Today is a big day for fans of the National Football League. In the final game of their much-celebrated 100th season, during one of the most-watched televised events every year, a new champion will be crowned for Super Bowl LIV.
After a long, grueling season the Kansas City Cheifs, led by their dynamic, star-studded offense and young superstar Quater Back Patrick Mahomes, are set to take on the San Francisco 49ers and their stifling defense in Miami.
A battle between one of the top two offenses in the league against the top two defenses, Super Bowl LIV is much more likely to feature some more big plays than last year’s defensive battle between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
So who has the advantage tonight between these two historic teams? Well, we’re here to take a closer look at the stats and give you a comprehensive guide to each team, giving you the knowledge you’ll need to go to any Super Bowl party prepared and ready.
Let’s get right into it, shall we?
The Case for the Cheifs
When it comes to offensive fireworks, big plays and dynamic action, there are few rosters more stacked than the Kansas City Cheifs.
Despite suffering a horrific dislocated kneecap midseason that kept him out of two games this year, Kansas City’s young superstar QB and former league MVP Patrick Mahomes still lit it up through the air, throwing for a staggering 4,301 years, 26 touchdowns and only five picks. For some perspective that’s tenth best in the whole league, despite everyone ahead of his playing at least one more regular-season game.
A huge chunk of that offensive production was to superstar tight end Travis Kelce, who hauled in an incredible 97 receptions for 1,229 years this season, landing him fourth among all receives this season. Along with pass-catching weapons like wide receivers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman and pass-catching running back Damien Williams, the Cheif’s offensive is a big play waiting to happen.
Even if the Cheifs are stuffed early in the game by the 49ers stout defense and ruthless pass rush, don’t count them out. The Cheifs have rallied from behind to win four games they’ve trailed by at least 10 this season, including twice in the playoffs.
Winning this Super Bowl would be a historic moment for both coach and quarterback for Kansas City, making Andy Reid, the winnest head coach in NFL history without a championship, the first coach in history to win his first ring after more than 20 years as a head coach. It would also make the 24-year-old Patrick Mahomes the youngest ever player to win both an MVP award and a Super Bowl, four years ahead of Hall of Famer Brett Farve who did it at age 27.
Winning the historic Cheifs franchise their first Super Bowl since 1970 would surely be a huge step towards enshrining both head coach Andy Reid and Mahomes onto the shortlist of all-time league greats.
We’ll have to see if they’ve got a few more explosive plays in them to make history.
The Case for the 49ers
A true underdog before the start of this year’s season, few aside from the guys in their locker room, coaching staff and fanbase imagined the San Fransisco 49ers would be as good as they’ve been.
Led by a powerhouse defensive filled with uber-talented players like veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa and versatile linebacker Kwon Alexander and a nearly unstoppable three-headed rushing attack from Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, this year was the Niners coming out party.
Their final and perhaps toughest test will be today against Kansas City’s explosive offense. If San Fransisco can establish their running game, the second-best in the league this regular season and playoffs, and get pressure on Mahomes to prevent him from flinging the ball deep, something they allowed only eight times all regular season (the fewest over the past 14 seasons), then they have a great shot at being champs.
They’ll also need defensive end Dee Ford to bring his best today to take home the W. The stats show that the Niners defense gets a lot more imposing when Ford is on the field. With Ford playing San Francisco’s sack rate jumps to 15.8 percent, compared to a mere 5.7 percent without him. With Ford hampered by a hamstring injury for the latter half of the season, the Niners had to lean on other defensive playmakers to get the job done. If he’s fully healthy now after two weeks off, the Cheifs offensive line will likely have their hands full keeping Mahomes upright.
According to the stats, pressuring the quarterback is going to be the key to this game. In fact, historically, a great defense has been the key to Super Bowl success.
For example, teams in the last 15 years to make it to the Super Bowl after sacking the quarterback at least 55 times are undefeated – 6 and 0. Top two NFL defenses that made it to the Super Bowl are an overwhelming 17-7 all-time, with the top two defense overcoming the top two offenses 3 to 1 when they matched up in the big game.
If the Niners are looking to win their first Super Bowl since 1995, they’ll need to bring their A-game on the defensive side of the ball.
