Making it all the way to Super Bowl 2020 has certainly been a very long road for the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. Indeed, it’s been an epic journey that stretches way beyond the current season.
Legendary head coach Hank Stram was at the helm when the Chiefs last achieved Super Bowl glory. Their first appearance was way back in 1967 and Super Bowl I, losing 35-10 against the Green Bay Packers. The only other appearance for the Chiefs followed soon afterwards in 1970 and Super Bowl IV, beating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 to claim the last championship before the AFL and NFL merged.
By comparison, the 49ers appeared in Super Bowl XLVII as recently as 2013, narrowly losing a tight encounter 34-31 against the Baltimore Ravens. They haven’t won it since 1995 and Super Bowl XXIX, thanks to an imposing 49-26 triumph against the San Diego Chargers. This was the fifth Super Bowl title won by the 49ers, having landed their previous four during the 1980s in the iconic era of star quarterback Joe Montana.
Super Bowl LIV in 2020 looks set to be a tight contest between two teams that will be giving everything for their chance at glory and will be packed with plenty of action to keep us entertained throughout the big game. The Kansas City Chiefs are slight favourites to win, although the San Francisco 49ers won’t mind their underdog status, as both franchises aim to make their mark in the history books.
2019-20 Kansas City Chiefs
Reaching Super Bowl LIV is the culmination of a huge push by the Chiefs in recent years, having recorded five straight regular seasons hitting double-digit winning records and five consecutive campaigns appearing in the postseason playoffs. Last year, the Chiefs agonisingly missed out on getting to Super Bowl LIII, narrowly losing the AFC Championship game 37-31 in overtime against the New Patriots.
This season, the Chiefs and head coach Andy Reid have finally achieved their ambitions, largely thanks to the strength and depth of a roster which featured six of the NFL Top 100 Players of 2019, including 2018 NFL MVP and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who enjoyed another excellent campaign. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Chiefs, who overcame a difficult period during the regular season before hitting a powerful run of form to make the playoffs.
Regular Season Record: 12-4-0
The Chiefs made a positive start to the 2019 campaign, winning all four of their opening games in September. However, there were jitters in October with three straight home defeats that led to them hitting week 10 with a 6-4 record, reaching the playoffs looked a tall order. Nevertheless, an excellent run saw the Chiefs hit a six-game winning streak, including pivotal wins against the Oakland Raiders and the New Patriots, putting them top of the AFC West and second in the Conference.
Playoffs & Road to Super Bowl
In the AFC Divisional Round, the Chiefs were participants in a fascinating high-scoring encounter with the Houston Texans. After finding themselves 21-0 down after the first quarter, the Chiefs sparked a magnificent turnaround to win 51-31 in the end.
The Chiefs clinched the AFC Championship and passage to Super Bowl LIV thanks to an equally impressive display against the Tennessee Titans. Behind again in the first quarter, another quality comeback was produced to secure a priceless 35-24 victory.
2019-20 San Francisco 49ers
Having failed to reach the postseason playoffs for five consecutive seasons and registering just four wins during the 2018 regular season, few but the most hopeful of fans expected the 49ers to achieve anything in 2019. In his third season at the helm, head coach Kyle Shanahan led a remarkable transformation, and everything clicked into place, as the 49ers finally reached the postseason playoffs.
Impressively, the 49ers achieved more wins in 2019 than they did in 2016, 2017 and 2018 combined. George Kittle at tight end was one of the outstanding players, although it wasn’t the strength of stellar individual displays that produced a great campaign for the 49ers. Instead, it was a phenomenal collective effort that made them such a force this season.
Regular Season Record: 13-3-0
For the first time since 1990, the 49ers hit the ground running to record a fantastic 8-0 start to begin the campaign. Although the first defeat came away at the Seattle Seahawks with a tight 24-27 overtime loss, the 49ers clinched the NFC West with key victories against the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers. They finished top of the NFC Conference with better strength of schedule and strength of victory stats.
Playoffs & Road to Super Bowl
When the 49ers secured their 27-10 AFC Divisional Round victory against the Minnesota Vikings, it was all about the rush. Registering 47 rush attempts in the game was a playoff record for the 49ers, while they also limited the Vikings to just 21 rush yards in the whole game.
The Green Bay Packers were tougher opponents in the NFC Championship game, although they had no answer for 49ers running back Raheem Mostert. He made NFL history to become the first player to achieve 200+ rush yards and 4+ rush touchdowns in a playoff game, as the 49ers claimed a 37-20 victory and their place at Super Bowl LIV.
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