For the Chiefs, headlines typically highlight quarterback Patrick Mahomes or head coach Andy Reid. Mahomes makes impossible throws; Reid devises a winning gameplan. Others on the Chiefs’ offense, like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, also get their fair share of acclaim.
But it takes more than a great offense to win. The Chiefs have real talent on the defensive side, too. One of those talented players is defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. He recently got a phone call from an NFL legend, only solidifying his status as one of the league’s elite.
Tyrann Mathieu’s career
The Arizona Cardinals drafted Mathieu with the 69th overall pick in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. His darft stock fell due to a marijuana-related arrest while at LSU, reports Bleacher Report. Had he avoided off-field issues, Mathieu likely would’ve gone much higher.
Mathieu played his first five seasons in Arizona. He completed one season in Houston before joining Kansas City for the 2019-20 campaign. Fans view Mathieu as one of the game’s great talents in the secondary. He’s played a big part in this year’s Super Bowl run for the Chiefs. Here are his career numbers so far:
- 98 games played
- 17 interceptions for 209 return yards
- One touchdown
- Nine sacks
- 61 passes defended
- 416 solo tackles
- Two-time Pro Bowl selection
- One-time All-Pro selection
Tyrann Mathieu’s performance in the AFC championship game
According to ESPN, Mathieu played well in the Chiefs’ AFC championship matchup with Tennessee. He had six solo tackles with three assisted for nine combined tackles. The 27-year-old stuffed one running play behind the line of scrimmage for two “stuff yards.” He also defended two passes.
It was the type of defensive intensity Mathieu has brought to the Chiefs as a newcomer all season. After the game, his stellar play led to a surprise communication with one of his heroes.
The touching phone call Tyrann Mathieu got from an NFL legend
Following the Chiefs’ big win, Mathieu received a call from Deion Sanders. The legendary wide receiver called the defensive back to congratulate him on his performance and wish him luck in the Super Bowl. Mathieu loved the gesture, grinning from ear to ear during the call.
As someone who appreciates the history of the game, the call clearly meant a lot to Mathieu. Sanders is one of the greatest defensive backs to ever play in the NFL. “Primetime” was a superstar before the social media era, always commanding attention no matter what he did.
The two-sport star played baseball and football (sometimes, on the same day). Sanders played the game with flash and panache. He danced in the end zone before it was common. He strutted his way into touchdowns before the play ended. Sanders played with a swagger few players had at the time.
While Mathieu may not be as revolutionary as Sanders — few players are — it’s clear Sanders sees something special in him. Receiving that call must’ve been a true honor for Mathieu. You could tell from his reaction that he understood its significance.
Will Mathieu make a big play in the Super Bowl to help the Chiefs take down the San Francisco 49ers? There’s at least one Hall of Famer who probably thinks so.
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