Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II (15) evades San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (94) in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Garic: Inside the 49ers vs. Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV matchup

Kristian Garic
February 02, 2020 - 12:07 pm
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Unlike last year, I think this could end up being a massively entertaining game.  The wonder kid, freak of an athlete at quarterback for the Chiefs, Pat Mahomes II, is making his first Super Bowl appearance in his young but promising career.  This might be Mahomes’ first, but likely not his last.  On the other hand, it is also a first for GQ Jimmy Garoppolo. It is interesting to think about if the draft had gone differently for these players, they both were coveted by the Saints coming out of college.

QB vs QB:  You have to give the edge here to Pat Mahomes. This guy does things with the football that most humans can’t.  If you asked…who could threaten Drew Brees’ passing records, my answer would be Mahomes. Take nothing away from Jimmy G, he’s a fine quarterback, he’s just not as good as Mahomes. The Chiefs signal caller is the reigning MVP and has been sensational in the post-season.

In the trenches:  The 49ers have the edge here and it’s probably not even close. The front four for San Francisco is incredibly tough. The 49ers have 57 quarterback sacks in the regular season and post season. The Chiefs have done a good job of protecting Mahomes, giving up just 25 sacks. Kansas City will be tested in this game. Mahomes mobility will also be the x-factor; the question being - how many sacks the 49ers can tally in the Super Bowl? The Chiefs pass rush is nothing to sneeze at, with 48 QB takedowns. 

Running game:  The 49ers come off the bus running the football. After struggling for most of the season to stop the run, the Chiefs defense has buckled down in the post season. San Francisco averages 144 yards per game on the ground. The Chiefs surrender 98 yards a game to opponents’ rushing attack. The Niners clearly have the edge here. San Francisco does a great job of hitting you in the running game from just about every angle possible. This is the key to the game. The Chiefs want to make Jimmy G beat them through the air.

Kelce vs Kittle:  Which Tight End will be the difference-maker? Travis Kelce (Chiefs) and George Kittle (49ers) are the two best in the league.  They are both incredibly explosive and are big focal points in their respective offenses.   This is a wash; each team has a great tight end.

X-factor:  Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill is the man. He’s the explosive element in Kansas City’s offense. If Hill has a big game, it will go a long way towards a Chiefs win.

Big Red:  No, I’m not talking about the 49ers, I’m talking about Chiefs coach Andy Reid.  How does anyone not like this guy?  I’m pulling for Reid to win his first Super Bowl that will undoubtedly cement his bust in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Points:  Both the 49ers and Chiefs average just under 30 points per game.  This is going to be so much fun to watch.  I expect a high scoring game, and probably the most speed we’ve seen collectively on the same field in a Super Bowl matchup.  I’ve seen the 49ers at field level, their speed is overwhelming. 

Prediction:  I’m torn. My heart is with Kansas City. I’m pulling for Andy Reid and Pat Mahomes. My head tells me the 49ers are the better team. Pat Mahomes solves the riddle that is the 49ers stingy defense and pulls one off for the ages.  Nah, nah, nah…I’m not falling into that trap.  Defense, Defense, Defense coupled with a nearly unstoppable rushing attack always trumps great quarterback play.  49ers 33 - Chiefs 25.    

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