Four Super Bowl LIV storylines you need to know

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Aside from the major stories of the week, here are some 49er-related angles (other than, “Hey Kyle, how’d the Falcons blow a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl three years ago?”) we’ll be chasing prior to the Super Bowl:

• The Garoppolo Factor. Kyle Shanahan, mad genius . . . in the run game? Late in the first half of the divisional win over Minnesota, Jimmy Garoppolo threw a bad interception (are there good ones?), and since then, Shanahan has Bob-Griesed the offense to two routs. In the 86 San Francisco snaps over the past six quarters, Garoppolo has thrown 14 passes. In those six quarters, Niners backs have gained 410 rushing yards with five touchdowns, the passing game 103 yards and zero touchdowns. (Interesting to note that over the Chiefs’ last 86 snaps, they’ve been in symphonic balance, with 43 Patrick Mahomes passes.) This is a gut feeling I have, based on a little knowledge but mostly feel for Shanahan: He’s not going to hide Garoppolo in this game. He hasn’t hidden him all season—why start in the playoffs? The play-calling has much more to do with the dominance of the run game than any fear in Garoppolo’s performance. If you were able to rush for 6.2 yards per carry over six quarters, wouldn’t you keep running it?

Regarding Garoppolo in big spots: I remember him being shaky in parts of the Monday night loss to Seattle in November. But look at the toughest three-game stretch any team had in this regular season: Green Bay, at Baltimore, at New Orleans. Garoppolo completed 72.4 percent of his throws with seven touchdowns and one pick, and a gaudy 10.1 yards-per-attempt. Would you bury Garoppolo in the game plan if you were Kyle Shanahan, limiting the impact of the great George Kittle and big-game Emmanuel Sanders? I sure wouldn’t—unless the run game is gashing Kansas City the way it gashed the Vikings and Packers.

• San Francisco’s unsung hero. Bobby Turner, the 49ers’ 70-year-old running backs coach, is an amazing story. This is his 25th season as an NFL backfield coach, having broken in on the Denver staff of Mike Shanahan in 1995. Over a quarter-century coaching in Denver, Washington and Atlanta before arriving in San Francisco in 2017, Turner’s backs have produced 16 seasons of 1,000 yards rushing by eight different players—and that doesn’t include the 1,015 yards by Raheem Mostert this year because Mostert’s total includes playoff games and the others do not. Six of those eight backs came to Turner either off the street or drafted in the fourth round or later: Terrell Davis (196th pick), Olandis Gary (127th), Mike Anderson (189th pick), Reuben Droughns (off waivers), Alfred Morris (173rd pick) and Devonta Freeman (103rd pick). His rushing leaders with the Niners in 2018 and ‘19, Matt Breida and Mostert, were undrafted.

The Turner coaching style fits both Shanahans’ one-cut-and-get-upfield ethos. He’s so valuable because coaches know every year before the draft he’ll find a tarnished or underrated gem. It was Turner, the rookie NFL coach, who was adamant in the sixth round of his first draft: Take this kid from Georgia, Terrell Davis. He’s an every-down back. Great running backs don’t have to be the shiniest prospects. As Turner once said: “It’s like with your wife or girlfriend—when you see her, I mean, it’s like love.”

With the top backs on the Niner depth chart, Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman, battling injuries for much of their collective time in San Francisco, Turner has honchoed Mostert and Breida into Super Bowl staples—although no one will know till game day whether the main back this week will be Coleman (shoulder) or Mostert.

• The Lynch-Shanahan merger. Kyle Shanahan got the 49ers job three years ago, and he agreed to the gig before finding a GM. How’d he make a match with John Lynch, a FOX color man for NFL games? “I had just called his divisional playoff game [Falcons 36, Seahawks 20] in Atlanta,” Lynch told me on this week’s “The Peter King Podcast.” “I thought he did a brilliant job. I said so on air. I called him and said, ‘Sounds like you’re gonna have a great shot at this San Francisco [job]. Good luck in the NFC Championship.’ I remember in the conversation Kyle saying, The one thing I’m working through—I can’t find a GM I’d like to work with. Something was gnawing at me. I couldn’t go to sleep for about four days. I was supposed to be kind of on vacation because my TV season was over. I woke up one morning and I said, ‘What’s gnawing at me is what Kyle said.’ ” Lynch called Shanahan a couple of days before the NFC Championship Game. The conversation, as Lynch recalled, went like this:

Lynch: “What about me?”

Shanahan: “What are you talking about?”

Lynch: “What about me for the GM job?”

Shanahan: “Why would you do that? You’ve got a great job.”

