I don't know how it happened, but the Super Bowl is now only three days away, which means now is probably a good time to call my chicken wing guy. I don't have a corn dog guy, but I should probably get one of those because chicken wings and corn dogs are definitely my two favorite Super Bowl snacks.
If you're now wondering what kind of weird Super Bowl snacks the rest of the country eats, you're going to want to click here to find out. I could probably write an entire newsletter about the best foods to eat during the Super Bowl, but I have to do this newsletter, so I'm not sure there's enough time to write that one.
This Super Bowl will mark the third time that the big game has been played on Feb. 7 and in a crazy coincidence, all three Super Bowls played on Feb. 7 have involved an NFC South team (Saints in 2009, Panthers in 2015, Buccaneers this year). The Falcons should be petitioning to get every game moved to Feb. 7 from here on out.
Speaking of Feb. 7, you're going to want to enter our Super Bowl giveaway before then. It's free to enter and if you win, you'll take home more than $3,600 in electronic equipment from Westinghouse, including a 75-inch TV. To enter the contest, be sure to click here. Also, if you're wondering whether or not you'll be able to stream the Super Bowl for free this year, the answer is YES. All you have to do is bookmark this link. That will take you to the CBS Sports App, where you'll be able to watch the game and get the app at no cost. There is nothing better than free.
This newsletter is also free, although the trade-off to that is that you sometimes have to deal with my ridiculous rants. On that note, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's Show: Bold predictions for the Super Bowl
Every Thursday during the postseason, the podcast consists of Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I making bold predictions for the upcoming round of playoff games and this week, there's only one game: THE SUPER BOWL. For the most part, I usually make fun of Brinson and Wilson for how bad their predictions are, but I didn't do that this week, because they were actually good!
With that in mind, let's check out our bold predictions for Super Bowl LV (We all made two somewhat realistic predictions and one bold prediction).
1. At least one field goal of 50 yards or more. In the history of the Super Bowl, there have only been five field goals kicked of more than 50 yards. Also, kickers have made just 38.6% of their attempts (5 of 13) from 50 yards or beyond in the previous 54 Super Bowls.
2. Someone catches three TD passes. If this happens, it will tie the Super Bowl record set by Jerry Rice, who did it twice (Super Bowl XXIV and Super Bowl XXIX)
BOLD prediction: Highest-scoring game in Super Bowl history. The highest-scoring game came in Super Bowl XXIX when the 49ers beat the Chargers 49-26 (That is 75 total points in case you don't feel like doing the math).
1. Sammy Watkins leads the team in targets. This definitely qualifies as bold and that's because if Watkins gets all the targets, that means that Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are not.
2. Shaq Barrett gets 3 sacks. After racking up 19.5 sacks in 2019, Barrett only had eight in 2020. He also only tallied three sacks in a single game one time this season.
BOLD prediction: Patrick Mahomes scores four total touchdowns. Although Mahomes is known for putting up monstrous numbers, he only totaled four touchdowns in three games this season.
1. Tyrann Mathieu two interceptions. If this happens, Mathieu would tie the single-game record for the second-most interceptions in Super Bowl history.
2. Tom Brady and Mahomes combined for 100 pass attempts. This would smash the record of 93 pass attempts, which was set in Super Bowl XXIX (49ers vs. Chargers) and tied in Super Bowl LI (Patriots vs. Eagles).
BOLD prediction: Tyreek Hill breaks Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards. Brinson clearly made this pick to troll me. Rice set the record of 215 yards in Super Bowl XXIII, a game where he won MVP when the 49ers beat the Bengals 20-16. If the 49ers hadn't have won, my dad (Jim Breech), who scored 10 of Cincinnati's 16 points, likely would have won MVP. I hate Brinson and I hate the 49ers.
Besides handing out predictions, we also graded each other's predictions. If you want a total breakdown of our predictions -- and trust me, you do -- you can listen to the entire episode of the podcast. You can also get the video version of the show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Ranking every Super Bowl QB matchup ever
After three straight days of not hearing from Bryan DeArdo, I decided to check on him to make sure he was still alive and it turns out, not only is he still alive, but he went dark because he was working on a mammoth story: He was ranking every quarterback matchup from every Super Bowl ever.
Tom Brady against Patrick Mahomes hasn't even happened yet, but it made the top of DeArdo's list and you know what, I'm not going to argue.
