As you head into this year’s epic battle between two teams full of big boys doing the thing with the ball, here’s a few storylines to keep you entertained beyond whatever’s happening on the field, courtesy of a resident expert. Not that we have any idea what an expert is.
1. The Coaches: A Tale of Hunger for Success (and Cheeseburgers)
Kansas City Chiefs — Andy Reid. Now in his 20th season as a head coach, Andy is the winningest coach in the NFL to have NOT earned a Super Bowl ring. Because of this, Reid is the sentimental favorite to win. Plus, how can you not love a portly, mustachioed gentleman who wears Hawaiian shirts to press conferences and celebrated his AFC title win by eating a cheeseburger and going to sleep?
San Francisco 49ers — Kyle Shanahan. The 40-year-old was the offensive coordinator during the Falcons’ epic collapse against the Patriots in 2017, and he’s still trying to redeem himself. Proud dad Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Broncos from 1995 to 2008, will be watching.
2. The QBs: A Young Buck and A Back-Up
Kansas City Chiefs — Patrick Mahomes. Possibly the most exciting young player in the NFL, Patrick won the MVP last year; his first full season as a starter. He was injured this year and still managed to put up big numbers. Plus, he incites fear in anyone who opposes him, which is basically what we aspire to.
San Francisco 49ers — Jimmy Garoppolo. Jimmy was traded to the 49ers from the Patriots, where he was Tom Brady’s backup QB. This is his chance to break out of the shadow of being Brady’s backup and shine on his own. If he fails, his name guarantees a second career at a place where the waiters talk with their hands.
3. The Match-Up: Offense v. Defense
Kansas City Chiefs — Offense. This team boasts one of the fastest, most explosive offenses in the NFL. Their defense is able to put pressure, with the blitz, as good as any other in the league.
San Francisco 49ers — Defense. The 49ers are a defensive team. Their defense shuts you down. They are able to target what you do best and take it away; they did it to the Panthers and to anyone else they encountered all season long.
4. The Prediction.
This is hard, because whoever is able to control the script is who is going to win the game. If either team gets a lead early on, they’ll have a good chance to hang onto it all the way through the end.