The National Football League
Super Bowl 54 Recap
In my opinion, this was one of the best Super Bowls that we have seen since Super Bowl 49 back in 2015, when the Legion of Boom and the Seattle Seahawks barely fell short against the New England Patriots due to a late interception from Russell Wilson. The reason this was such a great Super Bowl was not only that the Patriots were not participating, but also because we had a fresh set of teams that had not participated in the game for quite a while, as well as a spectacular, but somewhat inevitable, comeback by the Kansas City Chiefs. The extended Super Bowl absences were a bit less noticeable for the team from the the Bay, which last made it in Super Bowl 42, where they lost a heart breaker at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, led by the legendary defensive duo of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The Kansas City Chiefs have not been as lucky, for they had not made a trip to the Big Game in the past 50 years. This was just one of many great Story lines that lead us to the 10th highest viewed game in the history of the NFL.
The Chiefs had another dominant season behind the extremely talented Patrick Mahomes, who won the league’s season MVP just last season. The Chiefs’ defense seemed to find its groove as the season began to draw to a close, due to what I believe was leadership that came from the addition of Tyrann Mathieu via Free Agency, as well as the Chiefs scooping up legendary Baltimore Ravens Outside Linebacker Terrell Suggs in a mid-season acquisition that gave them much needed depth and leadership in the front seven of their young defense. This defense was able to complement the once-again powerful offense led by the likes of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and of course Patrick Mahomes as they proceeded to march towards not only the end of the season, but eventually the Super Bowl. The Chiefs would end up with the No. 2 seed at the end of the year, just behind the Lamar Jackson led Baltimore Ravens. The Bye Week that came from this, gave the Chiefs not only much needed rest, but most importantly, future Hall of Fame coach Andy Reid an extra week to figure out how he was going to destroy the playoff competition. The Chiefs would go on to have extremely dominant performances in their two playoff games against the Houston Texans and the Derrick Henry led Tennessee Titans. In each of these games, the Chiefs came back from huge deficits to ironically blow out their opponent once the clock hit triple digits in the fourth. It is worth noting, though, that in my opinion the Chiefs did not face much high-level competition throughout the playoffs, largely due to the dominant and surprising run that Derrick Henry took the Titans on throughout the course of the playoffs.
The 49ers have cemented themselves as being one of the elite organizations in the NFL, not only due to the fact that they have a total of 22 players in Canton, Ohio, but also due to their continued success over multiple different decades. The 49ers began building up their historic pedigree in the 1980s when they had the second-best quarterback of all time, Joe Montana, along with the best wide receiver to ever play the position, Jerry Rice, who proceeded to run rampant on the rest of the NFL throughout the course of this storied Dynasty; they would go on to win the Super Bowl in 1982, 1985, 1989, and 1990. The 49ers would then be forced to trade Montana after the two sides had various disagreements over who would be the person to lead the franchise from under center for the years to come. Then, finally, in the 1993 off-season, the 49ers would ship Montana to the very team that would go on to ruin their super bowl aspirations over 20 years later, the Kansas City Chiefs. Montana would go on to lead the Chiefs to the 1993 AFC Championship, were they would eventually fall short to the John Elway led Denver Broncos. The 49ers would not soon after that, go on to win their fifth championship while being led by Montana’s successor, Steve Young, in Super Bowl 29 in 1995.
Fast forward to the 2019-2020 and the San Francisco 49ers, led by head coach Kyle Shanahan, once again find themselves towards the top of the league. The 49ers have had an incredible season led by their revolutionary run heavy offense that seemingly only a member of the legendary Shanahan family can come up with. This second-ranked offense was led by the likes of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, receivers Deebo Samuel and Emanuel Sanders, along with a running back by committee backfield led by Raheem Mostert. This offense was complimented by the multi-talented defense led by Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa, former Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman, and former Chief defensive end Dee Ford. All of these factors led to the 49ers ending the season with a record of 13-2, which was good enough to get them the No. 1 seed in a loaded NFC.
Adrian’s thoughts and Summary:
The main storyline going into Super Bowl 54 was the battle between the best running offense in the National Football League versus the best passing offense in the NFL. Going into this game, I began to notice a trend in that the majority of NFL TV analysts were thinking that, while Pat Mahomes would, of course, get his and make some huge plays, the discipline that the 49ers played with would be enough for them to narrowly out-do the high powered Kansas City Chiefs. This point of view was very similar to the way that I believed the game would play out: The 49ers would find a way to enforce their physical style of play against the Tyranne Mathieu led Chiefs defense, which would then result in Niner quarterback Jimmy Garropollo having limited opportunities to make a bad read and possibly give momentum to the High Powered Kansas City Chiefs, which is definitely something you DO NOT want to do in a game of this magnitude.
Throughout the majority of the first half of this star-studded Super Bowl it appeared like my prediction was going to come true, with the Kansas City Chiefs seemingly starting off to a slow start, which was a common theme for the team throughout the course of the playoffs. But after being up a total of 20-10 with less than two minutes left in the first half, the 49ers were able to force Patrick Mahomes to punt the ball away after a strong defensive stand in their own territory. But with valuable time seemingly dripping away with the Niner offense seemingly having an opportunity to go down the field and go up 27-10 at half, 49er coach, Kyle Shanahan failed to call a timeout. This head scratching decision caused the Niner offense to have to get down the field in a hurry, which they were not built to do. The offense would then have to kneel the rock, after a questionable pass interference call was called on perennial All-Pro tight end George Kittle, which, if not called, would have put the offense into field goal range. This is what set the tone for the second half of the game.
The Chiefs and 49ers would continue to slug it out throughout the second half, with neither team being able to gain an inch on each other, throughout the entirety of the third quarter. This was until about midway through the fourth when Patrick Mahomes completed a prayer to none other than the “cheetah” Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce would then cap off this game changing drive with his first receiving touchdown of the game, cutting the deficit down to just three. The Chiefs’ defense would then successfully be able to get to Jimmy Garoppolo and force the Niners to punt the ball back to Mahomes. The Chiefs unsurprisingly were able to come away with a touchdown on the proceeding drive, thus giving them a four point lead late in the fourth. Garoppollo would then miss a wide open touchdown intended for Emmanuel Sanders, putting the nail in the coffin for them. Chiefs Running Back Damien Williams would finish things off with a walk-in touchdown to bring a second Lombardi Trophy back to KC.
The Chiefs were able to send a clear message to the rest of the NFL in this game. That message would be that they have the future of the NFL as the face of their franchise in Mahomes. Nearly half of the NFL passed on a kid from Texas Tech, now they will be facing the wrath of that decision for what will seem like an eternity. Good luck NFL, because a potential dynasty is brewing down in Kansas City.