The final game of the 2019 season will be played today as the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV (that’s 54 for those who still aren’t fluent in roman numeral translation).
Regardless of who comes out on top, this Super Bowl should end up being a good game. Both teams have played two playoff games, and have gone on streaks to bury their opponents. For the Chiefs, they like to play opossum as they have fallen behind by two scores in each of their playoff games, only to come back to win convincingly. That includes the game where they went down 24-0 to the Houston Texans in the first quarter, only to end up winning that game 51-31.
The 49ers operate a little differently. They have never trailed in the playoffs as the strike first, and never take their foot off he gas. The stage is set for San Francisco to start off with the lead, with the only question to be answered - will they keep it or will the Chiefs work their comeback magic again?
There’s a lot to think about in this big game, and even though another Super Bowl will come and go without the Cowboys, there are still some things for us fans to ponder. Here are five things running around in my mind...
1. Redemption is coming for someone
This team features two of the top scoring teams in the NFL this season as quarterback Patrick Mahomes and offensive-minded head coach Kyle Shanahan have ignited their respective offenses. Coincidentally, both these guys get a second shot to right a wrong after suffering a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots.
Imagine your playoff run ending after squandering a 4th quarter lead to the Patriots, only to lose in OT on a two-yard walk-off rushing TD. The scenario I described applies to both the 2018 Chiefs & Kyle Shananan's Falcons team in 2016.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) February 1, 2020
Redemption is coming for someone, but who?
2. Just say no to no. 6!
There was a time when no team had more Super Bowl victories than the Cowboys after they won their fifth Lombardy Trophy during the 1995 season. Of course, that’s been nearly 25 years and a lot of football has happened since then, with none of it containing the Cowboys playing on the year’s biggest stage.
Since then, the Pittsburgh Steelers have jumped them with Super Bowl victories in 2005 and 2008. And then there’s the Patriots who started the turn of the century with no Super Bowls, but thanks to the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era, they have now joined the Steelers with a grand total of six. That’s unfortunate.
While that sucks, it can get even worse if the 49ers get no. 6 as well. A Kansas City win can save that from happening. Go Chiefs!
3. Smiles for Miles
If the 49ers do win, there are some saving graces. Former Cowboys linebacker Mark Nzeocha will get a ring. You may not remember much from Nzeocha, and that’s because he didn’t play a whole lot during his time in Dallas.
The same is not true for former wide receiver Miles Austin. who played in over 100 games with the Cowboys, including Pro Bowl seasons in 2009 and 2010. Austin is now the 49ers offensive quality control coach. As he prepares his new team to face the Chiefs, it’s a good time to remind everyone that he put up a 10 catch, 250 yards, two touchdown performance against Kansas City in his first ever career start.
While I won’t be pulling for it to happen, if the Niners do win, at least we can be happy for Miles.
4. Happy for Hitchens, Wilson, Ward, and Claiborne
The Chiefs also feature some former Cowboys players as Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, Charvarius Ward, and Morris Claiborne are all playing defense for the Chiefs these days.
While Austin made his first start against the Chiefs, Hitchens made his NFL debut against the 49ers back in 2014 when he was thrown into action after Sean Lee suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp. The Chiefs gave Hitch a big contract to join their squad in 2018.
Hitchens may be the biggest name from this group, but a big surprise is the strong play of undrafted corner Charvarius Ward. He’s played extremely well this year. In fact, he would’ve been a hero in last year’s AFC Championship game had it not been for a penalty on Dee Ford after he lined up in the neutral zone.
And just think, the Patriots would only have five Super Bowl wins if that play stood.
5. Defense wins championships?
Looking back at the Super Bowl winners in recent history shows a pattern that favors the better defensive unit. If you compare points scored vs. points allowed, there is a common theme among the teams holding up the Lombardi at the end. In four straight seasons, the team that has allowed fewer points in the regular season has emerged victorious.
If fact, this streak would actually be six straight if Pete Carroll would’ve just run the ball at the goal line in Super Bowl 49.
If that trend continues this year, what will that mean? On the surface, you may think that favors the 49ers because their defensive unit has played outstanding this season. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are perceived as this offensive juggernaut. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in both points scored and points allowed, but you might be surprised to find out which team leads in each of those categories.
During the regular season:
- The 49ers offense have outscored the Chiefs offense by 28 points
- The Chiefs defense held opponents to two fewer points than the 49ers defense
So, if things follow the same pattern this year, the advantage goes to Kansas City.
If you’re having a Super Bowl party, don’t forget to print out a bunch of these game sheets to bring some extra excitement to you party.