🏈 Super Bowl Preview

What you need to know for Sunday, NFL awards, NBA trade deadline, and more...

It’s FRIDAY! Buckle up, folks, because we have a doozy of a letter this morning. Some may even call it… Super. While the gridiron waits quietly for Sunday, the NFL handed out its annual awards, naming its league MVP, the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024, a surprise Comeback Player of the Year, and more. It was also a hectic day in hoops, as a series of “Woj Bombs” went off just minutes before the NBA trade deadline. But most importantly, we have a mouthwatering Super Bowl preview. It’s the biggest game of the year, so, yeah, we did it big. Everything you need to know before kickoff is at your fingertips. Time to see who will be adding a ring to theirs. Let’s go!

WTF Stat: Last night, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson became the only player ever to win two NFL MVP awards and a Heisman Trophy - Jackson’s first MVP came in 2019, and he won the Heisman playing for Louisville in 2016 when he was just 19 years old.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏈 NFL 2023-24 Honors

Photo: Fashion Jackson | Source: Sports Illustrated

Before we get to the big game, some hardware was dished out last night in Vegas that we'd be amiss not to share…

2023-24 NFL AP Awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

  • Head Coach of the Year: Browns’ Kevin Stefanski

  • Offensive Player of the Year: 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey

  • Defensive Player of the Year: Browns DE Myles Garrett

  • Comeback Player of the Year: Browns QB Joe Flacco

  • Offensive Rookie of the Year: Texans QB CJ Stroud

  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Texans DE Will Anderson Jr.

  • Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year: Steelers DE Cameron Hayward

  • Assistant Coach of the Year: Browns DC Jim Schwartz

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024

  • Andre Johnson (HOU WR)

  • Dwight Freeney (IND DE)

  • Devin Hester (CHI PR/KR)

  • Julius Peppers (CAR DE)

  • Patrick Willis (SF LB)

  • Randy Gradishar (Senior)

  • Steve McMichael (Senior)

See all the NFL honors awarded last night here.

🏈 The Red & Gold Rematch

Photo: Super Bowl 58 | Source: Yahoo Sports

Super Bowl LVIII Preview

#3 Kansas City Chiefs (11-6) vs. #1 San Francisco 49ers (12-5)

  • Sunday, Feb. 11, 6:30pm ET, CBS

  • Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV - home of the Raiders

  • Broadcast Crew: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson

  • Halftime Performer: Usher

  • Odds: SF -2.5, Total 47.5

Top Storylines

  • Sunday’s game will be a rematch of 2020’s Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs erased a 10-point deficit in the 4th quarter to win 31-20. It was QB Patrick Mahomes’ first Super Bowl appearance and HC Andy Reid’s first ring. Since then, Kansas City has returned to the Super Bowl three times; They lost to Tom Brady’s Bucs in 2021 but beat the Eagles last year. A victory on Sunday will give the Chiefs back-to-back titles and their third in five years, cementing the next great dynasty in NFL history.

  • While Mahomes faced the majority of the 49ers’ current core in Super Bowl 54, a different quarterback, Jimmy Garroppolo, was under center for San Francisco. Garroppolo has since been replaced by Brock Purdy, whose rise from Mr. Irrelevant (the last pick of the 2022 Draft) to MVP candidate has been one of the most improbable and inspiring stories in the NFL over the last season and a half. Of all the Mr. Irrelevants, no quarterback has ever started in a Super Bowl, let alone won it. If Purdy can capture the Lombardi Trophy, his Cinderella run will be just that — a fairytale.

  • San Francisco is seeking revenge, and perhaps nobody wants it more than HC Kyle Shanahan. The 44-year-old coach is one of the most renowned offensive minds in football but has suffered a pair of colossal collapses on the game’s biggest stage. In addition to squandering a 10-point lead to the Chiefs in 2020, Shanahan was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator in Super Bowl 51, when Atlanta infamously blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots and lost in overtime. But Shanahan has the chance to make history for another reason Sunday: If the 49ers win, he will join Mike Shanahan as the only father-son tandem to each win Super Bowls as head coaches.

  • Chiefs TE Travis Kelce dates Taylor Swift.

