2020 Super Bowl Preview

Eric Fenstermaker, Senior Writer

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See the source imageThis is the NFL’s 100th season, and it’s incredible to see how far the league has come. The NFL has continued to develop legends like Tom Brady, Jerry Rice, and Deion Sanders across multiple generations, and the NFL continues to change dynamically. For example, NFL has gone from leather helmets to toe-tap touchdowns. In the NFL’s 100th season, it is only fitting that the biggest game, the Super Bowl, matches the league’s grandeur and splendor. In fact, this Chiefs-vs-49ers Super Bowl is the perfect match-up for the 100th season. Here are five reasons why:

1. There’s potent offense: Patrick Mahomes is a hall-of-famer to be. He dazzles fans with his incredible arm talent, mobility, and no-look passes. Mahomes lights up the scoreboard with talented weapons like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and plenty of others. The Chiefs love to put up 35+ points, and they will win SBLIV if it is a shootout. The 49ers have a great offense, but they use the run game as a catalyst. Raheem Mostert ran for 200+ yards and four touchdowns in the NFC Championship, and the 49ers will look to win the ground game. In the biggest game of the year, both the run and pass game will be on be on full display.

2. There’s elite defense: The Chiefs have an okay defense, but they stepped up in a major way against the Titans. The Titans brought Derrick Henry, a physical, tough rusher, into Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs held him to under 80 yards. They are led on defense by Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu, and they anchor this defensive unit. The Chiefs continue to improve on defense, but they are nowhere near the ferocity and tenacity of the 49ers’ defense. The 49ers’ defensive line is one of the best that I have ever seen. Led by DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, and Nick Bosa, the 49ers love to terrorize opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators. Richard Sherman solidifies the back end of the 49ers’ defense, and they don’t allow big plays or huge gains – something the Chiefs love. While everyone loves offense, it won’t run wild with these defenses.

3. There’s fantastic coaching: Coaching is something that has definitely affected the NFL in many different ways. Whether it be Vince Lombardi or Bill Belichick, coaching has had a profound impact on players and fans alike. This match-up features two coaches, both of who are two of the best in the league. Andy Reid has been here before, yet he’s never crossed the finish line into the promised land. After coming so close with the Eagles, Reid now has the opportunity to rewrite his Super-Bowl losing ways. Kyle Shanahan also knows how it feels to come up just short. Shanahan helped the Falcons rack up a huge lead in the Super Bowl, but they blew it, and they fell short to the Patriots. Both coaches know how to get the most out of their teams, and they both have revenge on their minds.

4. There are Super-Bowl connections on both sides: While these teams might not have a long-standing rivalry, they both have connections to the Super Bowl in the past. The Chiefs played in the very first Super Bowl, and they lost to the Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs won the 4th Super Bowl, but they haven’t been back since. Can they mark the 50th anniversary of their Super Bowl win with another? The 49ers have plenty of Super-Bowl pedigree. The 49ers won their first Super Bowl in 1982 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and they would win four more before the new millennium (’85, ’89, ’90, and ’95). The 49ers only loss in the Super Bowl came during their most recent trip in 2013, which was a major spectacle due to a power outage. If the 49ers win, then they would be tied for the most Super-Bowl wins for an NFL franchise with six. Both teams have a connection to the Super Bowl, and this is a huge deal for both sides.

5. Both teams took different paths: Neither team is very similar, and that is what makes them both so exciting. The 49ers have been one of the best – if not the best- teams all year long. They didn’t lose until week 10, and they would lose only two more games during the regular season. The 49ers didn’t look exceptional in their last few regular-season match-ups, but they have looked incredible in the playoffs. They won both their games by 17 points, and they put up at least 27 points both times. The Chiefs weren’t as dominant this year. The Chiefs hit a stretch where they lost three of four, but they came back strong to win every game the rest of the year. The Chiefs found themselves in a hole early both games this postseason, yet they found ways to win both games by large amounts. The only thing these teams share in common is that they both had a first-round bye and they both beat the #6 seed in the playoffs.

Image credit: Gamblingsites.org