On Sunday, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, in Miami Gardens, Florida. After what most would describe as an exhilarating NFL season, 60 minutes of play will determine which team will claim the title of 2019 Super Bowl Champions, and football fans everywhere will be looking to fill their vacant Sunday afternoons until September.
Looking into the Matchup
Kansas City, who has defeated the Texans as well as a red-hot Titans team on their way to Hard Rock Stadium, has shown its explosive ability on the offensive side of the ball. The Chiefs have scored 86 points in their last two playoff bouts and will need to continue their offensive success if they want to beat this versatile 49ers team. San Francisco, who has eliminated both playoff teams coming out of the NFC North, continues to demonstrate its ability to limit the amount of points given up to its opponents. While many consider the 49ers to be defensive team, their offense has been more than complementary, accumulating 64 points in its last two contests while the defense has held both teams to a combined 30 points.
Kansas City must find a way to contain San Francisco’s run game, along with running back Raheem Mostert, who rushed for 220 yards and four scores against what most would consider a well-rounded Green Bay defense. If the Chiefs’ defense can make Jimmy Garoppolo uncomfortable and force him to throw the ball down field into coverage, then it comes down to Patrick Mahomes and offensive weapons Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to make plays as they have been all season.
San Francisco on the other hand, must find a way to establish the run game out of the gate, and needs to exploit Kansas City’s weak core of linebackers. If the 49ers defense has to find a way to neutralize Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns, as well as added 53 yards and a score on the ground against the Titans. If they are able to do so, then this could turn into a defensive battle, as opposed to a shootout, which should bode well in San Francisco’s favor.
While experts are finding it difficult to predict the outcome of this game, this matchup does present a few interesting components. For starters, Kyle Shanahan’s last Super Bowl appearance came when he served as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, who blew a 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Activating his short term memory, Shanahan has brought San Francisco to a Super Bowl in just his third season as their head coach, following a 4-12 2018 season. Andy Reid, who’s last Super Bowl appearance came as the Philadelphia Eagle’s head coach in 2005, also knows what it feels like to lose to the New England Patriots on the big stage. Reid, who took the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game just last year, looks to capitalize on his first trip back to the Super Bowl in the past 15 years.
Both teams secured first-round byes, both head coaches have lost to Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl, and both fan bases are optimistically counting down the days until the Lombardi Trophy has arrived in their beloved city.
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