The case for the Chiefs

The Chiefs are set to battle the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

The Chiefs are set to battle the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV

Jack Markowski, The Delphi Editor

Super Bowl LIV is set as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will face off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 2nd.

This game has all the makings of a classic, as one of the league’s most potent offenses, headed by Patrick Mahomes, will take on the stout defense of the Niners, led by rookie EDGE Nick Bosa, LB Fred Warner and CB Richard Sherman. Both teams bring weapons on each side of the ball, and the game should be tightly contested through all 4 quarters. However, the Chiefs have the advantage over the Niners, as K.C’s dynamic offense will prove to be too tough of a task for the 49ers to stop, even though they boasted one of the best passing defenses in the league this year. 

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Head Coach, Andy Reid, is preparing for his first Super Bowl win of his career.

The Chiefs offense has used several different scheme and personnel looks this year, which has played a major part in their success. They have used spread concepts, such as the Air Raid offense, efficiently at a consistent level in the NFL even though it’s been criticized by many in the league as a college offense, and the team has been extremely successful with Mahomes in the shotgun formation. Andy Reid, the Chiefs head coach, has been known to use RPOs (run-pass options) from both inside and outside zone schemes to combat different looks given by the defense, as well as giving the Chiefs’ playmakers a chance to get the ball with room to gain yards.

The league knows that Kansas City’s running game has been somewhat lackluster, ranking 23rd in the league in rushing yards during the regular season, but its passing offense, which ranked 5th in the regular season, has been so effective and rarely turns the ball over, which more than makes up for their lack of an efficient run game with weapons like Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman at Mahomes’s disposal. 

The 49ers offense has been no slouch this year either, as George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo and a 3-headed monster at running back for most of the season propelled them to the 4th-ranked offense in the league. The team has showed their dominance in this category by scoring 64 points in their playoff games against the Vikings and Packers, which included a 220-yard and 4 touchdown performance from breakout star running back Raheem Mostert.

While the Chiefs played Derrick Henry well in the AFC Championship Game, they still had the #25 run defense in the league, which doesn’t spell well for them considering the dynamic zone scheme the 49ers run and how well they have executed it as of late. The Niners will have to ground-pound if they want to have a shot in the game, as Kansas City’s defense finished 8th in the league in passing yards given up, a sound improvement from last season. 

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Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, would become the 2nd youngest QB to win the Super Bowl

San Fransisco’s defense ranked 2nd in total yards against and yards per play this season while also ranking inside the top-5 in team sacks. They have the advantage in the trenches, as Kansas City’s offensive line has struggled a bit this year. However, with a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, who has shown off his dual-threat ability and can make plays happen in motion while avoiding pressure, it’s a bit of an unknown as to how much the defense will help San Francisco. Audiences have seen Kansas City rack up points against top defenses all season, such as 33 against the Ravens and 26 against the Bears. They’ve proven they’re capable of standing up to top defenses. They have also put up 86 points through 2 playoff games and their offense has essentially been an unstoppable force since the 2nd quarter of the Divisional round game against the Houston Texans. 

It’s hard to envision the 49ers getting anything going through the air on Sunday, as they have shied away from the passing game (Jimmy Garoppolo attempted only 8 passes in the NFC Championship Game). Coupled with Kansas City’s stout pass defense, it’s evident that the 49ers will run the ball for a majority of the game. However, the Chiefs have held opposing running backs to 3.76 yards per carry in the playoffs. As dominant as San Francisco has been on the defensive side of the ball, the Kansas City offense is a different beast that will prove too tough to stop.

The Chiefs defense will hold up against the Niners offense and will give their offense plenty of time to work with, ultimately leading to the team’s first Super Bowl win since 1970 and potentially the first of many for Patrick Mahomes.