Here's a look at his top-five:
1. Super Bowl LV: Brady vs. Mahomes.
2. Super Bowl XIX: Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino (49ers 38, Dolphins 16)
3. Super Bowl XXIV: Joe Montana vs. Johnn Elway (49ers 55, Broncos 10)
4. Super Bowl XXXII: John Elway vs. Brett Favre (Broncos 31, Packers 24)
5. Super Bowl X and XIII: Terry Bradshaw vs. Roger Staubach
SB X: Steelers 21, Cowboys 17
SB XIII: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31
If you want to check out where the other 49 quarterback match-ups fall in this rankings, you're going to have to click here. DeArdo also took some time to rank every Super Bowl that's ever been played on CBS, because, apparently, he's the only person here who butters up to the bosses more than I do. This year's game will be the 21st Super Bowl ever on CBS and you can read his rankings of the first 20 by clicking here.
3. QB drama is starting to boil over
Yesterday, we directed you to a story by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, who wrote that the quarterback carousel is probably going to get crazy this offseason with multiple quarterbacks likely to switch teams. Apparently, the Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff trade was just the tip of the iceberg, because if this week is any indication, things are going to go bonkers over the next few months.
A lot of quarterback news has seeped out over the past week and here's a look at the big stuff:
- Tua Tagovailoa: Tua was asked this week if he thought he would be returning to Miami and his answer was kind of interesting. "Honestly, I'm not too sure," Tagovailoa told Dan Patrick. "I can't control things that I can't control. What I can do is continue to work hard." That sounds like a guy who doesn't think he's returning to Miami.
- Carson Wentz: The firing of Doug Pederson was supposed to fix things in Philadelphia, but apparently, that that didn't happen. According to ESPN.com, Wentz would still prefer to be traded, even though the Eagles got rid of Pederson and brought in a new coach. According to NFL Network, the Eagles are now even getting trade calls about Wentz. For more details on the drama in Philadelphia, be sure to click here.
- Alex Smith: It doesn't sound like Washington plans on making Smith their quarterback of the future. During a press conference this week, Ron Rivera was non-committal about Smith's future with the team, "We've got to make sure we find the right [QB]," Rivera said. For more details on that situation be sure to click here.
- Deshaun Watson: In what might go down as the greatest bit of irony in football history, Brett Favre called out Deshaun Watson this week over the fact that Watson wants a trade out of Houston. Favre's take is that Watson is being paid so much money that he should just show up and do his job. Of course, Favre is the last person who should be calling anyone out. Not only did he once demand a trade, but he also threatened to retire multiple times, which made it nearly impossible for the Packers to plan their offseason while he was still on the team. For details on the Favre-Watson story, be sure to click here.
The only quarterback to get a vote of confidence this week was JAMEIS WINSTON. Saints coach Sean Payton told Will Brinson on Wednesday that if Drew Brees retires, the team's preference would be to keep the two quarterabacks they already have instead of going out and getting another one.
"We've gone through the quarterbacks," Payton said. "Of course we've read all of those players. Taysom Hill, who's in the building. Jameis, who's a free agent, who we hope to sign here, sooner or later. We've got a pretty good vision with those players. I think within the next week we'll know a little bit more."
4. Super old coaches in the Super Bowl
After Tom Brady takes his first snap on Sunday, he'll break the record for the oldest player to ever play in a Super Bowl. However, Brady won't be the only one who will be breaking some age-related records and that's because the two coaches in this game will also be setting some records.
As a matter of fact, Bruce Arians (68 years, 127 days) and Andy Reid (62 years, 325 days) are about to set the record for the oldest combined age of the head coaches in the Super Bowl. Here's a look at how the two men will be rewriting the record book this week, at least the chapter about records related to being old.
- Oldest Combined Age of Head Coaches: The oldest coaching matchup ever came in Super Bowl XLIX when Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll met up on a day where they had a combined age of 126 years and 65 days. Arians and Reid will top that Sunday with their combined age of 131 years and 86 days.
- Oldest coach in the Super Bowl: When Arians steps on the field this Sunday, he'll become the second-oldest head coach to take lead his team to a Super Bowl. The only coach who was older was Buffalo's Marv Levy, who had an age of 68 years and 180 days when he coached the Bills to their fourth consecutive Super Bowl in 1993 (Levy and the Bill lost that game to the Cowboys)
- Oldest coach to win the Super Bowl: When the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, Bill Belichick became the oldest head coach ever to win a Super Bowl at 66 years, 293 days. If the Buccaneers win on Sunday, that record will belong to Arians. Not only would they be forever tied together as the two oldest coaches to win a Super Bowl, but they also would be tied together by the fact they both won with Tom Brady.
