An epic showdown for the ages will serve as the swan song for the 2019 NFL season when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV. Despite the paths towards the destination being different, both teams head to Florida with a common goal of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and being immortalized as NFL champions.
The Chiefs come into the game with the best quarterback in football in Patrick Mahomes. His electric playmaking abilities helped carry the team past the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans in the playoffs. A year after breaking a plethora of records and winning league MVP, Mahomes is on the verge of winning his first Super Bowl title in only his second year as an NFL starter.
Of course, the 49ers will have something to say about that.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is in his second full season as a starter as well. His poise and patience under center, coupled with the ferocious 49ers defense, helped the team roll over the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.
Does defense really win championships?The cheeseheads never stood a chance.
San Francisco’s defense eviscerated quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in the NFC Championship. They snuffed out the magic and knocked out the future Hall of Famer on their road to Super Bowl LIV. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo only threw six pass completions for 77 yards and zero touchdowns. It was all about the defense and running back Raheem Mostert for San Francisco.
Packers’ defensive players are probably still hearing Mostert’s cleats pound against the grass in their dreams. The veteran running back ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns on a night when the 49ers piled up 285 total rushing yards.
“It’s my favorite part of football,” 49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle told NFL.com’s Michael Silver. “Moving a man from Point A to Point B is the greatest feeling you'll ever feel. You’ve just got to trust me – there’s nothing better than that s---. [Our coaches] said before this game, ‘We’re gonna run it till they stop it.’ So we did, and they didn’t stop it, and we kept running and running some more.”
It’s no secret the Chiefs have some Swiss cheese-sized holes on their defensive front. They are ranked 25th against the run this season with opponents averaging 123.9 rushing yards per game against them. There really is no secret to what the 49ers are looking to do in the Super Bowl. The goal is to run the football, win the time of possession and keep Mahomes off the field.
San Francisco finished the season ranked second behind the New England Patriots in average yards allowed on defense. They’ll be going head-to-head with the No. 3-ranked scoring offense in the league with the best quarterback. One blink and the defense could be staring up at the lights with a referee giving a standing eight-count. There is no defense too big and bad to get knocked out by Mahomes.
Is Mahomes the new Mount Rushmore QB?
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! No, it’s Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes dropping a 60-yard touchdown pass into the awaiting hands of speedy receiver Sammy Watkins, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Titans’ 2019 NFL season.
“I mean, it’s amazing. It really is,” Mahomes said after the game, via ESPN.com. “To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And we’re not done yet.”
There is no question that Mahomes already passes the eye test as the most talented quarterback to ever step onto a football field. Of course, that’s as far the conversation goes unless he’s somehow able to match the ridiculous championship accolades set by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Yes, Mahomes is the most talented, but there is only one greatest of all time player at that position.
But Mahomes still has time on his side.
A year after winning NFL MVP, the 24-year-old quarterback will have an opportunity to win his first Super Bowl. He’ll be facing one of the best defensive teams in the league this season in the 49ers. They have certainly been the best defense throughout the playoffs. The Chiefs have the fourth-ranked passing offense in the league taking on a top-ranked passing defense that is only allowing 173.8 yards per game through the air. There aren’t many high-flying moments against the 49ers defense.
The Chiefs did a great job of slowing down Titans running back Derrick Henry, but they’ll face an even greater task of overcoming the offensive wizardry of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Kansas City’s 17th-ranked defense is allowing 351.7 total yards and 20.2 points per game. It will basically be human chess on the football field.
- Chiefs are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- 49ers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
- 49ers are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- 49ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win.
- 49ers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.