SuperBowl Facts and Firsts… 54…

January 31st, 2020 by Leo | Filed under Football, General, NFL, Sports, Trivia.

In collaboration with CBS Sports

Super Bowl LIV, at its core, is a game that includes one of the best defenses in the league against the most explosive offense in the NFL. With a razor-thin point spread (Chiefs -1), the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are expected to take part in a close, classic battle this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. We put on our hard hats and did some digging, and we came up with 54 things you should know about the 54th Super Bowl. From gambling insights to NFL records on the line, this list has everything you could want to know about the big game, and it will all go down this Sunday. 

Let’s not waste any time, we’ve got lots to go over:

1. The game will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, marking the first time these two have met in a Super Bowl.

2. This is the first Super Bowl appearance for the Chiefs in 50 years. The last time Kansas City made it this far, it was Jan. 11, 1970, when the Chiefs topped the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV for their first — and only — Lombardi Trophy.

3. This is the 49ers’ seventh Super Bowl appearance. San Francisco went to five Super Bowls between 1981-1994 and won all five of them, then returned to the big game in 2012, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

4. If the Niners win Super Bowl LIV, they will tie the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl victories in NFL history (6).

Who should you put your money on to be Super Bowl LIV MVP? And what can we expect from the Andy Reid-Kyle Shanahan coaching matchup? Brady Quinn and John Breech join Will Brinson to break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums. 

5. If the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV, they will end the second-longest Lombardi Trophy drought among teams that have already won a Super Bowl. Nine different franchises have yet to win a single Super Bowl, but among teams that have done so, only the New York Jets (51 years) have endured a longer stretch in between titles.

6. Super Bowl LIV will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. This is the sixth Super Bowl to take place at the stadium, although the venue has had a different name for almost every championship — Sun Life Stadium (XLIV, 2010), Dolphin Stadium (XLI, 2007), Pro Player Stadium (XXXIII, 1999), Joe Robbie Stadium (XXIX, 1995).

7. This will be the 11th time a Super Bowl has been played in South Florida. The Miami area ranks first among all host cities, with New Orleans (10) coming in a close second.

8. Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff and will be broadcast on FOX. Here’s how you can tune in either on TV or via streaming devices.

9. The Chiefs are the consensus favorites to win, but barely. They opened as just 1-point favorites. Check out updated odds at SportsLine.

10. Kansas City got to the Super Bowl by coming back to beat the Tennessee Titans, 35-24, in the AFC Championship Game. It was their second conference title game appearance in as many seasons. It was also their second straight come-from-behind victory, with Kansas City overcoming a 24-point deficit against the Houston Texans the week before.

mahomes.jpg
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will represent the AFC

11. San Francisco punched its ticket to the Super Bowl by routing the Green Bay Packers, 37-20, in the NFC Championship. It was the second time the Niners embarrassed the Packers this season, with San Francisco dominating Green Bay 37-8 back in November.

12. Chiefs coach Andy Reid will be just the 24th head coach in NFL history to appear in more than one Super Bowl. He previously led the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004, when his club fell to the New England Patriots, 24-21.

13. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be making his Super Bowl debut, solidifying the first father-son duo to make separate Super Bowl appearances in NFL history. Shanahan’s dad, Mike, was the Niners’ offensive coordinator during their 1994 championship, then led the Denver Broncos to back-to-back titles in 1997-1998.

14. The 49ers are just the third team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl after winning four or fewer games the season before. They went 4-12, finishing third in the NFC West, in 2018.

15. San Francisco’s greatest strength is its defense, which ranked first in the playoffs and second in the regular season, as well as first in total pass defense. Overseen by Robert Saleh, they’ve allowed just 15 points per game in the postseason after surrendering just over 19 per game in the regular season

16. The Chiefs are best known for their offense. While their regular-season numbers weren’t always gaudy, they’ve eclipsed 35 points in both of their playoff games and have three different players among the best at their position: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.

17. Mahomes, who threw 50 touchdown passes as the 2018 league MVP, is the favorite to win Super Bowl LIV MVP.

18. Since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for two games in the fall, Mahomes has thrown 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions, including the playoffs. His postseason performance thus far: Eight TDs and zero picks.

19. More than his numbers, Mahomes is known for making some ridiculous throws at some ridiculous angles. The guy’s a walking highlight reel, and in the AFC Championship, he also showcased his legs, leading Kansas City in rushing. In other words, if you’re looking for one guy to watch in Super Bowl LIV, it’s No. 15 for the Chiefs.

20. Since Mahomes took over as Reid’s starting QB, the Chiefs have been among the most pass-oriented teams in the league. They can run the ball here and there, but their chief mission (no pun intended) is to beat you through the air.

21. The 49ers, on the other hand, thrive when they keep the ball on the ground. San Francisco led all playoff teams in rushing yards after ranking among the NFL’s top running teams in the regular season.

22. The star of San Francisco’s running backfield in the NFC title game was Raheem Mostert, who exploded for 220 yards and four touchdowns against the Packers. Mostert’s yardage and TD totals nearly broke all-time postseason records.

23. Before his big night in the NFC Championship, Mostert was merely part of a rotation of RBs for the 49ers. Entering the 2019 season, he’d totaled only 291 rushing yards in his career, spending his first two seasons between six different teams. Now, he appears to be the focal point of Shanahan’s offensive strategy.

24. San Francisco’s defense is led by rookie pass rusher Nick Bosa, who had nine sacks in the regular season and has logged another three in the playoffs. Fellow D-linemen Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner have combined for 17.5 other sacks, giving the Niners one of the most fearsome front fours in the league.

25. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has two Super Bowl rings from his time as Tom Brady’s backup with the New England Patriots. He’ll be looking for his first “real” trophy against the Chiefs.

