About Super Bowl LIV
Super Bowl LIV, the 54th Super Bowl and the 50th modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game, will decide the champion for the NFL’s 2019 and 100th season. The National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers will face the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Kansas City Chiefs. The game is scheduled to be played on February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. This will be the 11th Super Bowl hosted by the South Florida region and the sixth Super Bowl hosted in Miami Gardens, which hosted Super Bowl XLIV ten years earlier.
The game will be broadcast in the United States by Fox, and the halftime show will be co-headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
Super Bowl Teams: 49ers Vs Chiefs
This will be the first time the Chiefs and 49ers have faced each other in the Super Bowl. The 49ers lead the all-time regular season series, 7–6. The teams did not play each other during the 2019 season.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers finished the 2019 season with an NFC-best 13–3 record under third-year head coach Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco’s rise to the top had come as a surprise to the league, as they had finished the previous season 4–12 and had not recorded a winning record since 2013.
One big reason for the 49ers success was the emergence of QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo began his career in 2014 as a backup to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, winning Super Bowls XLIX and LI. After two uneventful seasons, a suspension against Brady and several cases of large late-game leads in 2016 enabled Garoppolo to get significant playing time, where he showed his potential with a 113.3 passer rating over a span of six games. In the following year, with the San Francisco struggling at 0–8, they traded a second round draft pick for Garoppolo, who led the 49ers to five straight wins to finish the season. Although he missed most of the 2018 season with a torn ACL, he recovered in time to take full command of the offense in 2019, starting in all 16 games.
San Francisco’s offense finished second in the NFL in points scored (479) and fourth in yards (6,079). Garoppolo completed 69.1% of his passes (4th in the NFL) for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns (5th), with 13 interceptions. His top pass catcher was Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle, who caught 85 passes for 1,053 yards and 5 touchdowns. Other key targets included rookie Deebo Samuel (57 receptions, 807 yards, 159 rushing yards, 6 total touchdowns) and veteran Emmanuel Sanders (36 receptions, 502 yards, 3 touchdowns). The 49ers ground game was led by the emergence of RB Raheem Mostert, who had bounced around five different teams in his first two seasons before settling into San Francisco in 2017. Although Mostert had not started any games in 2019, he led the team in rushing with 772 yards and 8 touchdowns, with an average of 5.6 yards per carry, while also catching 14 passes for 180 yards and 2 more scores. RBs Matt Breida (623 rushing yards, 19 receptions) and Tevin Coleman (544 rushing yards, 21 receptions, 180 receiving yards, 7 total touchdowns) also made a big impact on offense, while FB Kyle Juszczyk made the Pro Bowl, catching 20 passes for 239 yards. San Francisco’s offensive line was led by 13-year veteran tackle Joe Staley, a six-time Pro Bowl selection.
The 49ers defense ranked second in the NFL in fewest yards allowed (4,509) and first in fewest passing yards (2,707). The team had an outstanding defensive line, featuring linemen DeForest Buckner (61 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries), Arik Armstead (54 tackles, 10 sacks), Dee Ford (6.5 sacks), an offseason pickup from the Chiefs, and Pro Bowl rookie Nick Bosa (47 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries). The team’s linebacking corps was led by Fred Warner (team leading 118 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles) and PFWA all-rookie Dre Greenlaw (64 tackles, 1 sack). Defensive back Richard Sherman led the team in interceptions with 3, earning his fifth career Pro Bowl selection.
This will be the 49ers’ seventh Super Bowl appearance, and their first since Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34–31. The 49ers have a 5–1 record in their previous six appearances. A sixth Super Bowl title in team history will tie the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers with the most Super Bowl championships in the league.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs finished the 2019 season with a 12–4 record under Andy Reid, who was serving in his 21st consecutive season as an NFL head coach. The 2019 season marked the Chiefs’ fourth straight AFC West title and sixth playoff appearance in seven seasons under Reid.
Kansas City was led by Patrick Mahomes, their first round draft pick from 2017. Mahomes won the NFL MVP award in the 2018 season, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns as he led the Chiefs to a 12–4 record, along with a trip to the AFC championship game. In 2019, the team had to overcome some important personnel losses. Two of their top players from 2018, running back Kareem Hunt and linebacker Dee Ford, played elsewhere in 2019, while Mahomes and wide receiver Tyreek Hill both missed multiple games with injuries. Still, the team was able to repeat a 12–4 record and earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs after the Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots in week 17.
Mahomes made the Pro Bowl in 2019, throwing for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions and also rushed for 218 yards and 2 scores, despite missing two games due to a dislocated patella. In the two games Mahomes missed, backup Matt Moore filled in and threw for 659 yards and 6 touchdowns, with no interceptions. The Chiefs’ passing attack was ranked second in the NFL. Mahomes’ top target was pro bowl tight end Travis Kelce, who caught 97 passes for 1,229 yards and 5 touchdowns, making him the first NFL tight end ever to have four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. His other targets included Hill, who earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection despite missing four games, catching 58 passes for 860 yards and 7 touchdowns, Sammy Watkins with 52 catches for 673 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Demarcus Robinson with 32 catches for 449 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rookie receiver Mecole Hardman added 26 catches for 538 yards and 6 touchdowns, while also ranking 3rd in the NFL in kickoff return yards (704) and 5th in return average (26.1 yards). Also returning 18 punts for 167 yards, Hardman made the Pro Bowl as a special teams returner. Their run game was ranked 23rd in the league and was led by Damien Williams, who was their leading rusher with 498 yards and 5 touchdowns, while also catching 30 passes for 213 yards and 2 more scores. LeSean McCoy also contributed 465 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 28 receptions. Kicker Harrison Butker led the NFL in scoring (147 points) and field goals (34), while ranking 6th in field goal percentage (89.4%). The Chiefs offense was ranked fifth in the NFL in points scored (451) and sixth in yards gained (6,067).
Kansas City’s defense ranked 7th in league in points allowed (308). Their defensive line featured two pro bowl selections, Chris Jones who recorded 9 sacks and Frank Clark who had 8 sacks and 3 forced fumbles, along with Emmanuel Ogbah who had 5.5 sacks in only 10 games played. Linebackers Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson led the team in tackles with 88 and 81. The Chiefs defense was bolstered late in the season when they claimed off waivers 16-year veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs, who was picked up after being cut from the Arizona Cardinals in week 14. Suggs played in two games with the Chiefs recording 3 total tackles and 1 sack. Tyrann Mathieu, in his first season with the Chiefs, tallied 4 interceptions, 2 sacks and 75 tackles, which was enough to earn his second career AP first-team All-Pro selection as a defensive back. He was also listed second-team All-Pro as a safety. Rookie safety Juan Thornhill added 3 interceptions and 57 tackles, but was placed on injured reserve late in the season. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland had 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 114 yards and a touchdown.
This will be the Chiefs’ third Super Bowl appearance and their first since the AFL–NFL merger in 1970. The Chiefs are 1–1 in their two prior Super Bowls. They lost Super Bowl I in 1967, to the Green Bay Packers, 35–10, and won Super Bowl IV in 1970, defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 23–7. The Super Bowl is also Andy Reid’s second Super Bowl appearance, his last coming in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004 when was the Philadelphia Eagles head coach. He narrowly lost that game to the New England Patriots, 24–21.