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    40 Things to know about the Super Bowl

    Ed Barkowitz Avatar
    February 6, 2024

    Taking a slightly offbeat look at this year’s Super Bowl teams and players, including why the most important stat might be time of possession, the placekicker making more money than the quarterback, and a glimpse into the remarkable story of Kansas City cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

    1. San Francisco’s Brock Purdy, who was taken with the final pick in 2022 (No. 262 overall), will become the lowest drafted quarterback ever to start a Super Bowl. The five lowest heretofore: Tampa Bay’s Brad Johnson (No. 227 in 1992), Miami’s David Woodley (No. 214 in 1980), Minnesota’s Joe Kapp (No. 209 in 1959), Green Bay’s Bart Starr (No. 200 in 1956) and New England/Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady (No. 199 in 2000).

    2. Nice list, but Kurt Warner and Jake Delhomme going from undrafted to Super Bowl starting quarterbacks is more impressive.

    3. QBs drafted ahead of Purdy in 2022: Kenny Pickett (20th overall), Desmond Ridder (74th), Malik Willis (86th), Matt Corral (94th), Bailey Zappe (137th), Sam Howell (144th), Chris Oladokun (241st), Skylar Thompson (247th). Pittsburgh took TWO quarterbacks ahead of Purdy –Pickett and Oladokun. Whoops.

    4. The most famous parts of the Las Vegas Strip, including the south end where Allegiant Stadium is located, isn’t actually in Las Vegas. It’s in the unincorporated town of Paradise, Nev., which has tax advantages over area cities such as Las Vegas, Mesquite and Boulder City.

    5. Each team’s hotel is in Henderson, Nev., which is about 20 miles from the action. Dining and shows are great, but locals rarely gamble on the Strip because the odds are decidedly stacked toward the casinos. If you see a roulette table with Triple Zero, run the other way.

    6. San Francisco was 8-0 this year when winning time of possession, 6-5 when they did not. Similarly, Kansas City was 10-2 when they had the ball longer than their opponents, 4-4 when they did not.

    7. Taylor Swift had won seven Grammy Awards and 15 American Music Awards before Travis Kelce registered his first NFL catch in 2014. Swift, born in West Reading, Pa., was named after James Taylor. 

    8. “I never have the moment where I feel like it’s too much. But there’s definitely the moment where I get sad that I feel like sometimes people don’t believe in anything being genuine anymore. That no matter what, there’s someone questioning everything that I say or do.” She told this to the Los Angeles Times – 11 years ago when she was 23.

    9. Kelce has been targeted 27 times in the Chiefs’ three playoff games this year (23 catches, 262 yards, 3 TDs). He caught all 11 targets in the AFC title game against the Ravens, and has had at least 70 yards receiving in 12 consecutive playoff games. 

    10. Most Super Bowl appearances for a head coach including this year: Bill Belichick (9), Don Shula (6), Andy Reid (5), Tom Landry (5). Of course, much of the Super Bowl era predates legends such as Vince Lombardi, George Halas and Paul Brown.

    11. The Chiefs defense has been red-hot in the second half over the last two months, a nod to adjustments made by coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. They’ve allowed only 32 total points, and just two touchdowns. In the playoffs, Baltimore had three points in the second half, Buffalo seven and the Dolphins zero.

    12. Spagnuolo, who’s been with the Chiefs since 2019, was the architect of the Giants defense in Super Bowl 42 which held the 18-0 Patriots to just 14 points. He’s the only coordinator – offense or defense – to win Super Bowls with two different franchises. His first NFL coaching job was with the Eagles when Andy Reid was hired in 1999. 

    >>Anthony Gargano and Brian Baldinger sit down with Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo … 

    13. The 49ers were the only team which did not attempt a 2-point conversion this year. The Chiefs attempted just one and failed on it.

    14. Usher is doing the halftime extravaganza. His big break came in 1991 on the TV show Star Search when he was 13 years old and nailed a rendition of “End of the Road,” one of the many hits by Philly superstars Boyz II Men.

    15. An impressive Super Bowl record comes to an end this year. Norma Hunt, the wife of Chiefs founder and NFL pioneer Lamar Hunt, died in June at age 85. She was the only woman known to have attended each of the first 57 Super Bowls. 

    16. Fred Warner is the Niners all-time leader in postseason tackles (88 in 11 games) while Nick Bosa is the club’s all-time leader in postseason sacks (10 in 11 games). Impressive given the 49ers have won more playoff games (38) than any other franchise.

    17. That got us thinking. Who are the EAGLES all-time leaders in postseason tackles and sacks? See No. 32 for the answer.

    18. Niners rookie Jake Moody has missed a kick in each of his last three games (one extra point flubbed, one 48-yard field goal missed, one 48-yard field goal blocked).

    19. There have been 10 rookies to kick in a Super Bowl in the last 50 years. They are 38-for-39 on extra points (Eagles’ Jake Elliott had the only miss) and 14-for-15 on field goals (San Fran’s Doug Brien missed from 47 yards in Supe 29).

    20. KC’s Harrison Butker is 9-for-9 in his playoff career on field goals and has made 29 of 30 PATs in the Chiefs’ last three playoff runs. 

    21. Butker’s base salary for this season was $3.69 million. Conversely, the salary for 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was $870,000, which ranked 58th among all QBs. 