26. Traded to San Francisco by the Patriots during the 2017 season, Garoppolo missed all but three games in 2018 due to a torn ACL. In his first full season as a starter this year, he had mixed results but also turned in some big-play performances, benefiting largely from the Niners’ strong ground game.

27. Super Bowl LIV figures to come down to the wire, and both teams have been resilient in tight situations. The Chiefs have never lost a game by more than seven points with Mahomes as their starter, while the 49ers excelled in both close and blowout conditions throughout 2019.

28. The Chiefs defense held Titans star Derrick Henry to 69 rushing yards in the AFC title game, and it’ll have star interior lineman Chris Jones available for the big game. A sure path to victory for Kansas City might be finding a way to make the Niners one-dimensional, as Garoppolo has been prone to turnovers when asked to shoulder San Francisco’s offensive burden.

29. The 49ers defense has had little trouble slowing opponents’ top weapons in the playoffs, from Dalvin Cook (Vikings) to Aaron Rodgers (Packers), but they’ll need another supreme effort from Bosa and Co. to render Mahomes ineffective. The Chiefs can move the ball with lots of short throws, but they also excel in being ultra-efficient thanks to their elite speed.

30. At 13-3 in 2019, San Francisco not only had the best record in the NFC but its first winning season since 2013.

49ers.jpg
The 49ers will represent the NFC

31. At 12-4 in 2019, Kansas City earned an AFC West title for the fourth straight year, clinching a playoff spot for the sixth time in seven seasons under Reid.

32. Both teams had a first-round bye in this year’s playoffs, marking the seventh season in a row that both Super Bowl contenders finished as a top-two seed in their conference.

33. Believe it or not, this is the first time a Super Bowl will feature two teams with red as a primary uniform color. The Chiefs will be rocking their traditional home red jerseys with white pants, while the 49ers will wear their standard white away jerseys with gold pants.

34. Bill Vinovich will serve as the game’s head referee. The Chiefs are 10-6 in games when he’s been part of the officiating crew, while the 49ers are 6-6.

35. The Chiefs outnumber the 49ers in Pro Bowlers, six to four. Representing Kansas City: Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, Chris Jones, defensive end Frank Clark and return specialist Mecole Hardman. Representing San Francisco: Bosa, tight end George Kittle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and cornerback Richard Sherman.

36. Sherman is perhaps best known for his starring role in the Seattle Seahawks‘ “Legion of Boom” secondary from 2011-2017. He won Super Bowl XLVIII with Seattle before a somewhat unceremonious departure in 2018. The veteran returned to the Pro Bowl for the first time in three seasons this year, helping lead the Niners’ shutdown defensive backfield.

37. Garoppolo attempted just eight passes in the 49ers’ NFC Championship win. He’s also topped 250 passing yards just twice in his last seven starts, including the playoffs. San Francisco had better hope his arm isn’t rusty or Mostert can keep rolling!

38. Super Bowl LIV will mark the culmination of the NFL’s 100th season. The league’s first-ever Super Bowl also featured the Chiefs, who lost to the Green Bay Packers back in 1967.

39. Rangy defensive backs Bashaud Breeland and Tyrann Mathieu figure to play a key role on defense for the Chiefs. Both veterans have had a knack for being around the ball this year, particularly in the postseason. They combined for six interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 2019.

40. 49ers pass rusher Dee Ford could be an X-factor against his former team. After logging 6.5 sacks in San Francisco’s D-line rotation in 2019, he could be turned loose against former teammates under the bright lights. Ford infamously jumped offsides to help the Patriots seal their AFC Championship victory over the Chiefs in 2018.

41. Shanahan is apparently drawing on lessons from his experience in 2016’s Super Bowl LI to prepare for the Chiefs. At the time, he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, who unforgettably squandered a 28-3 lead against the Patriots with a Lombardi Trophy on the line.

42. Mahomes will be the fifth-youngest QB to ever start a Super Bowl when he plays the Niners. The other youngsters ahead of him? They didn’t always fare the best on the big stage.

43. No matter who wins Super Bowl LIV, Joe Montana will be celebrating. The legendary quarterback made sure to point out this week that he played for both this year’s finalists, though all four of his rings came with San Francisco.

44. The Chiefs are 10-4-1 against the spread this season when favored.

45. The 49ers are 5-0 against the spread this season when underdogs.

46. Super Bowl LIV could be played in some rainy conditions. Forecasts for Miami Gardens project scattered thunderstorms and perhaps some evening showers for Sunday’s showdown. If wet weather were to benefit anyone, it’d probably be the Niners, who are more likely to prefer a conservative, ground-based strategy.

47. Lots of people around the league are cheering for the Chiefs because of Andy Reid. He’s widely considered one of the best head coaches in NFL history — without a ring. Winning it all would almost assuredly lock him into a future Hall of Fame induction.

48. On the flip side, if you like old-school, smashmouth football, the Niners might deserve your support. While they’re more than capable of stringing together splash plays, they win in the trenches, by dominating both the offensive and defensive lines. If that’s not a recipe for old-school victories, then what is?

49. Tickets for Super Bowl LIV are selling at higher rates than ever before. People want to be at this game!

50. Multi-platinum singer and songwriter Demi Lovato will sing the national anthem ahead of Super Bowl LIV.

51. The Super Bowl LIV halftime show will be co-headlined by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

52. The last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl (2012), the stadium lights went off at halftime, delaying the start of the second half. Let’s see if you can rival those theatrics, Hard Rock Stadium!

53. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Chris Myers and Mike Pereira will be on the FOX call for the broadcast.

54. You’ll find nonstop coverage of Super Bowl LIV, both before, during and after the Chiefs-49ers championship, right here at CBSSports.com and on CBS Sports HQ, our 24/7 streaming network.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.