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As many expected, Super Bowl 54 was nothing short of spectacular.
From fourth quarter comebacks, to career defining moments, Super Bowl 54 had it all. In this editorial, I will be taking a dive into the big game. Seeing where the coaches went right and where they went wrong. I will also look at players who stepped up to the plate when the lights shine brightest on them as well as players who cracked under pressure.
The first half showed both nerves and indecisiveness. Teams were not capitalizing on the others mistakes, and the game was a low scoring, quick game.
Many people were expecting the Chiefs to pass a lot as they have been all season, however this wasn’t the case. Instead, the Chiefs gave the ball to Damien Williams who had the game of his life, rushing for 104 yards and 1 touchdown to go along with it. Williams was a vital piece to the Chiefs moving offense, and really got the ball rolling for them on many drives.
On the other sideline, the 49ers were doing great. They were stopping the Chiefs near perfect offense, led by the dynamic rookie, Nick Bosa. The 49ers were also moving the chains well on offense. Jimmy Garapollo was slinging the ball around, getting his receivers in the game.
The 49ers play calling was also great up until the end of the first half. They knew what was working and stuck with it, not trying to change anything that was giving them success. However, at the very end of the half, Kyle Shanhan didn’t call a timeout when the Chiefs had the ball on 4th and 13, ultimately leading to Kansas City chewing the clock down. This would cost the Niners as when they got the ball back, they didn’t have enough time to score despite the huge 42 yard reception by George Kittle (which was then taken back ten yards due to pass interference).
Shanahan messed up big time in the first half, and that event was the starting point of the 49ers play calling demise.
Once San Francisco went up 20-10 with around 17 minutes left in the game, they were given a golden opportunity to take an even larger lead when Patrick Mahomes threw an interception, but that wasn’t the case. Rather, the Niners were forced to punt.
Then, the turning point of the game happened. The Chiefs had the ball with eight minutes left in the game and Nick Bosa got injured. The dominant 49ers defense that everybody had seen all game took a huge hit, and Kansas City capitalized.
Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs stormed back, with Travis Kelce and Damien Williams caught a touchdown each, making the most of the 49ers mistakes.
From the poor coaching to the execution from the players, San Francisco’s fourth quarter was one to forget. In the fourth, Jimmy Garapollo finished with a total QBR of 2, with his last pass being to Kednall Fuller of the Chiefs.
Poor usage of timeouts and questionable coaching led to the 49ers downfall and the rise of the Chiefs who put together the second biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The first being the Patriots 25 point comeback after being down 28-3 to the Falcons, a team whose offensive coordinator was no other than, Kyle Shanahan.
The Super Bowl for the ages was capped off with Andy Reid hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in his storied career, a sight millions among millions of fans loved to see for the all time great coach.
Despite Shanahan losing his second Super Bowl (first as a head coach), I feel his time is coming too. He’s a proven winner in the the regular season, and turned the 49ers around from a bottom 3 team, to a top 2. Shanahan has really transformed the 49ers in his three seasons he’s been there, and I see a Super Bowl in the near future for him.
photo via http://www.nfl.com
The Super Bowl.
The biggest game of the year for football fans around the world will come down to the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49’ers.
The Chiefs, led by former NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes, have a slingshot attack that is nearly impossible to defend against. On the other side of the ball, the 49’ers have a rock-solid defense that has been the hardest defense to score against all year. Overall, it’s a heavyweight matchup that will be a tough, hard-hitting, action-filled game that may go down as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time.
Leading off, the 49ers are a versatile team led by ex-Patriots QB, Jimmy Garrapolo. Despite consistently doing his job all season, many people give Garroppolo hate as he rarely passes the ball. The San Francisco QB only threw the ball eight times in the Niners win against the Packers in the NFC Championship. However, I don’t understand the hate. The 49ers have been winning games all season with their rush-oriented offense, and that scheme has been working. Garroppolo fits his role perfectly and the 49’ers couldn’t have found a better player to fit the role of their QB than Jimmy Garrapolo.
