After a season of ups and downs, the Super Bowl is finally upon us! After another scintillating season, Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Maholmes has lead his team to the big game. He'll face-off against Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers stingy defense that kept Aaron Rodgers and the once mighty Green Bay Packers offense in check. The game will take place on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 (still feels weird to say) with a slated start time at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, though I wouldn't be surprised to see the game kickoff later than promised 6:30 start time. Also note that the game will air on FOX, so be sure to dial into the right channel before the festivities begin. The Chiefs opened the game at -1.5 according to Vegas and the expectation is that the line will move towards the Chiefs favor as the game approaches. The game opened with a total of 53 (the expected combined scored of both teams) which could tick up to 54 before Super Bowl 54 kicks off. Some storylines heading into the game and things to watch for:
Something has to give: The classic debate of offense verse defense will be the primary talking point heading into this game. The 49ers Defense, in particular their pass defense, has been the talk of the NFL the entire year. That said, much of their success has come by way of the pressure that star defensive end Nick Bosa (as well as DeForest Buckner) have been able to put on the quarterback all season. Will they be able to Maholmes? Or will the Chiefs' quick strike passing game be able to win the day in beautiful Miami?
The Kid Shanahan's First Super Bowl: Something viewers will undoubtedly here several dozen times throughout the broadcast, 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan is the son of long time Mike Shanahan whose coaching career spanned 14 years in the NFL and accounted for three Super Bowl victories. While many may associate Mike Shanahan with his years with the Broncos and Redskins, Mike's first Super Bowl victory actually came as the offensive coordinator of... the San Francisco 49ers.
Andy Reid's Redemption: As a cover story by ESPN.com noted, this could be the ultimate redemption story for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Though he's one of the winningest coaches all time (his 207 regular season wins are the seventh most by a coach in NFL history), he may be more known for his many consecutive losses in the conference champion as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He'll need to best Mike Shanahan's upstart 49ers to do it, but if he wins on that faithful Super Bowl Sunday, the redemption story will be complete.
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SBPS Pick: Chiefs 35 49ers 24