With the San Francisco 49ers facing the Kansas City Chiefs, this year’s Super Bowl should prove to be one to remember. It may not be the Super Bowl I rematch that many were expecting, but nonetheless NFL fans should be in for a classic. Let’s talk about how both teams got to this point.
The Story of the 2019 49ers
The 49ers finished the season with a 13-3 record, good for home field advantage in the NFC playoffs. With two convincing wins over the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, they became the first team since the Eagles in 2017 to clinch a Super Bowl appearance following a below-.500 season. The Niners compiled a 4-12 record to conclude 2018, making it one of the most dramatic turnarounds in recent memory.
Though it was short-lived, the 49ers accomplished much during the Jim Harbaugh Era. They went to the NFC Championship in three consecutive seasons from 2011 to 2013, including an NFC title during the 2012 season. With one of the worst offseasons in league history during 2015, the future seemed bleak in San Fran.
However, diligence has powered their rebuild, hence their 2019 NFC title. The Shanahan-Lynch duo has began to come into fruition. Though Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been criticized as the team’s “weakest link”, he had an impressive 2019 season in his own right. The team is very well rounded in other aspects, including their rushing attack, led by Raheem Mostert. The team boasts a stacked defensive line, including rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, and ex-Chief Dee Ford, who looks forward to facing his former team in the Super Bowl. The 49ers have risen above all criticism and can silence the doubters once and for all against the Chiefs.
The Story of the 2019 Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs had a much different story from the 49ers. This will mark the team’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1970. Despite Patrick Mahomes‘ MVP year ending in a loss in the AFC title game, they made up for this season by getting a first round bye once again. This led to the Chiefs routing the Texans and beating the Titans to advance to this year’s Super Bowl.
Many saw this team as a Super Bowl Favorite during the 2018 season. As expected, the expectations for the Chiefs were more of the same in 2019. An injury to Patrick Mahomes mid-season did little to shake up the team. Like the 49ers, the Chiefs have a very well rounded team. A high-powered offense, Kansas City includes the likes of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Chiefs defense improved gradually over the season, surrendering 308 points, slightly less than the 49ers’ 310.
With 221 victories, Andy Reid is one of the winningest coaches in NFL history. Though he has a ring from the Packers as an assistant coach, Reid has yet to win a Super Bowl as a head coach. He came close in 2004 with the Eagles, and will have another shot at it in a few weeks.
The NFL season should wrap up on a great note in Super Bowl LIV. Both teams have top 10 offenses and defenses each, and will certainly put each other to the test in February. Neither team had trouble getting through the postseason as each won by double digits in each of their playoff games. As a result, both teams will have their biggest challenge of the season, and will prove to be equal matches in this year’s Super Bowl.