This Sunday millions of eyes will be on Miami for the 54th Super Bowl which marks the culmination of the 2019-2020 NFL season. The highly anticipated game sees the San Francisco 49ers, one of the most successful American football franchises of all time, face the Kansas City Chiefs who feature in their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
However, don’t let the Chiefs’ quiet history mislead you. They are one of the most exciting teams in football right now. Led by 3rd year Quarterback and last year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs finished the regular season with 12 wins and 4 losses. What’s more, in the divisional round of the playoffs (effectively the quarter finals), despite being down by 24 points, Mahomes orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks of all time: the team scored a record 7 touchdowns on 7 straight drives.
It seems easy to assume, then, that no team can stop the Chiefs charging forward to victory on Sunday night. But that assumption – much to the excitement of all the 150+ million people expected to watch the game – has its faults. The San Francisco 49ers are currently the NFL’s best defensive team. Conceding only 4 TDs against the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings in the previous two games, combined, this team is more than capable of stalling the Chiefs’ electric offensive.
The core of the 49ers defence is, without question, its defensive line. Led by rookie Nick Bosa, these men, whose job it is to tackle the opposing team’s QB, have been enormously successful, with 48 sacks this season. Don’t just take my word for it: Osi Umenyiora – two-time Super Bowl winning defensive end, turned BBC pundit – argues that the 49ers have one of the best defensive lines of all time. Moreover, if Mahomes does manage to evade Nick Bosa and company, he then has to worry about Richard Sherman intercepting his passes. The former Seattle Seahawk has already felt the pressure of a Super Bowl having won in 2014, so Sherman is unlikely to be daunted by the occasion.
If this match isn’t already exciting enough, the game will feature the two best tight-ends in the game: Travis Kelce of the Chiefs, and the 49ers’ George Kittle. They have a combined catching touchdown total of 13 – an impressive haul for players in offenses stacked with talent. If Kelce is double-covered (that is, two-on-one), then Tyreek Hill, nicknamed ‘Cheetah’ for his blistering pace, will easily out-run any man on the field on Sunday, having already caught the ball 9 times for a touchdown this season.
Don’t be fooled, however, the 49ers have some offensive weapons of their own. Leading this offence is the QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, a previous understudy to Tom Brady the QB of last year’s winning team, the New England Patriots. In addition, running back Raheem Mostert – having previously been cut by 6 teams – is thriving in the Golden Gate City, running into the end-zone 12 times this season, 4 of those times in his last outing against the Packers in the NFC Championship game 2 weeks ago.
Furthermore, the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t just a touchdown scoring machine. Their defence has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few games. Steve Spagnuolo’s first season in Kansas City as defensive coordinator has been a slow burner, but his players are starting to put the numbers up. One of those players is Tyrann Mathieu, who in his first year in Kansas City has 75 tackles to his name this season.
And if all that isn’t enticing enough, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be performing at the half time show. So, in an exhilarating battle between an explosive offence and an unyielding defence combined with worldwide, international music stars, Sunday’s Super Bowl is a must-watch spectacle.
Written by: Morgan Edwards