With the Divisional Round in the books, we now know the last four teams standing in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy. In the AFC, for the second consecutive season, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the AFC Championship Game against the surprisingly dangerous Tennessee Titans. In the NFC, the top two seeds will battle it out with the Green Bay Packers heading to San Francisco to take on the 49ers.
Here are the best possible matchups for Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
Aaron Rodgers. Patrick Mahomes. This is easily the most intriguing quarterback matchup between the potential pairings as two of most physically gifted quarterbacks to play the game will be center stage for all the world to see. It also represents the old guard (Rodgers) vs the new (Mahomes) in a game that represents the current state of the NFL. Not to mention, it would be a re-match of Super Bowl I. Very fitting for the league’s 100th season. (Conspiracy theorists talk amongst yourselves)
These two teams did meet earlier this season, a 31-24 Packers victory in October, however, it comes with one big caveat… it was Matt Moore NOT Mahomes under center. Fittingly, their first head-to-head matchup could come in the Super Bowl, a game Rodgers hasn’t been a part of since 2010 and a one the Chiefs haven’t participated in since they won Super Bowl IV.
This matchup would also offer an intriguing quarterback battle as you have two of the younger up-and-coming quarterbacks in Mahomes and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. However, it’s the overall matchup between the two OFFENSES that give this game a lot of appeal. On one side you have Andy Reid, one of the best offensive minds of this generation looking for his first Super Bowl win. On the other, Kyle Shanahan. The son of Super Bowl winning coach Mike Shanahan and one of, if not, the best young offensive head coaches in the league. The two of them matching wits on the big stage is hard to top. Of course, it will also be interesting to see how the stout 49ers defense can slow down this quick-strike Chiefs offense with talent at every level.
If you’re into defensive-heavy games, this may be the one for you. The 49ers defense, led by Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead and the like have been one of the best units all season. The Titans have come on late in the season and sport one of the more versatile and stingy defensive units in the league and proved it against New England and Baltimore on the road. For the 49ers, it will begin with trying to slow down Derrick Henry, who, at this point, has two straight games of over 180 yards rushing in the playoffs and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. And for the Titans, their criminally underrated secondary will need to hold the 49ers skill players like George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders from making a huge impact on this game.
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Unfortunately, one matchup has to be last on this list and that honor falls to the potential Titans and Packers showdown. First off, this is not meant to say this wouldn’t be an intriguing matchup. Far from it. It just lacks some of the “pizazz” of the other potential games in play. As mentioned before, this Titan’s defense is nothing to take lightly and it will be interesting to see how Mike Vrabel gameplans to stop Rodgers and the Packers offense. We all know Aaron Jones can do damage on the ground but how will Logan Ryan, Kenny Vaccaro, and Kevin Byard slow down the likes of Davante Adams and the Packers receivers?