By Sullivan Burgess ’20
On Sunday, February 2, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers will face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in Miami, FL. This is a matchup that analysists predicted on paper, however did not quite expect to happen due to the talent from other teams like the Baltimore Ravens, who have MVP candidate Lamar Jackson.
This season, the Chiefs dominated the AFC West Division with a 12-4 record, while the 49ers owned the NFC West with a 13-3 record. The Chiefs came from behind to pull out a 35-24 victory against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Conference Championship, after the Titans had a unpredictable run to get to the game. The 49ers cruised over the Green Bay Packers 37-20 in the NFC Championship game. This will be the first Super Bowl appearance for the Chiefs since 1969 and the 49ers since 2012.
The Chiefs are led by Andy Reid, the head coach since 2013, while the 49ers are led by Kyle Shanahan, only in his third season, both itching to receive their first Super Bowl ring as a head coach.
The big story coming into this game is the huge matchup between the two previously mentioned quarterbacks, Garoppolo and Mahomes. Both quarterbacks are on their second full season of starting with incredible stories surrounding how they found their way into the big game.
Garoppolo was originally a second-round pick in 2014, and served as the backup for veteran Tom Brady in New England for three years, where he briefly started and went 2-0 in the 2016 season during Brady’s suspension.
Traded to the 49ers in 2017, Garoppolo was ready to lead a team on his own.
Sadly, at the beginning of the 2018 season, he suffered a torn ACL three games in. Yet he looks at that season as if it was a “blessing in disguise,” since it allowed the 49ers to acquire defensive end Nick Bosa in the 2019 NFL Draft. As the ultimate favorites throughout the season, the 49ers found their stride, as Garoppolo threw a 69.1 percent completion rate with 27 touchdowns.
Next, we look at the NFL’s reigning MVP Mahomes II, the tenth pick in the 2017 draft, that started for the first-time last season after sitting for a full season behind Alex Smith. Seizing the new opportunity, he finished with 50 touchdowns as a first-time starter and won the MVP award. The stakes were high for Mahomes this season, and he was certainly ready to deliver for not only himself after his loss to the Patriots in last year’s AFC championship, but also for the fans of Kansas City.
Mahomes’s father, former NY Met, Patrick Mahomes Sr. stated in a recent article for the Daily News, “We always had a mantra. The thing I always said to him was ‘Players make plays.’ He does whatever he can to make a play and that is refreshing in itself.”
Mahomes finished this season with 26 touchdowns with 4,031 yards and a 65.9 percent completion rate, solidifying himself as a top five quarterback in the league.
In the end it all comes down to this last game, a game that will test the skills of both players, as Garoppolo looks to find his first Super Bowl ring as a starter, third overall, while Mahomes looks to begin his Hall of Fame career with his first Super Bowl, the answer will come on Sunday.