SuperBowl LIV Preview
Words by Corey Benham
Sunday marks the final game of the 2019/20 season as the Kansas City Chiefs matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in Miami in the biggest game of them all... the SuperBowl!
The 49ers are looking to secure their 6th world championship whilst the Chiefs are looking to start the leagues next dynasty by winning on Sunday.
In the SuperBowl all past games mean nothing. Anything can happen on SuperBowl Sunday. The Patriots coming back from a 28-3 deficit against the Falcons, the Seahawks blowing out the Broncos for their first Lombardi Trophy and the Eagles beating the Patriots while being lead by a backup QB for their first Lombardi are just a few examples of this.
So what should we expect from both teams?
The Chiefs look very well rounded coming into this game in all 3 phases - Offence, Defence & Special Teams. As we already know their offence is lead by young superstar QB Patrick Mahomes who has absolutely set the league a light since entering the NFL. He has the ability to tear any defence apart with his elite arm skills and his underrated running ability, however their is one part of his game people don’t talk about enough... his leadership. “He’s not afraid to put a little pressure on you to make sure you do your job, he’s doing the same thing to himself, every day. If you’re playing with him, you better be ready to go.” This is what Kansas City HC Andy Reid had to say about Patrick Mahomes as a leader. This is going to be a massive part of Sunday’s game, for the Chiefs to win Mahomes is going to have to step up and lead them to victory. He isn’t going to be able to take a single play off all game. However he won’t be short of help. He has a great supporting cast around his featuring star players such as TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill. Once again if he is able to get the ball to his main playmakers they are going to make it very hard for the 49ers defence to keep up.
The Chiefs also have a very strong defence compared to last year. After adding DE Frank Clark & S Tyrann Mathieu they have become a hard to beat unit, Mathieu has the incredible ability to cover the whole field in the run & passing game showing the same kind of abilities as great safeties Ed Reed, Sean Taylor & Troy Polamalu. This makes it extremely difficult for opposing QBs to find safe places to throw the ball, because at any time Mathieu can turn up big and make a huge play for that defensive unit and that might be all it takes to steal a win in a game this big. As for Frank Clark I don’t need to say much. As if his regular season wasn’t enough to showcase him as a top tier pass-rusher he continued to make clutch play during all the Chiefs playoff games, coming up with big time sacks against the Texans & Titans. Look for him to continue this trend on Sunday against the 49ers.
With all that being said the 49ers are certainly no underdog in this game, they finished the regular with a 13-3 record compared to the Chiefs 12-4 record and they’ve had to go through the Vikings & the Packers just to get to the SuperBowl.
The 49ers have shown their ability to pound the rock and dominate time of possession all season. Especially in the NFC Championship game when Raheem Mostert ran the ball for 220 yards and 4 TDs off of 29 attempts. This was way too much for the Packers to handle as the 49ers dominated the cheese heads to progress to the big game.
However we mustn’t forget who they have under centre on the offensive side of the ball. QB Jimmy Garoppolo has turned this San Francisco franchise around since arriving in 2017 from New England, his offence has put up big points all year giving defensive co-ordinators sleepless nights as they try find a game-plan that can stop this well rounded offence. Jimmy G doesn’t have to do a lot to help this team win games. This was proven when he completed just 6 passes in their NFC championship win, however if he is able to step up and make more plays and get the ball to star TE George Kittle it will definitely take the pressure off the ground game which the Chiefs have definitely planned on stopping this Sunday.
I talked about the 49ers defence in my NFC Championship Game Preview so I won’t bother repeating myself too much, however this unit has earned the right to be talked about. Key players CB Richard Sherman, DE Nick Bosa, DT DeForest Buckner & LB Kwon Alexander are a huge part of why this unit has been so dominant this season they form a defence that is very hard to pick apart and its nearly impossible to pick out any weaknesses on this side of the ball for the 49ers. For the 49ers to keep this game close this defence is going to have to make some huge plays, play lights out football & continue to come up with clutch plays like they have done all year, if they can continue to do this then they are going to make this game very interesting and fun to watch!
This game shapes up to be one of the best SuperBowls in recent memory. Two great offensive and defensive units go head to head for the greatest prize in all of football, the Lombardi Trophy, a one of a kind ring & the chance to be immortalised in NFL history.
It’s a tough game to call but I predict the Chiefs will bring the Lombardi back to Kansas City for the first time in over 50 years in a close 41-38 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Key players to watch out for:
Kansas City Chiefs - TE Travis Kelce, DE Frank Clark & S Tyrann Mathieu.
San Francisco 49ers - DE Nick Bosa, TE George Kittle & CB Richard Sherman.