Super Bowl LIV Recap

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Mason Collins and Carlye Taylor

Super Bowl LIV takes place on Feb. 2 in Miami, Florida at the Hard Rock Stadium. The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers kickoff America’s biggest game of the year at 6:30 EST. The Super Bowl drought has clearly ended for both elite teams but the Chiefs are looking to end a prolonged 50 year streak since Super Bowl IV. The Chiefs have been to two Super Bowls (I and IV) but have only taken the Lombardi Trophy home once. 

The 49ers have made six Super Bowl appearances, winning five out of those six games. The last Superbowl San Francisco attended was won by players such as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and Steve Young. In fact, two of the Super Bowls won by San Francisco were won in Hard Rock Stadium. Needless to say, I think just about everyone is eager to watch the Super Bowl that doesn’t feature Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

 

How the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl: In the 2016 season, the 49ers finished with the worst record in the National Football Conference, only winning two games. During the off-season, head coach Chip Kelly was fired and was replaced by Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Former safety John Lynch was also brought in to become the new general manager.

 In the 2017 NFL draft, tight end George Kittle was drafted with the 146th overall pick, giving the Niners a big playmaker to the offense. Finishing last place in the division again, the 49ers made another big move in the 2017 offseason by trading a second round pick to the New England Patriots for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The Niners also acquired cornerback Richard Sherman after the Seattle Seahawks released him. The 2018 season was a season with plenty of hype and expectations but ended early in the season due to multiple players suffering injuries, including the newcomer Garoppolo.

 The 2019 off-season helped pave the way to the Super Bowl, selecting key players in the draft and acquiring free agents. Rookies taken with the second and 36th pick in the 2019 Draft, defensive end Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel have proved their worth. Bosa ended the regular season with nine sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble. Bosa had the second highest sacks on his defensive line, falling behind Arik Armstead’s ten sacks. Samuel ended the regular season with three receiving and a rushing touchdown followed by 802 yards, averaging 14.1 yards per reception. 

Key decisions leading to Super Bowl 54: The decision to keep Raheem Mostert benefitted the 49ers’ run game immensely. Mostert joined the 49ers in 2016, but was not given a true chance to shine. Kyle Shanahan gave him a shot and he proved his worth. In the regular season Mostert and Tevin Coleman both ended with 137 carries but Mostert had 772 rushing yards compared to Coleman’s 544 rushing yards. Mostert accompanied his rushing yards with eight rushing touchdowns. Raheem Mostert took center stage in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers when Coleman went down with a shoulder injury. Mostert then ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns, setting a franchise record.

The 49ers had a bye week in the playoffs, ending up playing the Minnesota Vikings. San Francisco shut down a powerful run-offense, allowing Dalvin Cook to only run for 18 yards. San Fran undoubtedly controlled the possession time, total yards and total first downs.

Shanahan relied on his sturdy defense to deny Minnesota’s bursts of offense along with his run game. Clinching the win,  San Francisco’s next game was thought to be a pretty even match-up. Green Bay is a talented team with a strong secondary defense; Shanahan knew that and used his run game. Garoppolo only threw the ball eight times for 77 yards because Raheem Mostert carried the offense (I expect him to do the same in the Super Bowl). Yardage, time of possession, and first downs were on an equal footing throughout the four quarters. Mostert was easily the MVP in the victory over the Packers and will be a key weapon in the Super Bowl.

 

How the Chiefs made it to the Superbowl: Since 2015, head coach Andy Reid has led his team to the playoffs every year but only managed to win one playoff game. After losing their third consecutive playoff game, the front office made huge moves in the 2017 draft trading up to get quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Kansas City traded their 27th overall pick, a third round draft pick, and their 2018 first round draft pick to move up to the tenth overall pick, taking Mahomes. Mahomes played his first season in 2018 after being behind long time Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. He threw for 5,097 yards, had a 66 completion percentage and topped his impressive stats off with 50 touchdowns! In his two year career, Mahomes has thrown for 9,412 yards with 76 touchdowns and a 66 completion percentage.

Chiefs fans were ready for the 2019 Super Bowl, but fell short in the AFC Championship game to the Patriots. All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill have aided in their success, combining for over 2,000 yards. Kansas City finished with a 12-4 record, winning the AFC West and earning themselves a first round bye in the playoffs.

Down 24-0 to the Houston Texans in the Divisional round, the Chiefs made an astonishing comeback, scoring 41 consecutive points and defeating Houston 51-31. Kansas City then went on to face the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game, and found themselves trailing by double digits late in the first half. 

But once again, the Chiefs stormed back scoring 28 consecutive points and punching their ticket to the Superbowl, ending the Titans’ Cinderella hopes 35-24. Mahomes went 23-35 with 294 yards and 3 touchdowns. The biggest play Mahomes had though was at the end of the first half when he scrambled down the sideline, breaking multiple tackles for a 27 yard touchdown handing them their first lead of the game. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins played a big role late in the second half when he caught a 60 yard touchdown pass,` capping off a 7 reception, 114 yard game.

 

Mason’s Prediction: These are two teams that play very differently from each other. The 49ers have one of the best defenses in the NFL while Kansas City comes in with one of the best offenses. With all that Patrick Mahomes has done for this team, I think that the 49ers defense will find a way to slow down Kansas City’s explosive offense, winning by a score of 27-20. 

Carlye’s Prediction: Honestly I am just happy that the Patriots will be watching from the sidelines on Sunday. I’m rooting for the 49ers in this one though, I really like the team Kyle Shanahan has produced this season. I have the 49ers winning 30-23.

Quick Super Bowl Recap: Most everyone witnessed Andy Reid get his first Super Bowl ring, therefore we feel like we don’t need to go into elaborate detail on the Super Bowl. Kansas City Chiefs won (clearly) Super Bowl 54 by a score of 31-20. In each of their post season games the Chiefs were down by ten points and the Super Bowl proved no different. The start of the fourth quarter didn’t treat Kansas City well. Patrick Mahomes threw a pass to Tyreek Hill that was intercepted by safety Tarvarius Moore. 

But time and time again, Kansas City created another comeback scoring three consecutive touchdowns in the 4th quarter.  Down 20-10 with 8:33 in the 4th quarter, Mahomes threw a 44 yard pass to Tyreek Hill that set up the Travis Kelce 1 yard touchdown. Cutting the lead to 20-17, the Chiefs defense stepped up and forced a three and out. With just a little over five minutes left in the game, Kansas City had the ball at their own 32 yard line. A 38 yard pass to Sammy Watkins put Kansas City inside the Niners 10 yard line. Two plays later, Damien Williams found the endzone giving Kansas City a 24-20 lead with 2 and a half minutes to spare.

With one last possession, the Niners fell short as Jimmy Garappolo was sacked by Frank Clark for a loss of nine yards ending all hope of a comeback. San Francisco’s last four drives combined for just a total of 49 yards and one first down. Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP going 26/42 for 286 yards and 2 touchdowns.