Super Bowl LIV marks the first time the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will meet this season to go head to head for the Lombardi Trophy. The game will be played this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. As the most watched sporting event of the year approaches, America is placing predictions, bets, and wagers on how the game will play out, and if you’re one of those hoping to win big on a bet on Sunday night’s game, your wager is in good standing if you backed the Chiefs.
Both teams display the strengths necessary to make it to the final game, proving it will be an exciting match. The 49ers (13-3) have a very dominant defense and allowed the fewest passing yards in the league. San Francisco has a strong front in Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, and Dee Ford. This combined unit is very disruptive to their opponent’s passing game and will definitely pose a challenge to the Chiefs’ offense.
The Chiefs went 12-4 in their regular season and made an incredible comeback in their playoff match against the Houston Texans, dropping 51 points after being in a 24-point deficit. Unlike the 49ers, Kansas City finds most of their strength through their offense. It seems like there isn’t a defense able to stop quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who completed 65.7% of his passes and averaged 8.8 yards per attempt in their last two playoff games.
So what happens when two powerhouse teams collide to exhibit their strengths? The game will undoubtedly be interesting when the top team scheme battles top quarterback talent.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan is widely regarded as the driving force behind the 49ers’ success. He implemented the “outside zone” to his team’s offense. This makes their offense very run-heavy, utilizing running backs Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman. In the NFC championship game against the Packers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo only had eight pass attempts, allowing Mostert to explode for 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns against the Packers.
Tune in to the Howl’s very own ‘Down to the Wire’ Podcast next week for a follow-up of Sunday night’s Super Bowl game.
Sports Columnist Tanya Koomjohn will co-host.
The Chiefs will be able to hold this running game if they apply pressure like in their AFC title game against the Titans, only allowing 69 rushing yards. If the Chiefs can coerce the Niners’ offense to become shallow and one-dimensional, they will force Garoppolo to make mistakes and turnovers.
The Chiefs will additionally be able to succeed offensively if they exploit the 49ers’ cover three defense by using Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill in the seams of the field. These two players might as well be Olympic track runners as they bring a lot of speed to the offense. This fast attack could eventually tire out the 49ers’ defense and allow the Chiefs to convert.
The Chiefs can also rely on Mahomes who was named as the 2018 league MVP for throwing 50 touchdown passes. Only three quarterbacks of Kyler Murray, Andy Dalton, and Drew Brees have been able to throw 300 yards in one game against the 49ers. Mahomes will still be able to throw great passes at some absurd angles and get the job done. He seems to have fully recovered from his knee injury this fall and has really contributed to his teams’ passing game. Mahomes is currently the highest rated passer in NFL history at 108.9 (min. 1,000 attempts). This will definitely present many opportunities for Kansas City to attack and work around the 49ers’ defense.
The combined history of not making it to the Super Bowl in 50 years and losing in the AFC championship game last year against the Patriots will encourage and motivate the Chiefs to come out victorious. The attitude, intensity, and mentality of Kansas City will allow them to secure the Super Bowl title.
Tanya Koomjohn is a sports columnist for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl