Thursday, February 22, 2024

Ranking every Super Bowl LVIII starter, 49ers not happy with their practice field plus Pro Bowl recap

Ranking every Super Bowl LVIII starter, 49ers not happy with their practice field plus Pro Bowl recap

Here’s everything you need to know about the NFL for Feb. 5

Getty Images


Normally, I wouldn’t start with all caps, but it’s the Super Bowl, and I thought you guys needed to know how excited I am to be in Las Vegas for it. That’s right, I’m in Vegas. For the next five days, our team here at CBS Sports will be covering anything and everything there is to know about the Super Bowl, and we’ll be doing it from Vegas. We’ll have live coverage coming at you all week. 

That starts with today’s newsletter where we’ll be breaking down the biggest storylines from the Super Bowl, plus we’ll be ranking EVERY single starter in the game. 

Also, If you want to see me in video form this week — and who doesn’t — the higher-ups decided to give me an hour each day to talk about the Super Bowl with Ryan Wilson and Will Brinson, and the three of us will be setting up shop right in front of the Bellagio Fountain. That will be coming to you at 8 p.m. ET every week day, and you can watch it for free on CBS Sports HQ by clicking here

As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the Pick Six newsletter. To get your friends to sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share this link with them. 

1. Today’s show: Breaking down the biggest Super Bowl storylines


Getty Images

With the Super Bowl just six days away, we decided to get ourselves excited for the big game by going over all the BIGGEST storylines heading into Super Bowl LVIII. 

Here are a few of the storylines that Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I talked about for Monday’s episode: 

  • All the pressure is on Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers coach has a history of struggling in the big game. Not only was he the offensive coordinator for the Falcons when they blew that 28-3 lead to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, but he also watched his 49ers blow a 10-point lead to the Chiefs in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. Shanahan hasn’t been able to win the big game and with his team favored to come out on top, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on him this week. 
  • Will Patrick Mahomes catch Tom Brady’s record for Super Bowl wins? If you would have asked me this question just LAST YEAR, I would have probably said no, but I’m starting to think that he actually has a chance to do this. If the Chiefs win on Sunday, that would give Mahomes three before he turns 29. That could definitely give him a fighting chance to at least tie Brady’s record of seven.  
  • If the Chiefs win, where does Andy Reid rank on the all-time coaching list? Reid is easily one of the 10 best coaches in NFL history and if the Chiefs win on Sunday, I’d say you could put him in the top five. That would put Reid in the same conversation as some of the coaching greats like: Bill Belichick, Vince Lombardi, Don Shula and Bill Walsh. 
  • Do you trust Brock Purdy against the Chiefs defense? When Brock Purdy takes the field on Sunday, he’ll be facing the best defense that he’s seen this postseason. The Chiefs racked up the second-most sacks in the NFL and they surrendered the fourth-fewest passing yards, which means 49ers could have some serious trouble moving the ball through the air. I think he’ll struggle against Kansas City, but that might not matter for the 49ers if Christian McCaffrey has a big game on the ground. 
  • Has the Taylor Swift coverage gone overboard? Personally, I don’t think we can get enough coverage of Taylor Swift. If CBS wants to embed a camera with her during her flight from Tokyo to Vegas just to see if she makes it to the game, I’d be on board with that because I’m on board with all Swift coverage. It’s the Super Bowl. Everything about this game is big and Swift is one of the biggest celebrities in the world right now. 

We spent a good 3-5 minutes talking about each of these storylines. If you want to hear us break everything down on today’s episode, be sure to click here. You can also watch today’s podcast on YouTube by clicking here

2. Ranking all the starters in the Super Bowl 

I was under the impression that Pete Prisco was taking a vacation during the two weeks between the conference title games and the Super Bowl, but apparently, I was wrong. The reason we haven’t heard from Pete in a while is because Prisco has been busy ranking EVERY SINGLE STARTER on both teams for the Super Bowl. 

There are 11 starters on offense for both teams and 11 starters on defense for both teams, which means there are 44 starters in the game, plus Pete also ranked the nickel corners for both teams, so he’s ranking every starter from 1 thru 46. 

