49ers, Chiefs clash in Super Bowl LIV

Three of four staffers take Kansas City to win first title in 50 years

The 49ers and Chiefs will meet up in Miami for Super Bowl LIV on February 2.

Photo Courtesy of Niners Noise

The 49ers and Chiefs will meet up in Miami for Super Bowl LIV on February 2.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The NFL reaches its season finale on Sunday, with Super Bowl LIV in Miami when 

the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs meet for the NFL championship. 

The 49ers are looking for their first title in 24 years, sixth title overall, while the Chiefs look to earn their second Super Bowl title, with their last coming 50 years in Super Bowl IV.

A year removed from a 4-12 season, the 49ers have made it to the big game for the first time since 2012. With home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, the Niners took down the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers to advance.

The main reason for the 49ers’ success: defense. Led by rookie Nick Bosa and veteran Dee Ford, the Niners have wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks the whole season, and the playoffs have been no different. 

Even when the Niners don’t get to the quarterback, good luck getting the ball past their stout cornerbacks, led by Richard Sherman. Aside from one missed play against the Packers, the Niners have completely shut down the deep plays for other teams.

As was the case against the Packers, the offense will need to be effective to keep control of the game. Against Green Bay, the offense more than did its part, scoring 37 points behind a historic game for Raheem Mostert, who rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns.

Because of their dominant rushing game, the Niners have hardly used quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a primary weapon during the postseason. Against the Niners, Garoppolo channeled his inner Ryan Tannehil, completing just six passes for 77 yards on eight attempts. While Garoppolo likely won’t be throwing 40 passes on Sunday, expect him to be a bigger part of the offense.

But the secret to the Niners offense lies in George Kittle. He’s basically a human wrecking ball, who has destroyed opposing defenders en route to becoming one of the best tight ends in football. He leads the league in yards after the catch, so if he’s on his best game against the Chiefs, then the Niners will be able to score efficiently and control the tempo of the game.

Representing the AFC, the Chiefs have finally made it back to the Super Bowl, avenging last year’s loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. 

With their newfound savior Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs have shed their perception of being a good regular season team who falls apart in the playoffs. Now all they have to do is win one more game and years of constant playoff heartbreak will be all forgotten.

As it has been for the last two seasons, the heart of the Chiefs lies in their offense. Following an offensive onslaught against the Texans, the Chiefs kept the good times rolling, pulling away from the Tennessee Titans in the third quarter to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years.

Photo courtesy of The Spun
With Patrick Mahomes leading the offense, the Chiefs can always win

 

Mahomes is almost the perfect quarterback to have against a team like the 49ers. 

His ability to stretch the field with his laser arm with pinpoint passing will and has sliced through every kind of defense teams have thrown at him. When he’s hitting hit targets, he may be one of the most unstoppable quarterbacks we’ve ever seen.

Even when plays falls apart, Mahomes is terribly difficult to bring down. He’s a very mobile quarterback, which the Niners have struggled against at times this season. Even when Mahomes scrambles out of the pocket, he’s still capable of slinging a 30 yard pass. The Niners front seven will have a tough time taking Mahomes out of his rhythm.

Of course, it helps to have good receivers, and the Chiefs have plenty. Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and Tyreek Hill lead one of the most lethal receiving cores in football. Their speed and agility are matched by none, and it will be interesting to see if the Niners will be able to keep up with them for a full game.

But as always, the problem lies in their defense. In the playoffs, their defense has struggled mightily in the first half, giving up 41points, more points than the Niners have given up in total across their two playoff games. The Niners are at their best when they jump ahead early and rely on the defense, so if the Chiefs fall behind by 10 or 13 points early, they could be in trouble.

I predict the 49ers will start strong with a touchdown on their first drive, but from there Mahomes will take over, leading his team right down the field and not stopping. 

The Chiefs will play in front for the majority of the game, but will give the Niners a chance to win with a touchdown on the last drive of the game. 

I expect Garoppolo’s low usage in the playoffs to come back to bite the Niners, as he will overthrow Emmanuel Sanders on fourth down from the Chiefs’ 30 yard line, sealing their loss. The Chiefs will prevail, and Andy Reid will finally win the Super Bowl that has been missing from his Hall of Fame coaching career. Prediction: Chiefs 34, 49ers 30

Here’s how some of our other staff thinks Super Bowl LIV will play out, and which team will win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce looks to be a big x-factor against the 49ers.