How They Got Here

  • Chiefs: Remember when Kadarius Toney was offside, and Patrick Mahomes threw a tantrum? Remember when the Chiefs lost to the Raiders in Week 16 to fall to 9-6? Well, reports of Kansas City’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

  • After stomping the Dolphins in the wild-card round and then knocking off the Bills and Ravens as road underdogs, the Chiefs will be playing in their fourth Super Bowl in five years. And while Mahomes’ greatness is well-documented, Kansas City’s calling card has been their defense, which allowed a second-best 17.3 points per game in the regular season, and has given up just 13.7 points per game in the playoffs.

  • 49ers: San Francisco was a Super Bowl favorite all season, and for good reason. They finished the regular season ranked in the top three in scoring offense (28.9 PPG), scoring defense (17.5 PPG), and total offensive yards (398.4 YPG). They had nine players named to the Pro Bowl, two more than any other team, including Christian McCaffrey and Brock Purdy, who finished third and fourth in MVP voting, respectively.

  • The Niners earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record, but they’ve looked vulnerable in the playoffs. They had to come from behind to edge out the Packers in the divisional round and then trailed by 17 points against the Lions in the NFC Championship before staging an epic comeback. Whether or not San Francisco will win its first ring since 1995 depends on which team will show up.

When the Chiefs Have the Ball

  • The Chiefs will look to exploit San Francisco’s star-studded defense on the ground. In basic measures, the 49ers allowed 89.7 rushing yards per game in the regular season, the third-best in the NFL. But most of their opponents were playing from behind, and their defensive rushing success rate (58.8%) ranked 27th. That metric has dipped to 49.1% in the playoffs, as they allowed 4.9 yards per carry versus Green Bay and 6.3 yards per carry against Detroit, leading to a whopping total of 318 rushing yards against. Kansas City is averaging 127.3 yards on the ground this postseason and will lean on bell cow RB Isiah Pacheco to wear the Niners down. San Francisco’s defense emphasizes getting upfield to rush the passer, making them liable to outside runs and trap plays, an area where the Chiefs excel.

  • The ability to run the ball is crucial for Kansas City because Mahomes has his work cut out for him through the air. San Francisco’s secondary graded third in pass coverage this season (92.1%), and 49ers DE Nick Bosa could wreak havoc against struggling LT Juwon Taylor, who’s allowed five sacks and 47 pressures this season while committing 20 penalties. To counter, Andy Reid will likely scheme up some quick hitters for TE Travis Kelce and WR Rashee Rice. Kelce has 22 catches for 262 yards and three touchdowns this postseason and is a crucial piece of an offense that lacks outside weapons. Combined with the rushing attack, the Chiefs will look to use the short passing game to move methodically while keeping the Niners’ high-powered offense on the sideline.

When the 49ers Have the Ball

  • Strength versus strength. The naysayers will accuse Brock Purdy of being a “system quarterback,” but his numbers are undeniable. He finished the regular season ranked in the top five in passing yards (267.5 YPG), passing touchdowns (31), and completion percentage (69.4), and his 9.6 yards per attempt led the league. On the other hand, the Chiefs’ defense is elite, particularly in the secondary; No team gave up fewer yards to wide receivers in the regular season than Kansas City, and their press coverage will make things difficult for star WRs Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel to find space. If the Chiefs successfully take them away, it’ll be up to TE George Kittle to create big plays against their linebackers. Kansas City’s backers have covered well, but the advantage lies with Kittle.

  • Containing the Offensive Player of the Year, RB Christian McCaffrey, will be an even greater challenge for Kansas City. As good as their defense has been, the Chiefs struggle against zone runs, allowing 4.9 yards per carry, the second-worst in the NFL. Meanwhile, the 49ers specialize in zone runs, averaging a league-best 5.1 yards per carry. The equalizer will be Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo, who found creative ways to neutralize the Ravens’ league-leading rushing attack two weeks ago and will have to do the same on Sunday. Spagnola will sell out to stop the run and try to force the Niners to beat them over the top, where the Chiefs will rely on their vaunted secondary to slow down Purdy and his dynamic weapons. It’s going to be an intriguing matchup on both sides of the ball, getcha popcorn ready!

