2020 Super Bowl Facts
We've got time to kill before the Super Bowl, and we need to work hard to find any edge we can in this, the most bet and scrutinized of games. Don't worry, though - I'm here for you. I've gone beyond the surface and gathered up some Super Bowl facts that not everyone is going to consider. It's up to you to decide whether you think you should consider them, either. But you can't argue with one thing - these are facts. Stone cold Super Bowl facts.
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- The 49ers can become just the second team to win the Super Bowl a year after winning just four games in a season. The last to do it was the St. Louis Rams in 1999. Quarterbacks were a big part of the story in both cases. Last year Jimmy Garoppolo was hurt, and the team had a disastrous run of failure in their attempts to replace him. The starter returned this year and made all the difference. In St. Louis, the Rams struggled mightily under Tony Banks in 1998, dealt him away and signed Trent Green to replace him, saw Green go down for the year in the preseason, and struck gold with a future hall of famer absolutely no one saw coming in Kurt Warner.
- The biggest mistake that the Titans and the Packers made - the one that obviously cost them a spot in the biggest of games - was that they didn't claim either C.J. Anderson or LeGarrette Blount off the free agency pile before the playoffs started. It might seem random to mention those two washed up running backs, but they have a real link. This will be the first Super Bowl since 2013 that one of those two hasn't played in. Anderson was in the game in 2014 and 2016 with the Broncos, and last year with the Rams. Blount was with the Pats in 2015 and 2017 and the Eagles in 2018. They are a golden ticket to the big game, and neither could get a job this year - Blount was a free agent all season, and Anderson was cut free by the Lions after just two games.
- Early betting action as soon as the line was posted this year - typically money thrown down by sharp bettors - was tilted reasonably aggressively towards the Chiefs. That's good news for the fans of the Chiefs - or those that plan to bet on the current favorites . In nine of the last 12 years, the team that has received more of the early betting action has gone on to win the Super Bowl. And in that New England and Seattle showdown that ended in such crazy fashion, there was no clear choice for the early money. The only two times in the last dozen years that the early money was on the wrong side were on the Colts against the Saints and on the Panthers against the Broncos. The Colts one was interesting, though, because the action wasn't particularly strongly in their favor early and had actually tilted back to the Saints as gametime neared.
- Needless to say, there is going to be some serious money bet on this game - both legally in Vegas and elsewhere, and illegally. Last year nearly $150 million was bet on the game in Nevada alone. And while it is hard to know for sure, the estimates for total bets in the United States are around $6 billion. The largest portion of that is bet in the 36 or so hours before the game, with estimates that more than $120 million could be bet per hour in the final day leading up to the game. You can only imagine how nervous oddsmakers and book owners get if game day nears and they are exposed to one side.
- A lot has been made of the fact that the Chiefs are 50 years removed from their last Super Bowl win. It's actually not that much of an outlier in the league, though. There are 10 franchises with longer current streaks and four others that have never appeared in the game at all. While the drought isn't impossibly long, then, it is exactly twice as long as San Francisco's - they won the last of their five titles 25 years ago.
- In recent years, we have been talking endlessly about the age of quarterbacks in this game, with guys like Brady, Brees and Manning always making that conversation relevant. This year, though, that won't be a story unless Patrick Mahomes is hurt and the Chiefs have to rely on Chad Henne - who is still only a youthful 34 compared to those elder statesmen. Age really isn't much of a story at all with these two reasonably young teams. The oldest guy for both teams is only 37 - punter Dustin Colquitt for the Chiefs, with Terrell Suggs only a handful of months younger, and kicker Robbie Gould for the Niners. The youngest player in the game is Kansas City receiver Mecole Hardman, who turns 22 on March 12. San Francisco doesn't have anyone that young, but they do have 21 players who were not born the last time the franchise won a Super Bowl. As an aside, both that last win in 1994, and the one before it in 1989, were in this same stadium.
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