BY JONATHAN JOHNSON
Super Bowl LIV features two teams with a storied history.
The heavyweight bout features electric quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the Chiefs versus the looming Niners.
Mahomes has had a blistering start to his career in just three years. Mahomes, 24, will try to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Kansas City and end the team’s 50-year drought.
All that stands in Mahomes’ way is the San Francisco 49ers, who own more (five) Super Bowl trophies than Mahomes has playoff appearances.
The 49ers have the number one passing defense in the league allowing 169 yards a game. This means strength will meet strength when these two teams collide in Miami on Sunday.
Mahomes, the golden boy with the golden arm is surrounded with a trio of pro bowlers in wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, and tight end Travis Kelce.
Although the Chiefs have a wide receiver group that strikes fear in the hearts of most defensive backs, I don’t believe that alone is enough to win this game. When a stop is needed the Chiefs defense will inevitably fold. With more holes than Swiss cheese the 49ers will run the air out the ball keeping the Chiefs off the field.
If anyone can overcome the 49ers defensive line along with All-Pro Richard Sherman in its secondary it’s Mahomes. But just like last year’s AFC championship the defense will inevitably let him down.
The 49ers’ biggest strengths are their elite run game and pass rush. History tells us that a great defense will stop the most explosive offense. We saw it in Super Bowl L when red-hot Cam Newton was contained by the all-time great Broncos defense.
Kyle Shanahan will limit Mahomes possessions with his team’s run game. Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. That historic collapse against the prolific Tom Brady has prepared Shanahan for this matchup against the reigning MVP.
It will be a game of heroics. We will find out if the right arm of Mahomes is enough to single-handedly bring home the Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes is the best player in the league but Sunday he faces the best team in the league.
You need a team to win games like these. Mahomes will keep Kansas City in the game but it won’t be enough to put them over the top. From top to bottom the 49ers have a better roster, and just like all regular season they will likely run through the competition yet again.
49ers 31, Chiefs 24