It’s February and that means there is only one more prestigious football game to watch — the Super Bowl! Whether you are watching the Super Bowl for the commercials or just to hang out with some family and friends, there are a lot of intriguing storylines. Below, we will go over the top five Super Bowl storylines to watch on Sunday, February 11th.
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5 Super Bowl Storylines to Watch 2024
Insane Travis Kelce Playoff Stats
Travis Kelce did not have the regular season as he usually did. He saw his lowest target count in a season since 2016 and fell short of the 1,000-receiving-yard mark in a season for the first time since 2015. His touchdown production also took a hit, failing to reach nine or more in a season for the first time since 2019, managing just five.
However, Kelce’s recent postseason performances have been spectacular. He has gone an insane 12 consecutive playoff games with recording over 70 receiving yards. In that 12-game span, he has scored 13 touchdowns. This postseason alone, he is averaging 7.6 receptions for 87.3 yards and a touchdown per game. Interestingly, the last time Kelce did not have more than 70 receiving yards in a postseason game was the 2019 Super Bowl, which happened to be against the 49ers. But that happened in February 2020. This 49ers team has allowed a tight end to have 97 or more receiving yards against them in two of the last six games, when starters play. Even though the tight ends had those big days, the 49ers still managed to win both of those games.
Chiefs Defense Playing Elite
The Kansas City Chiefs defense may not be leading all the statistical categories, but they are very close to leading, especially in crucial categories. During the regular season, they allowed the second-fewest points in the league, with 294, which is an average of 16.7 points per game. They were among four teams this season to allow less than 5,000 total yards per game, holding offenses to an average of 289.7 yards per game against the Chiefs. Another thing is the Chiefs have not allowed a team to score more than 27 points in a game this season. Playoff teams have averaged a very low 13.6 points per game, including stopping the Dolphins’ second-highest-scoring offense this season to seven points.
Will this translate in the Super Bowl, stopping the 49ers’ third-highest-scoring offense?
Can the Chiefs Limit Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey?
A huge debate this season has been whether Brock Purdy has been a product of the 49ers’ system or not, benefitting from the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Trent Williams, and others. But, that debate is for another time, as he can let the stats speak for him. Among quarterbacks starting at least half of the regular season, Purdy ranks second in completion percentage (69.4), fourth in passing yards per game (267.5), and second in touchdowns per game (1.9). It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs will be able to stop Brock Purdy, as the Chiefs held Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa to under 200 passing yards and only one passing touchdown in two of the three playoff games this season.
Another 49ers player who was in the MVP conversation this season was Christian McCaffrey. He has been standing out all season and, just in the playoffs alone, he is averaging 120 total yards and two touchdowns per game. He’s only had three games this season where he did not score a touchdown, and one of those games was because he left early due to injury and never returned. With how McCaffrey has been playing, he will be a key scoring threat for the 49ers. I would not be shocked if he does score a touchdown and have another big game to help this 49ers offense, but he does have a big hurdle to face as the Chiefs have held all running backs to less than 82 scrimmage yards and no touchdowns in all playoff games this season.
Jake Moody’s Recent Struggles
Yes, we are talking about kickers. In a game where every point matters, the kickers cannot be overlooked. This brings up Jake Moody, as he has recently struggled in the kicking game, going three consecutive games missing a field goal. He had one missed extra point this season in that same three-game span. Jake Moody was the 20th most accurate kicker, with an 84% field goal percentage this season. With the Eagles and Bengals both only losing the last two Super Bowls by three points, a missed field goal can loom large in this game.
Charvarius Ward Can Limit Chiefs WRs
The Chiefs wide receivers have had their own struggles, with Kadarius Toney having some injury drama and possibly not even playing in this game. Mecole Hardman has also not had the greatest playoffs. The only Chiefs wide receiver who has played very well is rookie Rashee Rice. But that does mean he will get to match up often with Charvarius Ward. In the last five games with the 49ers starters playing, he has not allowed more than 50 yards to a wide receiver, and although he has been targeted no more than seven times during that span, a wide receiver has only gotten a maximum of three receptions during that span. He may not be a shutdown corner, but he has been playing like one, especially in the last few games. If he can stop Rice, it may show to be a bigger problem for the Chiefs.
Those are the five Super Bowl storylines to keep up with this year! No matter how you are going to watch the Super Bowl this year, have fun and watch the 2023-24 NFL season end in a bang!