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Super Bowl Preview and Prediction

Jan. 23, 2020 - Michael Stewart

Super Bowl Preview and Prediction

Introduction: The Super Bowl is just around the corner and the game between the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers has all the makings of a spectacular matchup. Both teams have talent on both sides of the ball; both teams have excelled on special teams throughout the season and into the playoffs. So which team has the edge? Currently the Chiefs are a 1 point favorite; which has been the lowest in recent years, but this should change before game time. Let’s take a look at each team and their strengths heading into the game:

Kansas City Chiefs:

Offense

The Chiefs are armed with arguably the most explosive offensive weaponry in the NFL as evident with their two playoff wins of 51-31 against Houston and 35-24 against Tennessee. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes conducted comebacks in both games and looked like a skilled surgeon throwing a total of eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Mahomes not only can hurt a defense with his arm, but he has shown the ability to run the ball when needed by leading the team in both wins in rushing yards (106 yards). TE Travis Kelce has benefitted the most as Mahomes main target with three touchdowns in the playoffs. Along with receivers Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill contributing on the outside.

Defense

The Chiefs defense has taken a back seat due the explosiveness of their offense. However; the Chiefs defense has playmakers in Frank Clark, Daniel Sorensen and Tyrann Mathieu. The Chiefs defense has surrendered 19.2 point per game and a total of 349.6 yards per game. Their bend but not break theory seems to be working well throughout the playoffs.

Special Teams

The Chiefs have arguably the scariest weapons in Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill in punt and kickoff coverage. Both players can change the momentum of a game on one play. The Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker and punter Dustin Colquitt will not put fear in any opposing team, but they have been steady.

 

San Francisco 49ers:

Offense

The 49ers two wins in the playoffs have been against Minnesota (27-10) and Green Bay (37-20) with both wins coming easily. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may not match the offensive numbers as his counterpart Mahomes, but his command of the 49ers offense and leadership has given the 49ers a steady influence under center. The 49ers are beating their opponents in the trenches with a solid running attack led by Raheem Mostert (278 yards and 4 touchdowns) and Tevin Coleman (126 yards and 2 touchdowns). Let’s not forget the importance that TE George Kittle could have in this game. Along with receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Deebo Smauel.

Defense

If the 49ers want to walk away with the Lomardi Trophy on Super Bowl night, the fate in this game could lie in their defensive performance. The 49ers have a handful of playmakers on defense, led by rookie Nick Bosa (3 sacks), Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Emmanuel Moseley. The 49ers defense can be the difference maker in this game; especially if their front 7 can control the line of scrimmage.

Special Teams

Richie James handles both the punt and kickoff duties and does a solid job. He is by no means as dangerous as Mecole Hardman or Tyreek Hill, but gives the 49ers a steady presence and solid contribution. Kicker Robbie Gould and Punter Mitch Wishnowsky might have a slight edge over the Chiefs, but it’s too close to call.

Final Thoughts:  This game could be decided not only in the final quarter, but in the final minute of the game as it’s that close of a matchup. Bascially; it’s the Chiefs offense against the 49ers defense. Throughout Super Bowl history, when team’s strengths (Offense-vs-Defense) were pitted against one another; the defense usually prevails more often than not. So what does that mean? Absolutely nothing. This game could boil down to one play, one turnover, one mishap or maybe the team who has the ball last will win. There’s no guarantees that one team has an advantage over the other team; it’s that close. The only guarantee I see is that this should be a very entertaining game filled with big plays on both sides of the ball.

Prediction

This game can go either way, but if I’m forced to give a prediction; I think the 49ers have a good chance to stealing a win over the high powered Chiefs and the difference will be the performance of the 49ers defense. If the Chiefs have trouble controlling the line of scrimmage and allow the 49ers defensive front 7 to put them in 3rd and long for most of the night. I don’t think Patrick Mahomes has enough magic in his right arm to consistently get the job done for the Chiefs. In the Chiefs first two playoffs games, they allowed the opposing teams to jump out to early leads, 24 points against Houston and then 10 points against Tennessee. If the Chiefs do the same against the 49ers, I believe the 49ers defense will prevent the Chiefs from making those comebacks against them. I think the both teams will move the ball and score enough points to give the fans their monies worth. But in the end, defense will prevail.

Final Score

49ers-31/Chiefs-27