With all these old coaches, maybe I should check to see if CBS can move the game to 4 p.m. ET, because 6:30 p.m. seems kind of late in the evening for two guys as old as Arians and Reid. I mean, that's usually when my dad is getting ready for bed and he's about their age.
5. 10 Super Bowl milestones and records that could fall on Sunday
If you don't have a team to root for on Super Bowl Sunday, then the best thing to do is to root for records to be broken. That's what I do every year and this year, it's going to be especially easy because our Bryan DeArdo came up with 10 records and milestones that could fall on Super Bowl Sunday.
Here's the full list:
1. Bruce Arians could become the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl
2. Tom Brady could become the first QB to win a Super Bowl in three different decades
3. Andy Reid is trying to become the seventh coach to win back-to-back titles
4. Patrick Mahomes is trying to become the sixth player to win multiple Super Bowl MVPs
5. Patrick Mahomes could become the youngest QB to win two Super Bowls
6. Tom Brady could become just the sixth QB to win the Super Bowl leading a wild-card team
7. Chiefs could become the first team in 17 years to repeat as champs
8. Tom Brady can become the second QB ever to win a Super Bowl with multiple teams
9. Buccaneers could become the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium
10. AFC and NFC are tied 27-27 in Super Bowls, which means the winner on Sunday takes the all-time lead.
For more on each of these records, be sure to click here to check out DeArdo's story.
6. Super Bowl LV picks
In case you haven't noticed, we love to make picks here at CBS Sports and there is nothing we love to pick more than the winner of the Super Bowl. Over the next 48 hours, I'm going to give you so many Super Bowl picks that you're not even going to know what to do with them. Today's picks are from Tyler Sullivan and Jordan Dajani, who have added some spice to our picks section today because they DON'T AGREE on who's going to win the game.
The Chiefs are currently favored by three points over the Buccaneers.
- Tyler Sullivan pick: As the only New Englander on the NFL staff here, I've seen this story play out dozens of times over the last 20 years up close and, more often than not, Tom Brady finds a way to be the last man standing even when it looks like the odds are stacked against him. I discounted Brady and the Buccaneers ever since the divisional round and each time they've proved me wrong. No more. Sullivan's pick: Buccaneers 33-27 over Chiefs.
- Jordan Dajani pick: Despite the fact that the Chiefs were mediocre when it comes to covering the spread this year (8-10), the fact is that Patrick Mahomes has won 25 of his past 26 starts and is 6-1 in the postseason. Even if the Buccaneers do somewhat contain Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, there are other home-run hitters in the Chiefs' offense like Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins, who could break off a big play. Dajani's pick: Chiefs 28-24 over Buccaneers.
7. The Kicker!
Every year I write an insanely long story about the two kickers in the Super Bowl and this year, that story came out today. If you want a breakdown of why Harrison Butker struggled on extra points this year or why this might be a revenge game for Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop, be sure to click here.
With that in mind, here are a few interesting nuggets from the story:
- History of kicking in Tampa Super Bowls: This year's game will mark the fifth time that a Super Bowl has been played in Tampa. In the four previous games, kickers combined to make just 75% of their field goals and I should probably mention that the most infamous miss in NFL history -- Scott Norwood's kick that went wide right to give the Giants a win over the Bills -- took place in Tampa.
- Kickers struggled in Tampa this year: Kicking in Tampa wasn't easy for opposing kickers this year. During the 2020 season, the Buccaneers' eight opponents managed to make just 66.7% of their field goal attempts (10 of 15). That total gets even uglier if you only count field goals of 30 yards or more. In those instances, opposing kickers managed to go just 5 of 10.
- Field goal attempts of 43 yards or more are a crapshoot: In the 54-year history of the Super Bowl, kickers have combined to hit just 48.1% of their attempts from 43 yards or longer. Although kickers have gotten stronger and more accurate over the past 20 years, that accuracy hasn't translated to the Super Bowl. Over the past 15 years, kickers have made just 53.3% of their field goal attempts from beyond 43 yards in the Super Bowl. The ugly part for Harrison Butker is that opposing kickers hit just 20% of their field goals (1 of 5) from 43 yards or longer at Raymond James Stadium this season.
Not helping either kicker is the fact that it's supposed to rain, but I won't talk about that now because that's for tomorrow, when we get our final weather report for the game.