SETTING THE SCENE: The key facts and figures as 32 NFL teams begin the march to next February’s Super Bowl.
Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be looking to go one better than the Kansas City Chiefs last season as they bid to become only the eighth team to retain the title. Last season the Bucs were helped to victory by veteran quarterback Tom Brady, who had joined their ranks after 19 seasons with the New England Patriots. On the way to Super Bowl glory, Brady surpassed the all-time record for touchdown passes in the NFL, adding three more to his tally against the Chiefs in the main event itself, to take him to 581.
However, Brady’s place as one of the all-time NFL greats was already secured long before his transfer to the Bucs, with him having guided the New England Patriots to six Super Bowls since beginning his career in 2000, including back-to-back triumphs in 2003 and 2004. Two further wins in 2017 and 2019 for the Massachusetts based team equalled the Pittsburgh Steelers’ record of six Super Bowl wins, under the current NFL format.
Only two NFL teams remain from the original founding of the NFL in 1920 – the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals. Despite their long history they have only managed three Super Bowl appearances between them, with the Bears successful in 1985.
Brady might be the most decorated player in NFL history, but he commands a comparatively modest salary of $25 million, that is when compared to the NFL’s highest earner, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who takes home a hefty $45 million each year.
The Jacksonville Jaguars won only one game from 16 last season and consequently had first pick in the NFL Draft for this season. They selected 21-year-old quarterback Trevor Lawrence, after his impressive displays for Clemson University, the same school that produced top Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson.
This season’s Super Bowl will be held on February 13 at the SoFi Stadium in California. With a capacity of just over 70,000 it is far from the biggest NFL arena, able to hold 30,000 less than the Dallas Cowboy’s AT&T Stadium.
All roads lead to Super Bowl Sunday an event that stops the American nation and is famed for its extravagance. NFL executives have even called for a three-day weekend due to a perceived lack of productivity on the Monday afterwards, where 6% of the US workforce are said to call in sick. But perhaps that is hardly surprising given that a whopping 14 billion burgers are consumed in the US alone on the day – that’s more than the UK consumes in a whole year!