When the coronavirus pandemic brought the NFL to a screeching halt this spring and summer, the league lost organized team activities and mandatory minicamps.
The lost offseason means players new to teams will have less time to jell with teammates before the regular season begins. This could give teams with more continuity an advantage, and the Super Bowl LIV participants — the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers — are among the league leaders in snaps returning.
The Chiefs rank No. 2 overall in returning snaps with 84.7% while the 49ers are not far behind at No. 4 with 82.6%. The Niners also rank No. 1 overall in defensive snaps returning.
For a full list of returning snaps across the league, click here, but here’s a deeper look at how the Chiefs and 49ers feel about what they have coming back during these extraordinary circumstances. With Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, a tight salary-cap situation and a roster with few glaring holes, the Chiefs believed their best chance for winning a second straight Super Bowl championship in 2020 was to run things back with as many of the same players and coaches as possible.
They didn’t know this at the time, but as things would turn out in a season unlike any other, this strategy could provide big advantages when there are no in-person offseason conditioning programs and no spring practices or mandatory minicamps.