Conference Championship weekend is over, and we now know which teams will play in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday, February 2nd at 3:40 PM PT on FOX.
The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs reached their first Super Bowl since 1970, rallying from 17-7 down to beat the spirited Tennesee Titans in an entertaining 35-24 win at Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes was sensational, throwing for three touchdowns and scrambling for a pivotal end-of-half 29-yard TD that gave Kansas City the lead for good. Unlike last year, the Chiefs defense actually got pivotal stops when it mattered most, and Frank Clark fittingly had the game-ending sack to deny Ryan Tannehill a miracle comeback. Andy Reid will have another chance to win a Super Bowl as a head coach.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers crushed the Green Bay Packers into dust yet again. Raheem Mostert rushed for 140 yards and 3 touchdowns just in the 1st half (finishing with 220 and 4 TDs), while the defense suffocated Aaron Rodgers in ways the Seattle Seahawks were wholly incapable of last week. It was 27-0 at halftime, and the final score was 37-20. Jimmy Garoppolo reportedly didn’t even play in the 2nd half, with Kyle Shanahan opting to put a fan in his uniform for the opportunity of a lifetime to call plays and hand the ball off. The team equipment manager averaged seven yards per touch as the Packers refused to set the edge. Rodgers’ dramatic attempts to call his State Farm agent went unanswered. Richard Sherman closed out Green Bay’s 0.1% chance of a comeback with an interception on a Rodgers deep ball.
The Niners’ last Super Bowl win came in Miami, and that’s where they’ll be playing in two weeks.
So it’ll be Chiefs vs. 49ers in the Super Bowl, which pits an explosive, offense-driven AFC West team led by a superstar quarterback against an NFC West juggernaut that has an outstanding rushing attack and an elite defense that features Richard Sherman at cornerback. You have to go back six whole years to find the last time that happened, and it didn’t go well for the AFC West team. We are obligated to root for history to flip the script.
As an aside, all three of the Seahawks’ NFC West rivals have made at least the conference title game since Seattle’s last NFC Championship in 2014. Two of them (Rams and 49ers) have made the Super Bowl. We can only hope that the Chiefs do the damn thing and keep the Seahawks as the only NFC West team to win a Lombardi Trophy since divisional realignment occurred in 2002. Otherwise we’ll never hear the end of it.