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The 49ers-Chiefs have a 2020 Super Bowl rematch. What’s happened since?

of kansas city chiefs It looks easy, but when you actually try it return Going to the Super Bowl is just as difficult as going to the Super Bowl for the first time. They are scheduled to play in their fourth Super Bowl in five years on Sunday, but san francisco 49ers This will be the team’s first appearance since losing to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV at the end of the 2019 season.

This is a Super Bowl rematch, featuring many of the same faces and storylines. But looking back at that fight, it’s easy to wonder why it took so long for a rematch. That year, when the 49ers watched a 10-point fourth-quarter lead disappear in Miami, they and many others entered the championship bracket with a young and exciting roster and coaching staff. I felt that it was a place.

They’re still in that bracket, but they’ve run into a number of problems along the way, including a season in which they missed the playoffs entirely. Meanwhile, the Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl again, becoming the defending champions. Both teams have had a lot of success, but how much has really changed since their first matchup?

Head coach hasn’t changed

Kyle Shanahan and Andy Reid will face off in their first matchup, with the former looking to prove he can handle big games just like the latter. Shanahan is notorious for suffocating in the biggest games, dating back to when the Falcons lost a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI when Shanahan was offensive coordinator.

The next day, Shanahan was signed to be the head coach of the 49ers, and in just a few seasons he was able to play in a Super Bowl matchup with Reid and the Chiefs. But again, two subsequent losses in the NFC Championship didn’t help, as Shanahan’s team allowed a double-digit lead in this game, cementing their “Chalker” label.

Although the head coach remains the same, Shanahan and Reid’s staff have put in some effort. Over the years, the 49ers have seen multiple coordinators and position coaches take head coaching jobs, all of which were Mike McDaniel (then run game coordinator, now head coach). Dolphin), DeMeco Ryans (then inside linebackers coach, now head coach) texans), and Robert Saleh (then defensive coordinator, now Jets head coach).

Above them are important players for the 49ers in 2019 like Mike LaFleur (passing game coordinator, now with the Rams) and Bobby Slowik (offensive assistant, now with the Texans). The biggest new additions to the 49ers’ staff are defensive coordinator Steve Wilkes and assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn, both former head coaches.

And Reid, perhaps the most respected coach in football, is coming off a season where essentially everyone agrees he was excellent. Reid is lucky to still have Steve Spagnuolo as his defensive coordinator, as the Chiefs have been dominant on that side all season. The 2019 Super Bowl victory came in Spagnuolo’s first season on the job.

The biggest person no longer with the Chiefs is offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who is currently looking for a new job after serving one season in the same role at the helm in 2023. Overall, the Chiefs have surprisingly little turnover on their coaching staff. The staff, that’s exactly what Reed likes.

These players are still with the Chiefs:

DL Chris Jones
QB Patrick Mahomes
WR Mecole Hardman
TE Travis Kelce
TE Blake Bell
G Nick Allegretti
K. Harrison Butker
LS James Winchester

Mahomes and Kelce are arguably the best players at their respective positions and remain the cornerstones of the league’s best offensive line. Chris Jones is the only returning defensive end, but he is still arguably the best at the job.

The turnovers only seem to have helped them, as the Chiefs rank second in the league in total defense. They have a lot of rookies on both sides of the ball, were good enough to win the title a year ago, and could win the title again this time.

Here are the remaining players for the 49ers:

LB Fred Warner
LB Dre Greenlaw
DE Nick Bosa
DT Aric Armstead
DT Kevin Givens
WR Deebo Samuel
TE George Kittle
FB Kyle Juszczyk
P Mitch Wishnowski

Bosa was a rookie and Warner was still coming into his own in 2019, but the pair now form the core of the 49ers’ defense, along with Greenlaw and Armstead, who were also on the team in 2019. are doing. The trio of Ball, Samuel, Kittle, and Juszczyk is a very important piece, but the 49ers have certainly strengthened their core with QB Brock Purdy, RB Christian McCaffrey, and WR Brandon Aiyuk.

Turnovers aren’t that much of an issue for either team, and even with the loss of players (most of the time) the quality improves.

Swapsy

Finally, there are several players who have transferred from one team to the other since their 2019 meeting. Kick returner Richie James is currently with Kansas City and will start in the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, cornerback Charvarius Ward is starting for the 49ers and is one of their only consistent corners.

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