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🏀 Deadline Drama

Photo: Me yesterday | Source: NBA

NBA Trade Deadline

It looked like it was going to be an eerily quiet deadline period just 24 hours ago, and then Thursday morning came. Surprisingly, no stars were shipped off, but a flurry of trades were made in the final hours before the three o'clock deadline, and to be honest, I could hardly keep up. However, I've (heroically) managed to list yesterday's biggest moves below:

Knicks land Bojan and Burks from Pistons

  • Knicks Receive: F Bojan Bogdanovic, G Alec Burks

  • Pistons Receive: G Quentin Grimes, G Evan Fournier, G Malachi Flynn, G Ryan Arcidiacono, two future second-round picks

Sixers send Pat Bev to Bucks, haul in Hield in three-team trade

Deal 1

  • 76ers Receive: G Cameron Payne, 2027 second-round pick

  • Bucks Receive: G Patrick Beverly

Deal 2

  • 76ers Receive: IND G Buddy Hield

  • Pacers Receive: PHI G Furkan Korkmaz, SA F Doug McDermott, 2024 second-round pick, 2029 second-round pick

  • Spurs Receive: PHI F Marcus Morris, 2029 second-round pick

Mavs make two moves for Washington and Gafford

Deal 1

  • Mavericks Receive: F PJ Washington

  • Hornets Receive: G Grant Williams, G Seth Curry, 2027 first-round pick

Deal 2

  • Mavericks Recieve: C Daniel Gafford

  • Wizards Receive: F Richaun Holmes, 2024 first-round pick

Thunder grab Gordon Hayward

  • Thunder Receive: F Gordon Hayward

  • Hornets Receive: G Tre Mann, F Davis Bertans, G Vasilije Micic

Nets deal Dinwiddie

  • Nets Receive: G Dennis Schroder, F Thaddeius Young

  • Raptors Receive: G Spencer Dinwiddie

Raptors acquire Olynyk

  • Raptors Receive: C Kelly Olynyk, G Ochai Agbaji

  • Jazz Receive: F Otto Porter Jr., G Kira Lewis Jr., 2024 first-round pick

See every deal made before the trade deadline here.

Photo: Chef Curry | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Golden State Warriors 131, Indiana Pacers 109: In an outrageous shooting display, Stephen Curry (42 PTS, 11-16 3PT) dropped 29 points in the first half and splashed 11 triples to rout Pascal Siakam (16 PTS, 8 REB) and the Pacers for the Warriors third straight win and their fifth victory in six games

  • Denver Nuggets 114, Los Angeles Lakers 106: Jamal Murray (29 PTS, 7 REB, 11 AST) torched the Lakers last year in the playoffs and continues to haunt them, as the Nuggets star hit a tiebreaking three and a dagger floater to halt a late LA run and top LeBron James (25 PTS, 9 REB, 7 AST) and company at Crypto.com Arena - Kobe Bryant’s statue was revealed pregame, and the Nuggets have now beaten the Lakers seven straight times

  • Dallas Mavericks 122, New York Knicks 108: After news broke that OG Anunoby would be out at least three weeks after getting elbow surgery, Knicks fans saw their day get even worse as Luka Doncic (39 PTS, 7-14 3PT, 8 REB, 11 AST) put on a show at the Garden to push Dallas past Donte DiVincenzo (36 PTS, 7-12 3PT) and an injury-riddled New York squad - Jalen Brunson sat out with a sprained ankle

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | #8 Arizona 105, Utah 99 (3OT): In a thriller out in Salt Lake, Utah’s Branden Carlson (27 PTS, 15 REB) was a problem in the paint, and Gabe Madsen (17 PTS, 5 REB) sunk a game-tying three with 19 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, but after three extra periods, Pelle Larsson (27 PTS, 8 AST) and Arizona prevailed to avoid the upset

  • NCAAW | #2 Iowa 111, Penn State 93: Caitlin Clark (27 PTS, 8-23 FG, 15 AST, 12 TO) moved within 38 points of the NCAA women’s career scoring record but had a relatively tough night. However, Hannah Stuelke (47 PTS, 17-20 FG, 15 REB) had the game of her life to rally Iowa past Penn State

  • NCAAW | #16 Virginia Tech 72, #3 NC State 61: Elizabeth Kitley (25 PTS, 13 REB) poured in a game-high 25 points, and Virginia Tech knocked down 11 three-pointers to knock off Madison Hayes (20 PTS, 7 REB) and the Wolfpack on their home floor

See the full men’s scoreboard here and the current rankings here. See the full women’s scoreboard here and the current rankings here.

