We are now two days away from kicking off Super Bowl LIV. The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to win their first championship in 50 years. Meanwhile, it has also been a long drought for the San Francisco 49ers. But with a win, they would now become Super Bowl champions for the sixth time. These two teams have fun, energetic personalities with both the players and coaches. Who will bring it home? Let’s give our final thoughts here, with our Super Bowl LIV game preview.
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Going into the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs defense was told they had no chance to stop the run. They held Derrick Henry to just 69 yards, and he had very little impact after the first quarter. Kyle Shanahan is amazing at designing run plays. Most of all, he combines blocking concepts, motion and misdirection to let his runners thrive. Raheem Mostert will likely get the bulk of the workload in Super Bowl LIV. And rightfully so. He went wild for 220 yards and four scores on the ground in the NFC Championship Game. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk is so essential on cutback or wham runs. Kansas City must be ready for him to come after them, full steam ahead.
There will be a plethora of ways and looks the 49ers will use, in order to dominate in the running game. However, the Chiefs have been fundamentally sound against the run in the playoffs. Being able to fill run fits and gaps will take focus and discipline. Chris Jones will have an important role in this aspect of Super Bowl LIV. Additionally, the importance of Mike Pennel, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Derrick Nnadi, along with Frank Clark and Terrell Suggs should not go unnoticed. If the 49ers cannot get the running game going, it will be difficult to outscore the Chiefs.
The Chiefs offensive line has been called a weak link for Super Bowl LIV. Obviously, they have a ferocious opposing pass rush to face in the 49ers. Above anything, San Francisco has to slow down Patrick Mahomes. They blitz very creatively. The Niners seem to easily confuse offensive linemen. With the idea of crisscrossing when blitzing, the Chiefs will have to be stout.
So far, Kansas City’s offensive line has done a splendid job of protecting Mahomes in the playoffs. This is not new to see from Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher. However, the interior has really improved since the regular season began. Stefen Wisniewski is the sneaky weapon of the interior offensive linemen. His experience will come in handy on Sunday. Whoever wins more in the trenches for 60 minutes, will win Super Bowl LIV. Kansas City is definitely up for the challenge. And if the 49ers cannot get to Mahomes, it could be a long day.
The Jimmy G Game?
There is a lot of respect being paid to Jimmy Garoppolo. He did not have to throw hardly at all in the 49ers last game. He is deadly accurate, especially in the play action passing game. San Francisco has arguably the best tight end in the league in George Kittle. Emmanuel Sanders has been a welcomed addition to the offense. Elsewhere, rookie Deebo Samuel can be used effectively in a variety of ways.
On the other hand, Kansas City will be eager to fly around in obvious passing situations. Tyrann Mathieu will always have his nose around the football. Bashaud Breeland seems to show up at the best moment in big time games. What a breakthrough season it has been for Charvarius Ward. If the Chiefs can stop the run and force more passes from Jimmy G, they will feel ecstatic. The 49ers will need long distance plays to outduel the likes of Mahomes and the Kansas City offense. At first glance, the Chiefs will feel comfortable in passing situations. They will likely provide heavy pressure early. This will force Garoppolo to be perfect against the blitz. Don’t sleep on the Niners QB. Yet, the Chiefs are very prepared for him in Super Bowl LIV.
In The Zone
The 49ers defense runs primarily a cover 3 zone coverage. Mahomes loves to go against zone. You would expect San Fran to tweak some tendencies and confuse the Kansas City QB. Nevertheless, Mahomes is not the only one who loves to go against zone. Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce all thrive in this area as well. The 49ers rarely give up plays over the top. But, that’s fine for these receivers. They can be just as dominant after the catch as the 49ers receivers.
Andy Reid will not hesitate to push the ball downfield, though. Richard Sherman and Jimmie Ward were definitely tested vertically by the Chiefs last year. That does not necessarily mean they will in Super Bowl LIV. However, the Chiefs have many way in which to beat you. Besides the dynamic options through the air, Mahomes can take off and run, or Damien Williams can carry you for extra yardage. We mentioned the 49ers use of motion earlier. Reid will still utilize motion on pass plays. If it is zone coverage, that should theoretically bode well for Mahomes and company.
That will wrap up our Super Bowl LIV game preview. This game is going to be so exciting to watch. Kansas City and Chiefs fans, enjoy this. It is time to watch the red and gold in a Super Bowl for the first time in half a century. Have fun! For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.