The 49’ers also have the best defense in the league. The Niners defense has been on a tear all season, garnering 48 sacks throughout the season. Nobody has been able to stop the dynamic group of Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Soloman Thomas, Dee Ford, and DeForest Buckner. The five d-lineman have a train that has just kept on chugging all season, and they’ve yet to reach their final destination.
Meanwhile, on the other sideline stands Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes, only in his third season in the NFL has already become the best QB in the whole league. Ever since Mahomes took over the Chiefs, he has turned the franchise around in a drastic way.
People laughed at the Chiefs for trading up for Mahomes in 2017. How the tables have turned.
If one person can flip the 49ers defense by their heels, it’s Mahomes. Mahomes can scramble out of the pocket, throw the ball into double coverage and make it somehow land in the hands of the receiver, and a lot more. He’s got the best arm strength in the lead without a doubt, and if he shows up on Super Bowl Sunday, it will be very interesting to see how the 49ers can keep up.
With all of this being said, I have the 49ers winning. I know Mahomes is great and a generational talent that has the potential to win multiple Lombardi Trophies in his career, but Super Bowl 54 will not be on the list.
The 49ers defense is just too hard to play against. The Niners have a staggering 5 first rounders of their defense line and they’ve accumulated a whopping 9 sacks in two playoff games. As the old saying goes, “offense wins games, defense wins championships” and I think that saying will be in full effect come Super Bowl Sunday.
Erling Braut Haaland is nothing short of a miracle worker.
In a total of 54 minutes for Borussia Dortmund, the talented Norwegian forward as amassed an astonishing 5 goals. However, this isn’t just pure luck. Instead, it’s something we have never seen from a young forward in a long time.
Born in Leeds, Haaland comes from a very gifted family. His father, Alf-Inge, played professional ball for 22 years and enjoyed stints at clubs such as Leeds United and Manchester City.
Haaland’s tenure in England was short-lived and he moved to Norway at a very young age. From there, Haaland went on to sign with his hometown club, Bryne FK.
In his first season with Bryne, he played for their reserve side and scored 18 goals in 14 games. Showing his class at such a young age.
He then worked his way up and eventually signed with Norwegian giant, Molde FK.
One season with Molde went by, and Haaland became known as a reliable young striker, but this was a mere shadow of what he managed to become.
In his second season at Molde, Haaland scored four goals against an undefeated Brann side in twenty-two minutes. This is when Manchester United realized they talent Haaland posses, but they weren’t set on making a move just yet.
After an impressive run with Molde, Haaland joined RB Salzburg, a place where the legend of the 19-year-old began. After scoring a hat trick after a hat trick in league play and goal after goal in the Champions League, Haaland became the hottest wonder boy on the transfer market. However, with a 25 million dollar release clause instilled in his contract, it was up to Haaland to decide where he goes.
The kid who was only the second teenager in history to score a Champions League hattrick decided on joining the yellow and black in Borussia Dortmund.
After a short stint at Salzburg, that saw him become the only player in Champions League history to score over six goals in the first three group stage games, Haaland went off to Germany as confident as ever.
In Haaland’s first appearance for Dortmund, he was substituted in the 53rd minute. He then proceeds to score a hattrick only 23 minutes into his first appearance! The world was exploding over Erling Braut Haaland.
In the following game, Haaland managed to score two goals despite being subbed in the mid-second half. Haaland even scored a goal from a nearly impossible angle, and it became official that Haaland wasn’t your usual wonder boy.
Haaland possesses confidence in front of the net that is rare to see at any age. The Norwegian knows how to create space and attack a team with pace and with power. Explosive as can be, Haaland, standing at 6’4, has a physical advantage on nearly every player on the pitch and utilizes that to the best of his ability.
Another thing I often look for when analyzing young stars is their maturity. Haaland is very mature. He seems to go with the flow and is very low key about everything he does, another rare attribute to see in such a young player. Haaland has shown that he is confident, but he doesn't go overboard in any of his actions. He goes to the pitch, does his job, and then leaves.
Adding on, Haaland has a killer instinct in front of the net that hasn’t been seen in years. With the path he’s heading on, he can be the best player in the world.
I believe the next Ronaldo vs Messi is Haaland vs Mbappe.