Here’s a look at his top five and his bottom five:

1. Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs QB)
2. Christian McCaffrey (49ers RB)
3. Trent Williams (49ers LT)
4. Travis Kelce (Chiefs TE)
5. Chris Jones (Chiefs DE)

42. Jon Feliciano (49ers OG)
43. Oren Burks (49ers LB)
44. Ambry Thomas (49ers CB)
45. Marquez Valdez-Scantling (Chiefs WR)
46. Mike Pennel (Chiefs DT)

If you want to see Prisco’s explanation for his rankings and if you want to know who falls in the six through 41 slots, be sure to click here. Most importantly, if you want to argue with Prisco about his list on Twitter, be sure to click here

3. Super Bowl Opening Night — aka media day — is today


Getty Images

The first night of Super Bowl week usually gets a little wild, thanks to the media frenzy known as Super Bowl Opening Night. Although things have been kind of tame over the past few years, I won’t be surprised at all if things get crazier than usual this year and that’s mainly due to the fact that we’re in the crazy capital of the country: Las Vegas. 

Here’s a look at when each team will be available for the event, which will be held at Allegiant Stadium: 

  • The Chiefs coaches and players will be front and center from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET. There will be multiple podiums set up for player interviews and although the NFL hasn’t revealed the full list of Chiefs who will be getting a podium, you can bet that Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid will all be getting one. 
  • Starting at 9:15 ET, there will be a joint media session that involves both teams. This almost always involves both head coaches, both quarterbacks and one or two other players. After this interview is over, the Chiefs will head back to their hotel while the 49ers will stick around for their session. 
  • The 49ers coaches and players will meet with the media from 10 p.m ET to 11 p.m. ET. Every player will be at media night, but only a select few will be getting a podium, and for the 49ers, that crew will likely include Kyle Shanahan, Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Nick Bosa and Brandon Aiyuk, among others. 

If you want live coverage of the event, we’ll have it on CBS Sports Network from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET. If you won’t be around a television, you can also get full coverage by streaming things live on CBS Sports HQ (click here). I would highly suggest that you watch our coverage tonight and that’s mostly because you’ll get to see me and the special sports coat I bought for Vegas. 

For more information on Super Bowl Opening Night, be sure to click here.

4. Pro Bowl recap: Baker Mayfield comes up big in NFC win

After two days of action, the Pro Bowl came to an end on Sunday with multiple events, including a flag football game. I’m still not sure how the scoring works, but I can tell you that the NFC ended up winning the entire thing 64-59. 

Here’s a brief synopsis of everything that happened on Sunday: 

  • Baker Mayfield shines. During the flag football game on Sunday, the Buccaneers QB came home with the MVP after going 9 of 13 for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Although the NFC came away with the win, C.J. Stroud also had a big day, throwing for a game-high 172 yards, along with three touchdowns. Geno Smith was the only other QB to throw for more than 100 yards — he threw for 154 — but he also ended up throwing three interceptions. 
  • Keenan Allen and Amon Ra St. Brown come up big. It’s easy for receivers to put up big numbers in flag football and we saw that on Sunday. St. Brown finished with a game-high 10 catches for 117 yards and he also added a touchdown. As for Allen, he was a scoring machine with three touchdown catches. The Chargers receiver caught a total of nine passes for 90 yards (Allen also threw a TD pass, which you can see here). CeeDee Lamb didn’t touch the ball often, but he made the most of it when he did: The Cowboys receiver caught five passes, with three of them going for touchdowns. 
  • AFC wins Kick-tac-toe. In the most important competition of the day, the AFC beat the NFC in Kick-tac-toe, thanks to Justin Tucker, who came up in the clutch. The Ravens kicker was facing Brandon Aubrey and both guys needed to hit a middle spot to get tic-tac-toe (Tucker needed the top middle spot, Aubrey needed the middle spot). You can see Tucker’s winning kick here.  
  • NFC destroys AFC in tug-of-war. In what might go down as the fastest tug-of-war match in Pro Bowl history, the NFC took down the AFC in roughly seven seconds. In the AFC’s defense, the NFC team did have a 43-pound edge with their roster of tuggers. If you want to know what it looks like when a team loses at tug-of-war in less than eight seconds, be sure to click here
  • To the victor go the spoils. The one upside of coming out on top in the Pro Bowl is that each NFC player will be getting some serious bonus money for winning. While the AFC players will be going home with $44,000, the NFC players will be taking home $88,000 for winning. For a rookie like Detroit’s Jahmyr Gibbs, that’s a huge day: He’ll be getting a bigger check from the Pro Bowl win than he did from any single regular-season game this year.

If you want all the details from the NFC’s win, be sure to click here so you can check out our full recap from Jordan Dajani and Jeff Kerr

5. Super Bowl news and notes: 49ers not thrilled with their practice field


Getty Images

With the Super Bowl just six days away, we’ll be sharing plenty of Super Bowl stories with you this week, and that will be starting right now with this Super Bowl roundup.

