On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will face off in Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Kansas City is listed as a 1.5-point favorite, which is one of the closest lines we have had in Super Bowl history.
Kansas City History
The last time the Chiefs won a Super Bowl title was 1969 when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the AFL-NFL Super Bowl Championship (Super Bowl IV). They will be looking to end their long drought against the 49ers 51 years later.
San Francisco History
The 49ers have a rich Super Bowl history, including their five championships between the years of 1981 and 1994. They also have 20 division championships and seven conference championships, making them one of the most successful franchises in NFL history.
On A Roll
The Chiefs have been on one of the most exciting playoff runs we have seen in a very long time. After two big comeback wins over both the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City has made its way to Miami to face the best defense it has played so far.
Patrick Mahomes will be leading the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl appearance of his young career after another successful regular season. Despite being injured for a few games this season, Mahomes still threw for 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also finished with the second-best QBR in the league.
Mahomes’ primary target this season has been the reliable tight end, Travis Kelce. While the Chiefs have other explosive weapons on offense like Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, Kelce has been their go-to player in critical situations and will play a big part in this game.
Kelce has 97 receptions this season for 1,229 yards and five touchdowns.
The 49ers will take on the Chiefs’ explosive offense in a classic game of a top defense against a top attack. After putting on a clinic against Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers’ offense should be well-rested and ready to hold up its end of the bargain in this matchup.
Jimmy Garoppolo has led San Francisco to the Super Bowl with 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions this season. While he has not been perfect this season, the 49ers’ defense has done enough to keep them in games and led them to a 13-win season.
Very similar to the Chiefs, the 49ers have one of the most solid tight ends in the NFL in George Kittle. Kittle has 85 receptions this season for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns. A significant acquisition for the 49ers this season was wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who has become one of their primary targets as well.
The X-factor for the Chiefs to me is safety Tyrann Mathieu. Everyone knows what the Chiefs’ offense will bring to the table, but they will need their defense to step up and slow down the 49ers’ offense if they want to walk away with this one.
Against the Packers, San Francisco was never challenged on offense, and it was able to control the whole game. Look for Mathieu to step up and make plays in the run game as well as lock down the top of the zone to prevent big breakout plays that could decide this game.
Rookie Nick Bosa will be the X-factor for the 49ers. It is almost impossible to beat the Chiefs in a shootout. If the 49ers want to slow them down, it will take their explosive front seven getting to Mahomes and throwing him off his game.
If Bosa can cause problems in the backfield, it could lead to turnovers that would put San Francisco back in control. If Bosa makes his presence felt in this game, Mahomes could struggle and force the Chiefs’ entire gameplan out the door.
What To Expect
Although the old saying states that defense wins championships, I believe the Chiefs’ ability to come back when down in big games, and their explosive offense will be too much for the 49ers to handle. Kansas City will walk away as Super Bowl champions.