Brian Barr, Californian adviser: Chiefs 37, 49ers 34

The last time the Kansas City Chiefs were in the Super Bowl on Jan. 11, 1970, I was almost two weeks old. That’s not a typo. TWO WEEKS.

Yes, it’s been that long and I’m that old. So needless to say after 50 years of suffering through a string of quarterback rejects trying to lead the way and disastrously brief playoff runs, the Chiefs are due. 

Chiefs Kingdom finally has a quarterback to call their own. In just two seasons, Patrick Mahomes has proven he won’t shrink from the playoff moment. This is saying something after Chiefs fans watched talented teams over the past 30 years come up short behind quarterback retreads Steve DeBerg, Dave Kreig, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac, Matt Cassel, and Alex Smith. (Is it a coincidence that the 49ers kicked nearly all of these guys to the curb for more successful signal callers?)

Yes, we did inherit the iconic Joe Montana from San Francisco for two strong seasons, including a great run to the AFC Championship Game after the 1993 season. But after the Bills knocked out Montana with a concussion early in the third quarter of that game, all hope was lost and the Chiefs waited another 25-plus years to return to the AFC title game last season.

Which brings us back to Mahomes. He had us on the cusp of the Super Bowl last year (thank you Dee Ford) and this year he finally did it. And he will be the X-factor in Sunday’s game. 

Yes, the 49ers have the better defense and a dominant d-line, but the Chiefs have one of the best offensive minds in coach Andy Reid calling plays and Mahomes’ unbelievable ability to make something out of nothing. Throw in an Olympic track team at wideout in Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins, one of the game’s best tight ends in Travis Kelce, a serviceable run game and a stout offensive line, and the Chiefs can outscore any opponent.

Plus, Kansas City’s defense is vastly improved over the second half of the season. And with Chris Jones back to anchor the line, the Chiefs’ former Achilles heel in not being able to stop the run isn’t nearly as weak. Exhibit A: Titans running back Derrick Henry 69 yards, 19 carries in the AFC title game.

Granted, the 49ers run game is much more creative than bashing Henry into the line and Jimmy Garoppolo is much better than the Titans Ryan Tannehill. But the Chiefs can also counter with some game-changing playmakers in linebacker Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu. Garoppolo is always good for at least one bone-headed pass a game, and don’t be surprised if it winds up in Mathieu’s hands.

Bottom line, it’s going to be a heck of a game, one Chiefs fans have been patiently anticipating for half a century. It’s the Chiefs time. It’s Andy Reid’s time. They’re both way overdue. 

Ben Olsen, staff writer: Chiefs 35, 49ers 31

I think Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense will come out swinging. In both playoff games this year, the Chiefs have overcome double digit deficits. 

I predict the Niners will receive first and score on the opening  possession, but then the Chiefs will score, stop the Niners, and score again to get out to a 14-7 lead. The Chiefs have had a whole two weeks to prepare on defense, and I think they will force Jimmy Garoppolo to pass the ball, which he only did eight times in the NFC Championship Game. 

Ultimately I think the Kansas City offense will be too much for the Niners defense to contain.

Max Hove, Staff Writer: 49ers 38, Chiefs 35

Photo courtesy of Niners Wire
The Niners, with a stout defense and high octane offense, look to win their sixth Super Bowl.

 

As a Niners fan I have followed the team for years, and I do think the Niners will win. But there are a few important things that need to happen in order for them to have their sixth Super Bowl title.

First of all, for all Niners fans Public Enemy No. 1is the reigning MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs second-year QB is known for escaping pressure and throwing incredible bombs down the field to his speedy recievers. So if the Niners can pressure and disrupt Mahomes with their very skilled D-line, and they can smother their recievers, they will have success. 

Second, in their playoff games, the Niners have run the ball so much that Jimmy Garoppolo only had to throw eight passes last game, and the Niners scored 37 points. Raheem Mostert has been on fire and he has broken records with his rushing as of late. If the Niners can successfully run the ball over the Chiefs and keep the ball out of Mahomes’ hand, the Niners have a great chance to be world champions again.