There are just a few days left until the kick-off of Super Bowl LIV!
The Players are all in Miami and training in the warmer February weather has begun. Which brings up an interesting meditation: do the San Francisco 49ers hold an advantage over the cold-weather Kansas City Chiefs?
Gameday weather is expected to have a high of 74 and a low of 58, which, San Fran is temperate, it’s been around 60 in the day time and lows in the upper 40s and lower 50s. Meanwhile over in Kansas City, it hasn’t been brutally, cold, but’s it’s been snow weather, and the high in Miami is a solid 30 degrees warmer than anything they’re seeing over there in that part of Missouri. So, it shouldn’t be a huge factor, but the Niners might hold up just a bit better to warm Miami air.
Super Bowl LIV Picks abound show the Kansas City Chiefs maintain their favoritism on the top online sportsbooks at 1.5 points. I guess this makes sense when you look at things from a road game perspective. Both teams are on the road, so those are the stats that many are looking at.
But I have a hard time giving away points with the Kansas City Chiefs … not after seeing how the 49er defense completely shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The level of domination is not reflected in the final score. It looks like the Packers made a game of it, but really they have just shoved around all game long.
On the flip side, the Kansas City Chiefs played a back and forth game against the Tennessee Titans, falling behind by a total of ten before taking over and winning the game. So, if I had to go with who put up a more impressive showing in the conference championship games, I would definitely say the 49ers looked like the best team in the country.
So how did they do it?
On the ground. Jimmy Garropolo only passed the ball 8 times. He did connect on six of those passes for 77 yards gained, but the game was won – on the offensive side of things– by running the ball. The smashed it into the Packers gut … then would hit them on the edge. Something that is important to remember is that Green Bay’s defense is Top 10 and elite. It’s what carried them as far as the NFC Conference Championship. Still, they had no answer for the ground attack. This doesn’t bode well for a Chiefs team that has the No. 24 ranked run defense in the league. In fact, it plays right into the 49ers’ strengths.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a passing team. They haven’t had nearly the same type of offensive balance as in previous years since Kareem Hunt left. They only average 99.94 rushing yards per game which is 22nd in the league and they rely on Mahomes wonder-arm. But the thing is, the 49ers have the No.1 pass defense in any situation, home or away.
Aaron Rodgers did throw for 326 and 2 touchdowns, which is to be expected out of arguable the best gunslinger in the modern era. But it was too little and way too late. The Packers didn’t get anything rolling until the 4th quarter. The key was getting to Rodgers. They managed to get after one of the slipperiest pocket shufflers in the business, forcing 3 fumbles, making all the difference in the world.
Mahomes is younger and more fleetfooted, but don’t count on him not taking hits or getting stripped of the ball. The Niners have shown that they’ll do it to any QB. Meanwhile, Mostert had 29 carries and rushed the ball for 220 yards and 4 TDs. KC, fans, sorry to break it to you but Green Bay is much stouter against the run than the Chiefs, so we should see a similar measure of success with the Niners ground game. That said, the Chiefs do have an extra week to study tape and adjust.
All in all, this one is going to be close, but I cap the game out the other way around, with the 49ers as slight favorites. The Chiefs will score, so will the Niners. But San Francisco will control the clock and ultimately win the game.