NHL - Top Games

  • Boston Bruins 4, Vancouver Canucks 0: After laying an egg in a 4-1 loss to the Flames on Tuesday, the B’s got back on track thanks to a Linus Ullmark (17 SV) shutout and two-point nights from Charlie Coyle (2 A) and Pavel Zacha (1 G, 1 A)

  • Philadelphia Flyers 4, Winnipeg Jets 1: Tyson Foerster (2 G) lit the lamp twice in the 1st period, and Ryan Poehling’s (1 G) shorthanded goal in the 2nd gave the Flyers a 4-0 lead, as Philly carved up Kyle Connor (1 G) and the slumping Jets, who have now lost five straight games

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

In partnership with Splash Sports

Looking for more action this Super Bowl Sunday? Our Friends over at Splash Sports have some awesome fantasy contests running.

Here are the contests we’re joining:

The Fantasy Contest Rules:

  • Select 4 players, there are no positional requirements

  • Must select players from both teams

  • Must select 1 player from each of the 4 tiers

  • Each player accumulates fantasy points for their performance (score) in the game

  • When the Super Bowl begins, your lineup will lock, and no changes can be made

  • The team with the highest score wins

Last night, Texans QB CJ Stroud and Texans DE won the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards, respectively. When was the last time that one team represented both award winners?

A. 2022

B. 2017

C. 1988

D. 1967


  • NBA: Atlanta Hawks @ Philadelphia 76ers 7:00pm ET, NBA TV

  • NBA: New Orleans Pelicans @ Los Angeles Lakers 10:30pm ET, NBA TV

  • NCAAM: #18 Dayton @ VCU 7:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAW: Oregon @ #4 Colorado 9:00pm ET, Pac-12

  • NHL: New York Rangers @ Chicago Blackhawks 8:30pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • NHL: Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks 10:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open 1:00-8:00pm ET, Golf Channel / ESPN+


  • EPL: Everton @ Manchester City 7:30am ET, USA Network

  • NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks 3:00pm ET, NBA TV

  • NBA: Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors 8:30pm ET, ABC

  • NCAAM: #3 North Carolina @ Miami 4:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Gonzaga @ #17 Kentucky 4:00pm ET, CBS

  • NCAAM: #13 Baylor @ #4 Kansas 6:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Indiana @ #2 Purdue 8:00pm ET, FOX

  • NCAAM: Full Schedule

  • NCAAW: #22 West Virginia @ #18 Baylor 3:00pm ET, ESPN+

  • NCAAW: #7 Texas @ TCU 5:00pm ET, ESPN+

  • NHL: St. Louis Blues @ Buffalo Sabres 1:00pm ET, ABC

  • NHL: Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins 3:30pm ET, ABC

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open 3:00-7:00pm ET, NBC


  • NFL: Super Bowl LVIII 6:30pm ET, CBS

  • EPL: Manchester United @ Aston Villa 11:30am ET, USA Network

  • NBA: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat 2:00pm ET, ABC

  • NCAAM: #20 Florida Atlantic @ Wichita State 12:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAW: #2 Iowa @ Nebraska 1:00pm ET, FOX

  • NCAAW: #11 UConn @ #1 South Carolina 2:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: Full Schedule

  • NHL: Vancouver Canucks @ Washington Capitals 1:30pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open 3:00-7:00pm ET, NBC

Grab $20 off tickets to your favorite games, concerts and events using code TORCH20 at Vivid Seats - Promo is for first-time buyers and orders over $200!

Trivia Time Answer

A. 2022. For the second straight season, both the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year have come from the same team, as Jets WR Garrett Wilson and Jets CB Sauce Gardner won the respective awards last year. The Texans and Jets join the 2017 Saints (RB Alvin Kamara, CB Marshon Lattimore) and the 1967 Lions (RB Mel Farr, CB Lem Barney) as the only teams ever to sweep the awards.

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