalo Bills did not involve 330 passing yards for Mahomes as he finished with 325 yards.
However, against Tampa Bay in Week 12, Mahomes passed for 462 yards, his most of the season. Tampa brought pressure, and Mahomes made them pay. With Fisher out, perhaps Tampa can bring that pressure with four rushers instead of five.
Let’s follow the idea that the Bucs will be bringing pressure, because that’s what their defense does best.
If they do, the player who seems to be the most obvious safety valve for Mahomes is Travis Kelce.
Travis Kelce Receiving Yards
- Over 101 -114
- Under 101 -114
Kelce stands to benefit in the short passing game if Mahomes is pressured heavily. He racked up 82 yards on eight receptions against TB in the regular season.
The SB betting sites have high hopes for Kelce in this matchup, with an O/U line that is the second-highest in the game for receiving yards.
Another potential safety valve is running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Receiving Yards
- Over 19 -114
- Under 19 -114
Edwards-Helaire is not often one of the receiving options on the team, but the way the schemes work out, he might have a chance to be in the Super Bowl.
If the Buccaneers are bringing pressure and covering Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson downfield, then opportunities could open up in the flat if the Bucs ever bring five rushers.
In addition, with Mahomes under pressure, there will be a lot of chances for him to just get the ball to Edwards-Helaire or Kelce in space and let them go to work.
In addition, Tyreek Hill could see some use in the short passing game. Hill went berserk against the Buccaneers last time these two teams met, putting up 262 yards on 13 receptions.
Tyreek Hill Receiving Yards
- Over 106 -114
- Under 106 -114
Hill is a terror, and his production in this game will relate more to how he is used than anything else. He’s quick enough to make even short passes into big gains, and it’s not a surprise to see him at the top of the projected passing yards leaders.
Overall, the matchup on the offensive line could dictate how each of these players are used throughout the game.
Fisher’s absence will be felt, but how exactly it will impact the game will not be known until it starts.
This is why live betting can be such a useful tactic for those wanting to wager on these odds - one can observe the first few drives and then make a much more educated guess as to which way the game will go.
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Maxwell joined the BettingSuperBowl team in 2019 and is thrilled to be working for a website that so mirrors his interests. Maxwell is an avid follower of sports, a consumer of sports gambling news, and seeks to constantly better himself and his readers.