The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs complete the 100th season of the National Football League today when they square off in Super Bowl LIV. The weather for today’s game is Miami nice, and the teams are both healthy. What we have here are two quality teams from quality organizations that have stocked their squads with high character men as well as talented athletes.
One of the least effective ways to handicap a Super Bowl is to identify a player or two that you think is going to make all the difference. Both teams have star quality athletes playing at the top of their game. It could be Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle or a stable of other stars on the 49ers side that could prove to be the one that is credited with making the biggest difference.
If the Chiefs are to win, perhaps it will be Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill or one of their other stars that is hailed as the key to today’s victory.
In truth, both teams have athletes on both sides of the ball capable of carrying the day and gleaming with star quality. But to pick a player before the game is pure folly, but recognizing that the player or players credited most will consistently be on the team that comes into the game with the motivational edge can serve the quest for a point spread win.
While both teams want to win this game equally, one of them could prove to have the edge that seems to get them to loose balls just a split second quicker and break tackles on the way to a score. It is an edge that can’t be sparked by a coach's pep talk, but one that comes from a real healthy fear of an opponent.
The 49ers defense, a unit that dominated early in the season, allowing only 77 points through their first seven games, endured injuries and motivation situations that had them play no more than average for two months. Then, as the drive to the number one seed in the National Football Conference took shape, San Francisco got healthy again and it has been their defense most responsible for them advancing to today’s Super Bowl.