Let’s check out the Super Bowl news and notes: 

  • 49ers unhappy with practice field in Vegas. The 49ers are practicing at UNLV this week, and apparently, they’re not happy with the field there. CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones has reported that the 49ers don’t like the firmness of the field. The team will test out the conditions during a Monday walk-through and if they still don’t like it, it will be interesting to see what the NFL does. You can read Jones’ full story here
  • Patrick Mahomes’ dad charged with DUI. The last thing you want to deal with during Super Bowl week is a distraction, but Patrick Mahomes is now in that situation after his dad was arrested and charged with a DUI over the weekend in Texas. The elder Mahomes was charged with “driving while intoxicated third time or more,” which is a third-degree felony charge that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted. You can get the full details on his arrest here
  • Jerick McKinnon could play in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs running back hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury on Dec. 17, but he could be back for the big game. McKinnon has been designated to return from injured reserve, which means the Chiefs will have the option to move him to the active roster if he looks ready to play. McKinnon once played for the 49ers (2020) and he definitely did NOT enjoy his time with the team
  • The matchup that could decide the Super Bowl. If you’re looking for a matchup to focus on in the big game, Jeff Kerr has it: The 49ers pass-catchers against the Chiefs’ secondary. With Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and even Christian McCaffrey, the 49ers have a lot of weapons in the passing game, but there’s no guarantee they’re going to be successful, especially since they’re going up against a Chiefs defense that surrendered the fourth-fewest passing yards in the NFL this year. You can read all about the matchup here
  • Inside Travis Kelce’s playoff transformation. The Chiefs tight end struggled at times during the regular season, but he was able to turn it on for the playoffs. How was he able to do that? Jeff Kerr decided to take a look at why Kelce has been so good in the postseason after what was a below average regular season for him. You can read Kerr’s story on Kelce here
  • Brock Purdy is one of the youngest quarterbacks to ever start a Super Bowl. The 49ers QB will be the third-youngest quarterback in NFL history to start a Super Bowl. The only two quarterbacks younger than him both lost, and if you want to know who they are, be sure to check out our full story here
  • Super Bowl cheat sheet. If you’re just a casual fan who hasn’t been following the 49ers and Chiefs too closely this season, here’s everything you need to know about them.

Finally, Jeff Kerr sat down and ranked the 10 best Super Bowl quarterbacks to never win a Super Bowl and if you want to see his full list, be sure to click here

6. Extra points: Kliff Kingsbury ditches the Raiders for Washington

It’s been a busy weekend in the NFL, especially with coordinator hirings, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

  • Kliff Kingsbury spurns Raiders. Going into the weekend, it looked like Kingsbury was going to take the OC job in Las Vegas, but that deal fell apart, so now, he’s headed to Washington to take the offensive coordinator job with the Commanders. You can check out the full story here. The Commanders had a busy weekend as they also hired a new defensive coordinator in Joe Whitt Jr. 
  • Raiders find a replacement for Kingsbury. After getting burnt by Kingsbury, the Raiders moved on to their second option, and that option was Luke Getsy. The former Bears offensive coordinator is expected to be hired for the same job in Las Vegas
  • Chargers expected to hire Greg Roman. It looks like Jim Harbaugh is getting the band back together. When Harbaugh was with the 49ers, Roman was his offensive coordinator, and now, Roman is likely headed to L.A. with him. The twist here is that it doesn’t look like Roman will be the OC, but he will have a “prominent” spot on Harbaugh’s coaching staff, according to You can check out our full story here
  • Dolphins make defensive coordinator hire. The Dolphins have officially hired Anthony Weaver as their defensive coordinator. The 43-year-old Weaver has been an NFL coach since 2012 and he spent his past three seasons with the Ravens, which means Baltimore is going to have another hole to fill on its coaching staff. 
  • NFL QB retires to joins Packers’ coaching staff. After six seasons in the NFL, Sean Mannion has decided to retire, but he’ll still be staying in the league. The 31-year-old backup QB, who went 0-3 in his career as a starter, is expected to join the Packers’ coaching staff, according to
  • Bill Belichick pens thank you letter. Belichick might be grumpy, but he seems to have a big heart. The former Patriots coach bought a full page ad in the Boston Globe, and he used the ad to pen a thank you letter to Patriots fans. You can see the full ad here
  • Le’Veon Bell eyeing possible NFL return. The former Steelers running back wants to make a comeback, and he wants to do it with the Steelers. Bell hasn’t played since 2021 and the Steeles have two talented running backs on their roster, so I’m not sure this is going to work out for Bell, but you can read more about his plan here

Our Latest NFL Stories

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles


Subscribe to stay updated.