Super Bowl LIV is going to be one of the most entertaining games within the modern era.
Both teams are among the league’s best in scoring average with the 49ers scoring 30.2 points per game behind only Baltimore and the Chiefs following closely behind them with a scoring average of 29.8.
They are also both among the league’s best defenses with the Chiefs allowing only 19.3 points per game and the 49ers only letting up 19.4.
Statistically speaking, these teams cannot be more evenly matched than they are right now.
So, predicting this matchup should be relatively difficult, but the 49ers are going to beat the Chiefs 27 – 20.
The old saying “defense wins championships”, seems to have some validity as of recently. However, I think there is a more convincing argument in the importance of the run game in a team’s ability to win games.
During this season, of the top five passing teams, only one made the playoffs, which happens to be the Chiefs, who are in this game.
However, this year, four of the top five rushing teams made the playoffs with the top two both earning one-seeds. The depth of the 49ers backs allows them to control the pace of the game and have multiple options if Mostert isn’t off to a hot start. The extreme talent difference at quarterback is easily mitigated if the ball is rarely in Patrick Mahomes hands and the time of possession leans in favor of the 49ers.
Let’s say the Chiefs do get off to a hot start and the game quickly becomes a shootout. Well, the 49ers and Chiefs both have nine games in which their teams have scored more than 30 points this season. This shows the capability of the 49ers to score despite the obvious difference at QB. They put up these points due to the genius of Kyle Shanahan, their head coach.
One of the largest differences that we will see in this game is the level of coaching provided by Shanahan versus Andy Reid.
Andy Reid is notorious for getting his fans hopes up with very high records in the regular season only to choke in the playoffs.
While Shanahan is young and lacks experience, the drastic change in success over this year can largely be attributed to his ability to coach. He has taken less than stellar talent offensively and crafted the second most productive team this season.
You can count on Kyle Shanahan making weird offensive plays in order to beat this solid Kansas City team.
However, when all of my predictions of how this game will go are inevitably wrong, we can still enjoy the fact that we aren’t watching the Packers play in yet another Super Bowl.