At long last, the game everyone has waited for has come.
Super Bowl LIV aims to be one of the best in recent history—and that’s saying quite a bit.
It truly is the tale of an unstoppable force against an immovable object.
That unstoppable force is the Kansas City Chiefs offense, led by rising star Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes burst onto the scene as one of the top Div. I college prospects out of Texas Tech and since taking over the starting job, he’s only led the NFL in every major statistical category there is.
While his numbers are down in his second full year as the Chiefs’ starter, they aren’t down by much.
Earlier this season, he dislocated his kneecap on a quarterback sneak attempt and was forced to the sideline for just three weeks.
That type of injury has the potential to end players’ careers.
Nonetheless, Mahomes returned with a vengeance only to be upset by the Tennessee Titans.
Since then, the Chiefs have been unstoppable.
With a Week 17 loss by the New England Patriots, the Chiefs and Ravens jumped up to the top two spots in the AFC.
Sunday’s matchup with the 49ers really will showcase a Chiefs offense that will want to spread the field and get vertical.
They have the talent to do it, highlighted by the NFL’s fastest man—Tyreek Hill.
Hill has recorded over 860 yards with seven touchdown grabs this season.
He’s capable of a big game as well.
In back-to-back weeks, Hill posted totals of 140 and 157 yards against Minnesota and Tennessee.
When he’s not Mahomes’ top target, tight end Travis Kelce is.
Kelce has recorded over 1,200 receiving yards and found the end zone five times this season.
Quite simply, Mahomes has the ability to diagnose a defense perhaps as cleanly as Aaron Rodgers.
Oh, and speaking of Mahomes, he’s thrown 26 touchdown passes and been intercepted all of five times in the 2019 season.
A win on Sunday could move him into uncharted territory as the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl and MVP before he was 25.
He checked off the MVP award in 2018 and the only thing standing in his way is arguably the most complete team in the NFL—San Francisco.
The Niners battled their way to the No. 1 NFC seed after finishing just 4-12 a season ago.
Jimmy Garoppolo is back after an ACL tear that happened last season against the Chiefs.
While he certainly hasn’t led as flashy of an offense, San Francisco has the ability to dictate a game’s tempo with a run game that can control the clock and a defense that is capable of getting off the field on third down.
That type of combination could spell disaster for the high-octane offense of the Chiefs.
While Garoppolo grabs all the headlines, which is typical with a quarterback, the key to the Niners’ game plan has been Raheem Mostert’s ability to move the chains.
He’s scored eight touchdowns and rushed for 772 yards this season.
His ability to find the creases between the tackles opens up the playbook for a quarterback as efficient as Garoppolo.
San Francisco’s defense is nothing to scoff at, either, ranking second in the league in yards allowed at just over 280 per game.
Ten times this season, the 49ers defense has held opposing teams to 20 or fewer points.
That’s a winning recipe for any team.
For the 49ers to win on Sunday, Mostert will have be able to move the chains on third down and give Garoppolo high percentage play opportunities.
Keeping the Chiefs’ defense honest will allow San Francisco to pick and choose when to attack downfield.
For the Chiefs, it’s a matter of challenging the athleticism of the 49ers secondary and pass rush against the speed and talent on the edge.
Twice this postseason, the Chiefs have had to rally from a slow start.
If Kansas City is able to get out to a fast start and attack the 49ers defense early, it may be San Francisco forced to play catch up—a style in which the Niners aren’t built for.
Kick off is set for 5:30 on Sunday.