Lynch, post-playing career, thought one day he might go to work with John Elway in Denver, because they’re friends and they’d discussed it before, or in San Diego, which he loved, and which was home. But before he knew it, Shanahan got CEO Jed York on a three-way call, and York and Lynch met in northern California about the job, and the match was made. It probably never happens if Lynch hadn’t picked up the phone after some sleepless nights three years ago.

• The challenge of the 49er pass rush. I asked my friends at Pro Football Focus for some statistical help this week on the formidable San Francisco pass-rush, which has nine sacks and 26 hits/significant hurries on the quarterback in two postseason games. Logically, with the Niners front healthy and playing productively, you’d figure it could be the biggest factor in the Super Bowl. Now I’m not so sure. With a fit front in these playoffs, San Francisco pressured Kirk Cousins, on average, 2.43 seconds after the snap; and, with Aaron Rodgers, 2.58 seconds after the snap. On average, that means San Francisco is pressuring the quarterback about 2.5 seconds after every passing snap. Patrick Mahomes, over the past two years, has a 120.3 rating and 5,248 passing yards when throwing in 2.5 seconds or faster. That’s the best in the NFL since the start of 2018.

For the Niners, it’s a very good thing that the secondary has ramped up its game. PFF figured that the San Francisco secondary had the NFL’s second-best season-long grade when quarterbacks threw in 2.5 seconds or less. Translation: Against the Niners, Mahomes won’t be home free just because most weeks he throws efficiently when pressured. Most weeks you’re not facing Richard Sherman.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

How to watch the 2023 NFL honors: TV, live stream info, date, awards, location, and more

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The 12th annual NFL Honors will take place this Thursday, February 9 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona–just a few days shy of Super Bowl 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Live coverage begins at 9 PM ET on NBC and Peacock. Coverage will also be available on NFL Network. See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 NFL Honors.

RELATED: How to Watch Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

What is the NFL Honors?

The NFL Honors recognizes the league’s best performances, plays, and athletes form the 2022 season. This year’s celebration will be particularly special as Kelly Clarkson–an Emmy and Grammy award winning artist–will be the first woman to host the show.

What awards are presented at the NFL Honors?

  • Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
  • Best Moment of the Year
  • NFL Fan of the Year
  • AP Most Valuable Player
  • AP Coach of the Year
  • AP Comeback Player of the Year
  • AP Offensive Player of the Year
  • AP Defensive Player of the Year
  • AP Offensive Rookie of the Year
  • AP Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • NFL Inspire Change Tribute
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023
  • FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year
  • Salute to Service Award
  • Bud Light Celly of the Year
  • Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
  • Deacon Jones Sack Leader Award
  • AP Assistant Coach of the Year

How to watch the 2023 NFL Honors:

  • Date: Thursday, February 9
  • Location: Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Time: 9 PM ET
  • TV Channel: NBC and NFL Network
  • Live Stream: Peacock

Everything you need to know about Super Bowl 2023:

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

 

Eagles Super Bowl history: When is the last time Philadelphia made it to, won the Super Bowl?

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After a dominant 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles are vying to earn their first Super Bowl win since the 2017 season, when they defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Jalen Hurts and the Birds will go head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 2023. Find out how to watch below as well as a full breakdown of the Eagles’ Super Bowl history. Click here for a look back on the Eagles’ journey to football’s biggest game of the year.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks

Eagles total Super Bowl wins

One (2017 season). The Eagles have won one of their three Super Bowl appearances in franchise history. The Eagles appeared in four pre-merger NFL championship games, where they won three of them (1948, 1949 and 1960).

Most recent Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl appearance

  • 2017 season: Defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII

The Eagles were victorious in their last Super Bowl appearance. The victory was a redemption 13 years in the making, after the Eagles lost to Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX in the 2004 season, 24-21.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023: Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Philadelphia Eagles most recent Super Bowl win

That 2017 appearance was of course Philadelphia’s most recent Super Bowl triumph, and one of the most memorable Super Bowls in history. The game is most remembered for the heroics of quarterback Nick Foles, who stepped in late in the season to replace the injured Carson Wentz, and for Foles’ catch on the trick play known as the “Philly Special.”

Eagles Super Bowl history

  • 1980 season: Lost Super Bowl XV vs the Oakland Raiders, 27-10
  • 2004 season: Lost Super Bowl XXXIX vs the New England Patriots, 24-21
  • 2017 season: Won Super Bowl LII vs the New England Patriots, 41-33

How can I watch and live stream Super Bowl 2023?

  • When: Sunday, February 12, 2023
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • TV Channel: FOX
  • Follow along with ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports for NFL news, updates, scores, injuries, and more

RELATED: Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.