    22. San Francisco’s first-team all-pros: RB Christian McCaffrey, FB Kyle Juszczyk, TE George Kittle, LT Trent Williams, LB Fred Warner. Second teamers: WR Brandon Aiyuk, CB Charvarius Ward.

    23. Ward, who played for the Chiefs from 2018-21 and was part of the Super Bowl win over San Fran after the 2019 season, led the 49ers with five interceptions. 

    24. Kansas City’s first-team all-pros: LG Joe Thuney, DT Chris Jones, Slot CB Trent McDuffie. The Chiefs had no players on the second team.

    25. Thuney. KC’s all-pro left guard, is the biggest name to watch on the injury report. He hurt a pectoral muscle in the Divisional Round against Buffalo on Jan. 21 and did not play in the AFC Championship Game. Thuney (pronounced TOO-nee) was listed as “questionable” at the start of this week.

    26. McDuffie was selected 21st overall in 2022 when the Chiefs traded up from No. 29. The 29th pick was the first-round pick they received from Miami in the Tyreek Hill deal. KC got five picks in the deal AND avoided having to shell out the $120 million the Dolphins paid to sign Hill. The trade was key in building the Chiefs defense. 

    27. It’s been 25 years since the NFL’s rushing leader has won the Super Bowl. Terrell Davis was the last to do so in 1998 when he was playing for Mike Shanahan. San Fran’s Christian McCaffrey, who plays for Mike’s son Kyle, led the league with 1,459 yards for his first rushing title.

    28. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead is the 49ers nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Armstead’s philanthropy is rooted in trying to provide education to underserved youth, especially in his hometown of Sacramento. 

    29. “I want to use my blessing to bless others,” said Armstead, a Pro Bowl alternate. “I feel like it’s my responsibility. When it’s all said and done, I want to leave this earth a better place than when I was born. I think that’s what we should all strive to do.”

    30. Patrick Mahomes is the Chiefs’ nominee for the Payton Award.

    31. Where the Chiefs defense has ranked in yards allowed since 2018 when Mahomes became the starting quarterback 31st, *17th, 16th, 27th, *11th – and this year, 2ndThe asterisk (*) indicates years they’ve won the Super Bowl (2019, 2022).

    32. Answer to No. 17. Brian Dawkins is the Eagles all-time leader in postseason tackles (84 in 18 games) while Brandon Graham is the Birds all-time leader in postseason sacks (5.5 in 11 games).

    33. George Kittle has never had a 100-yard game in 11 career playoff appearances. He has just six catches in two playoff games this season, including just two receptions on only three targets in the NFC Championship Game win over Detroit. His over/unders at FanDuel as of Sunday, Feb. 4 was 47.5 yards and a heavily-juiced 3.5 receptions (-158).

    34. Chiefs rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice was born in Philadelphia. His family moved to Texas when he was in third grade. Rice, after a modest start to the season, has been targeted by Patrick Mahomes at least nine times in seven of the last nine games. Rice led the nation in receiving yards per game last year at SMU (112.9).

    35. Teammate Isiah Pacheco, a product of Vineland South, has scored a touchdown in seven consecutive games. He ran for 76 yards and a touchdown when the Chiefs beat the Eagles in last year’s Super Bowl. Not bad for the 251st overall pick in the 2022 draft. 

    36. Pacheco’s position coach is Todd Pinkston, a wide receiver for the Eagles from 2000-06. Pinkston is in his first season as an NFL assistant coach. He was coaching at Stockbridge High School in Georgia the last four years.

    37. Niners safety Logan Ryan, 32, has been in the league for eight years. He won two Super Bowls with New England, but bounced around a bit after 2016. San Francisco signed him off the street in December when All-Pro Talanoa Hufanga tore his ACL. Now Ryan, who went to Eastern High School in Voorhees, is in a position to win his third ring.

    38. Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is on a path to changing the legacy of his family away from crime, imprisonment and drugs. Both parents did time for violent offenses, but his success in the NFL has brought them together. It’s not been easy, though. His oldest brother, TQ Harrison, who raised him while the parents were incarcerated, was stabbed to death in 2021. 

    39. “Every morning, man, he’s the first thing on my mind,” Sneed told the Kansas City Star. “That’s just someone who raised me, someone I always looked up to. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him.”

    >>The powerful life story of Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

    40. Sneed is in the final season of a 4-year, $3.9 million rookie contract, which escalated to a $2.3 million salary in 2023. Spotrac.com estimates his next contract to be worth more than $16 million annually. 

    And finally

    With Brock Purdy on Sunday, the 49ers will pass the Eagles (among others) for the most different quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl game. Currently, San Fran is one of six franchises who’ve started four. Entertain and mesmerize friends and family with this list:

    49ers: Joe Montana, Steve Young, Colin Kaepernick, Jimmy Garoppolo

    Eagles: Ron Jaworski, Donovan McNabb, Nick Foles, Jalen Hurts

    Giants: Phil Simms, Jeff Hostetler, Kerry Collins, Eli Manning

    Raiders: Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon

    Rams: Vince Ferragamo, Kurt Warner, Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford

    Redskins/Commanders: Billy Kilmer, Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien

    Sources: AllPHLY research, Pro-Football-Reference.com.

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