Fri, 05 Mar 2021

One way or another, there's history to be made

24 Jan 2021, 17:12 GMT+10

Three of four head coaches Sunday looking for first Super Bowl trip Mike Spofford

GREEN BAY - There's not much left to talk about.

As "Path to the Playoffs" recently transformed into "Road to the Super Bowl," conversations about seeding, possible opponents, home field and the like have filled this space.

But that's all over with when the NFL is down to just four teams. Sure, there's no knowing who might be waiting in two weeks if another win is chalked up, but worrying about those options is misspent energy.

One win means a trip to the Super Bowl. That's it, that's all.

So here are some other thoughts to take into Championship Sunday, when one way or another, there's history to be made.

Of the four head coaches doing battle, only one has taken a team to a Super Bowl before - Kansas City's Andy Reid. He was also the only one of the four at this stage last year who could make that claim, having guided Philadelphia in 2004, and now he's also the only one who can say he won one.

Interestingly, though, the other three head coaches - Green Bay's Matt LaFleur, Tampa Bay's Bruce Arians and Buffalo's Sean McDermott - have reached a Super Bowl as an assistant coach, just not as a head coach, yet.

LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach for the 2016 Atlanta Falcons, who beat the Packers in the NFC title game to advance to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Tom Brady-quarterbacked New England Patriots.

With Pittsburgh, Arians was the wide receivers coach on the 2005 Steelers team and the offensive coordinator on both the '08 and '10 teams that reached Super Bowls. Pittsburgh won those first two titles but lost to the Packers in that most recent trip.

McDermott was Reid's assistant defensive backs coach for the '04 Eagles and then in 2015 was the defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, but he went 0-2 in those Super Bowl appearances.

To round out the discussion, before he became a head coach, Reid was an offensive assistant with the Packers on their back-to-back Super Bowl teams in '96 and '97.

Reid ended a monstrous 50-year Super Bowl drought for the Chiefs last year, and now the other three are looking to end franchise absences of varying lengths.

LaFleur is pushing to get the Packers back to a Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years, but that pales in comparison to the others.

Arians is trying to end an 18-year drought for the Buccaneers, while McDermott is aiming to make the Bills' 27-year wait last no longer.

Last but not least, Buffalo is the only franchise of the four left standing without a Super Bowl championship, while Kansas City is looking to become the NFL's first back-to-back champion since the 2003-04 Patriots.

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