PHOENIX -- If you want to knock on the door of a Super Bowl title, it helps if team chemistry is riding on an all-time high. Meanwhile, building that rapport is an inexact science and there's really no formula that can be copied to truly have everyone fall into sync. For the Chiefs, their offense clicked in a rather unlikely place -- 'Call of Duty.'
Earlier this season, Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster noted a specific moment where everything came together. Coming into Week 7, Kansas City had lost two of its four games, but then enjoyed a 44-23 win over the 49ers and has ridden that momentum to the Super Bowl. So what changed?
"I'm going to tell you what got us the chemistry we needed this game: I think it was Friday night," Smith-Schuster said after that game. "It was me, Pat (Mahomes), Travis (Kelce), and MVS (Marques Valdez-Scantling), we were playing Call of Duty together — we were playing Warzone, and we played three games, we won three games back-to-back. We got off and was like -damn,' because it's really hard to win a game in Warzone Call of Duty, and you could just tell that the communication between all of us, and the chemistry — we were in the game."
During Super Bowl Opening Night, Smith-Schuster still credits those Call of Duty sessions for Kansas City's communication being on point and contributed to the club now set to play in Super Bowl LVII.
"I put in a lot of work, man," he said Monday. "I put in a lot, a lot, a lot of Call of Duty hours with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and [Marquez Valdes-Scantling], baby. A lot of COD hours. We're dropping down, the communication's on point. We've been working, man, day in, day out. We're here now, baby, the Super Bowl."
Somewhere, Kyler Murray, a fellow Call of Duty fan, will likely try to incorporate these Call of Duty team-building exercises in the near future.