There is just one game left in the NFL this season, and that is Super LIV featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. This should be an interesting battle as it features one of the league's best defenses in the 49ers versus one of the league's best offenses in the Chiefs.
There are stars on both sides of the ball, and this should be one for the ages. This year's game is set to kick off at 6:30 pm ET Sunday from the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
The 49ers earned their berth to the Super Bowl by winning the NFC with a 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers. In that game, running back Raheem Mostert was dominant for San Francisco, as he rushed 29 times for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
Equally as impressive was that the 49ers' dominant defense held Green Bay scoreless in the first half. As dominant as they can be, though, they will still be in for a tough matchup with the Chiefs' offense.
The Chiefs flexed their muscles on the offensive side with an AFC-winning 35-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans. In that game, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
While Kansas City isn't known for a dominant defense, it was able to slow down Derrick Henry in the game, a task it may have to try to repeat with the run-first 49ers.
The Chiefs come into this one as 1.5-point favorites playing at the neutral site. The over/under for total points scored is set at 54.
By The Numbers
These were two of the top-ranked teams in terms of points per game. The 49ers were second in the league, averaging 30.2 points per game. The Chiefs were just behind in third, averaging 29.8 points per game. It is worth noting that Kansas City's offense was a little more dynamic, while the 49ers utilized their defense more to contribute to their offense.
Defensively, the 49ers hold the advantage, ranking fifth in terms of points allowed, giving up 18.9 points per game. The Chiefs ranked 10th overall, allowing 20.2 points per game.
49ers Look To Stifle Mahomes
The 49ers have spent a season dominating opponents on defense. If they can shut down the Chiefs, they will deserve to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The leaders on defense for San Francisco this season have been Fred Warner (118 tackles), Arik Armstead (10 sacks) and Richard Sherman (three interceptions). With players like Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford also on the defense, it is a unit built to win a championship.
Offensively, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went 329 of 476 for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In the postseason, though, the 49ers have really concentrated on the run game, limiting the exposure of Garoppolo.
Garoppolo's favorite target is tight end George Kittle, who had 85 catches for 1,053 yards and five scores.
San Francisco dominated on the ground by giving a healthy dose of rushes to Raheem Mostert (137 attempts for 772 yards and eight touchdowns). Between Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida, the 49ers will constantly look to attack on the ground.
Reid Looks For Elusive Lombardi Trophy
It is undeniable that Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in NFL history; however, the one thing that has escaped him is the elusive Super Bowl win. He is hoping that this is the year that the narrative is changed. He certainly has the team to do it, led by Mahomes.
Mahomes led the Chiefs with 4,031 yards passing, 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Even more impressive is that he missed several games with a knee injury and still put those numbers up.
Mahomes' leading receiver this season is tight end Travis Kelce, who has 97 catches for 1,229 yards and five touchdowns. Throw in playmakers like Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Damian Williams, and it is an offense that is as explosive as it gets.
Taking The Chiefs
It is always tough to nail down a sure bet in Super Bowls. With all of the advertisements, halftime shows, and other hoopla of the game, it is hard for players to always find their normal routine. Still, on its biggest stage, stars always tend to perform, and for that reason, I like Mahomes and the Chiefs.
They have already shown they can beat a run-first team in the Titans, and I think if Garoppolo is forced to throw it a ton, the 49ers will have a tough time keeping up. I wouldn't blame you if you took a bet on the 49ers' defense holding tough, but for my money, the better bet is on the Chiefs at just -1.