Bold Predictions for the Big Game (Spoiler Alert: We like the 49ers).csudhbulletin February 2, 2020 0 COMMENTS
The photo is of the stadium where the Chiefs play. The city is called Kansas City, but most of that town is in the state of Missouri. That’s about all we know of Kansas City, besides the fact they’re going to lose today.
By Jeremy Gonzalez, co-sports editor
The NFL’s 100th season is coming to an end at Super Bowl LIV in just about an hour and the Bulletin is looking forward to what should be an an intense showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.
The two teams’ histories could not be more different. San Francisco is one of the most storied NFL franchises, boasting five championships and only losing once in their six appearances to the big game. That loss came at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII back in 2013, which was the 49ers’ last trip to the Super Bowl.
The Niners are seeking their sixth Lombardi Trophy, which would equal the record held by the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kansas City has played as underdogs in two of the most influential Super Bowls, including the first where they lost to legendary head coach Vince Lombardi and his Green Bay Packers 35-10. Their second appearance was in Super Bowl IV, a 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in what would be the final ever game between the AFL and NFL.
Fast forward 50 years and the Chiefs have finally returned to the Super Bowl, assuming the role of underdogs once again.
Plenty of buzz and excitement surrounds this season’s edition of the game.
On one side, there is an offensive juggernaut that is led by arguably the game’s most exciting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, who can never be counted out (see Divisional Round matchup against the Houston Texans). He can produce big plays by throwing it downfield, running for yards with his legs, or a combination of both where he runs to extend the play and finds an open receiver while making nearly impossible throws.
Speaking of receivers, the Chiefs have perhaps the speediest group the NFL has ever seen, with Tyreek Hill leading the way. Add Sammy Watkins and Second Team All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce into the mix and the Chiefs can shred NFL defenses in numerous ways.
Kansas City’s defense performed well down the stretch in the regular season but hasn’t been as stingy in the postseason.
On the other side, a powerful 49ers pass rush is ready to greet Mahomes. They boast a deep front four that can produce a sack at every position, including Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Bosa. One year ago, they were a 4-12 team with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. They took Bosa with that pick, and look at where they are now. The defense will need to be nearly perfect when they face Mahomes, who is probably the most electrifying player on either team.
San Francisco have 57 sacks including the playoffs, with Dee Ford, Bosa, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner all having at least seven and a half sacks.
The 49ers don’t have to rely on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo since he’s been more of a game manager behind a monstrous running game. Raheem Mostert was thrown in as a starter in the NFC Championship game after Tevin Coleman went down with an injury. Mostert rewarded the team’s faith in him with 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
San Francisco mirrors Kansas City at the tight end position, producing an All-Pro tight end of their own, George Kittle. They also have a group of receivers that are willing to rise to the occasion when called on, led by veteran Emmanuel Sanders and fearless rookie Deebo Samuel.
With all the buzz surrounding the highly-anticipated matchup, some of the Bulletin sports writers came together to give their predictions about the Super Bowl:
Brian Hinchion, staff writer:
There are four reasons San Francisco will hoist their sixth Lombardi trophy Sunday night; Dee Ford, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Nick Bosa. All combine to form a defensive line that gives opposing quarterbacks nightmares and when described can be summed up briefly as game wreckers. Their speed, strength and technique will over power a solid Kansas City offensive line, allow the 49ers linebackers to control the underneath routes and give the Niners defensive backs time to cut off the Chiefs speedy wide receivers. Mahomes will get his, but so will the 49ers running game.
San Francisco 31, Kansas City 27.
Jackson Cascio, staff writer:
Classic battle between a historic defense and one of the most lethal offenses this decade. A battle of young versus old at the head coach position. The Kansas City Chiefs have the best player in football who can make every play in the book. The San Francisco 49ers boast a defensive line built out of athletic first-round picks. In this battle, high-octane, highlight reel plays will occur but as the saying goes, defense wins championships. Robert Salah’s defense in San Francisco is going to win this fight.
San Francisco 34, Kansas City: 28.
Julissa Casillas, staff writer:
The 49ers will emerge victorious because they have a better defense. Complementing the solid defense is an outstanding running game, allowing them to control the clock which will keep Mahomes and company off the field. We will witness a shootout that will be considered an instant classic for a long time.
San Francisco 38, Kansas City 35.
I absolutely agree that this will be a classic. This is the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. One of them will have to cave in, and I believe the Chiefs will be the ones to cave. While Mahomes is spectacular, this 49ers team is one of the most complete teams I have seen entering a Super Bowl and the defense will prove to be too much for the Chiefs offensive line.
San Francisco 24, Kansas City 21.
Two things to note about this Super Bowl: 1) both teams are fully healthy and ready to roll. Neither team had players listed on their final injury reports. 2) the 49ers will be in white jerseys and gold pants. They are 2-0 in the Super Bowl when they wore this previous color scheme.
Chances are, Mahomes and his teammates, along with the 49ers, will produce one of the most enjoyable Super Bowls in recent memory.