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Super Bowl LIV Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

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The stage is finally set for the epic conclusion of the 2019-2020 NFL season on Sunday as Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers at the Hard Rock Stadium for the right to be crowned as Super Bowl Champions.

Kansas City Chiefs is bidding to claim the biggest championship trophy in the NFL for the first time in 50 years since beating Minnesota in Super Bowl IV. Sunday’s Super Bowl clash will also be the Chiefs’ first appearance in the Super Bowl final since their epic win in the 1969-1970 season. They also head into the game as heavy favorites for the title. Here is an in-depth look at the Chiefs’ season and expectations heading into the biggest game of the NFL franchise.

Their season in Review

Despite the struggles they endured in preseason along with the releases of long-serving players, Justin Houston and Eric Berry, the Chiefs began the 2019-2020 NFL on a positive note by claiming four straight wins. The victories included wins against Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions. The results were early indications of the strength and quality the Chiefs possessed along with the threat they posed despite not being considered as favorites to wrestle the trophy from the grips of the dominant New England Patriots. However, they failed to build upon the great victories from their first four games as they succumbed to consecutive defeats at home against Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. The losses also meant the Chiefs started the season with a 1-3 home record, representing their worst record after four home games since 2012. Their 30-6 thumping of the Denver Broncos on the road in Match week seven also secured a fourth consecutive away win representing a 4-0 away record, their best away record after four games in 6 years.  They would go on to record two wins and two defeats in their next four games before the bye week, which proved to be a significant turning point in the season as they ended their regular season with five wins from their final five games. The highlight of the incredible winning run was their surprise 23-16 victory at New England Patriots, which clinched the AFC West Division for the Chiefs and, in effect, secured a team record division title for the fourth consecutive season. They ended the regular season with a 12-4 record and also obtained a fifth successive playoff outing, having finished unbeaten in the AFC West Division for the second time under Head Coach Andy Reid, extending their record within the AFC West to 27–3 since 2015. Their postseason began with a 51-31 win against Houston Texans in the Divisional round despite falling behind 24–0 in the second quarter to secure playoff wins for the Chiefs in consecutive seasons for the first time in their history. The 51 points the Chiefs recorded in the game set a franchise record for the most points by a team in a postseason match. The Chiefs secured their Super Bowl final berth with a 35-24 win in the AFC Championship over the Tennessee Titans, who had eliminated both the Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens on their road to meeting the Chiefs.

Players to Watch Out For

It is difficult to talk about the Chiefs’ great exploits this season without recognizing the contributions of Star Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes’ ascension to the starting lineup in 2018 has been immense for the Chiefs and has also coincided with the team’s recent success. He was once again the key figure for the Chiefs this season as he maintained a high level of consistency throughout the regular season and the postseason and is undoubtedly in line to win several individual accolades. He finished the regular season on top of the Chiefs’ leaderboard for the most passing yards with 4,031 passing yards in 14 games. His passing yards figures were also the overall tenth best in this season’s NFL regular season. He also recorded 26 touchdowns (tied 8th best in the NFL) and five interceptions (tied-3rd best in the regular season). He has also carried his great performances into the postseason and is currently on top of the leaderboard for the highest passing yards (615) and rushing yards (106).

Defensive End Frank Clark has also registered 4 of the eight sacks recorded by the team in their postseason games thus far. He was influential in the regular season, having finished second on the team with eight QB takedowns. Fellow defensive end Chris Jones also returned from injury to face the Titans after missing the divisional-round win against the Texans and will also be crucial in their quest to win the game on Sunday. Jones also recorded nine QB takedowns during the regular season. Safety Daniel Sorenson has also made 17 tackles in the last two postseason games and carry the impressive performances into this game.

Postseason Numbers

The Chiefs have so far scored 86 points in both postseason games, averaging 43.0 points per game and registering 12 touchdowns in both games, which are a sign of the Chiefs’ potency and efficiency in scoring points. A repeat of these performances on Sunday will be enough to seal the Chiefs their first Super Bowl in 50 years.

 

 

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