Ricky Williams Will Be Sparking Greatness With His Highsman x Jeeter Collab on Super Bowl Sunday
Ricky Williams made it possible for a generation of athletes to successfully challenge the NFL’s draconian prohibition of cannabis. The Heisman Trophy winner and former running back changed the perception of cannabis in the NFL, bringing in a new era in which the league has stopped drug testing players for cannabis. This paved the way for the league to recently donate $1 million to research how the plant’s medicinal properties could actually help players deal with pain and provide neuroprotection from concussion.
Williams credits smoking cannabis as a way of overcoming the challenges associated with being a professional athlete, from social anxiety to physical injuries. Since retiring from football, Williams has studied herbalism and alternative holistic therapies, intertwined with the healing properties of cannabis. His first line of cannabis wellness products, Real Wellness fused cannabis with herbal extracts like lavender and turmeric.
In 2021, Williams released his new venture, Highsman, a cannabis lifestyle brand “created to empower professional and everyday athletes as well as sports enthusiasts alike.” And a great play on words, too.
“Highsman is an appreciation for greatness and an appreciation for cannabis. When I started experimenting with it recreationally, I became very reflective and a lot of the time the things I was reflecting on didn’t feel good to me. But through that inner reflection, I started making changes in myself– I realized that there was more to me than just being a football player, and it created an urge to start developing those other sides of myself. It was, and still is, my appreciation for cannabis that helped me to realize my potential for greatness outside the game of football. “
Highsman features three curated by Williams to compliment moments in the day and put you in the zone. Pre-Game is a Sativa for an energized boost; Half-Time is a hybrid for focused awareness, and the Post-Game Indica offers a relaxed mood.
Just in time for Super Bowl LVI, Highsman has teamed up with Jeeter, the number one cannabis pre-roll brand in the country, on a limited-edition run of cannabis and apparel products.
Cannabis Aficionado caught up with Williams for a quick huddle to find out what the iconic athlete will be doing this Super Bowl Sunday.
CA: What brought on your partnership with Jeeter?
We partnered with Jeeter because they are a brand at the top of their game. Their dedication to greatness makes them an ideal partner for Highsman. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, aside from Highsman, Jeeter is one of my top choices when I visit the dispensary.
Where are you watching the Superbowl and who with?
I am watching the Superbowl at the Jeeter house in LA with Jeeter co-founders Sebastian Solano and Lukasz Tracz, and the amazing Highsman team including CEO Eric Hammond and Marketing Director Lane Radbill.
What are you smoking?
Sticky Ricky from the Highsman x Jeeter collab!
What are you eating and drinking?
I eat light pregame… a fruit smoothie, yogurt, assorted fruit, and a little honey.
What were your pre-game rituals?
I had a whole meditation routine. 12 sun salutations, pranayama, twin hearts meditation (heart-opening meditation), and then off to the stadium.
Who do you think will win Superbowl LVI?
I’m just hoping for a good game, but I picked the Rams to win in the Highsman bracket challenge, so I’m going to root for the home team.
Find your nearest Highsman x Jeeter stockist here.
Tom Brady Is Officially Retiring from the NFL
Tom Brady has announced his retirement from the NFL, writing on Instagram on Tuesday that he is “not going to make that competitive commitment anymore.”
“I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game,” Brady said in his statement on Instagram. “There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
“This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.”
Brady’s announcement comes three days after it was originally reported that he would be hanging up his illustrious cleats. Brady had yet to officially commit one way or the other, insisting on “going through the process” during his most recent appearance on his podcast. The outcome of that process was announced on Tuesday.
The legendary sportsman retires after an astounding 22 NFL seasons, 20 with the Patriots and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which he had the most individual success of any player in NFL history. Tom Brady was a 15-time Pro Bowler, three-time AP MVP, three-time first-team All-Pro, and the all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and quarterback victories.
High Fighting: Jiu-Jitsu Meets Cannabis
The relationship between recreational marijuana and sports has historically been contentious, and MMA leagues in the United States are no exception. Because of how long weed lingers in the bloodstream, many fighters who follow the rule of not smoking during competitive periods nonetheless test positive. Superstar UFC athletes who have tested positive for marijuana (like Nick Diaz) have faced harsh penalties, including fines and even suspensions or bans from competition, thanks to this law.
High Rollerz co-founders Matt Staudt and Big Lonn Howard have chosen to put together a cannabis-infused jiu-jitsu tournament where some of the sport’s elite athletes get high with their opponent before competing – and where the winner’s grand prise is a pound of pot.
Peep the Vice documentary below.