Super Bowl LIV Preview: 49ers and Chiefs Set to Face Off in Offensive Battle


Tim Folliard
Sports Writer

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Millions of people will tune in to watch Super Bowl LIV, which takes place this Sunday in sunny Miami Gardens, Florida. Some of those viewers will be mainly watching for the commercials and halftime performance. Other than that, a football game will be played between two outstanding teams.

Here is everything you need to know about the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers are coached by Kyle Shannahn. Kyle is no stranger to the big game. Kyle is the son of legendary NFL coach Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls of his own as a head coach.

Kyle also has had a big role in Super Bowl history. He served as the offensive coordinator and play-caller for the 2016 Atlanta Falcons that blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots. Many blame Kyle for the loss, as he continued to call passing plays that left time for the Patriots to seal the come from behind 34-28 win.

The 49ers’ game plan so far these playoffs has been to run the ball. In the two playoff games, they have run the ball 89 times as opposed to passing it 27 times. The offense will continue to lean on running back Raheem Mostert after his big NFC Championship game, where he scored 4 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, they are led by cornerback Richard Sherman and defensive end Nick Bosa. Sherman won a Super Bowl in 2014 with the Seahawks and has an interception in each of the past two games. Bosa, who was picked second overall in this past draft, has 12 sacks this season with the 49ers.

Coaching for the Chiefs is Andy Reid. Reid has been a head coach in the NFL since 1999. He coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2012 and has coached the Chiefs since 2013.

According to Pro Football Reference, Reid has made playoffs 15 seasons but has not won a Super Bowl and he currently ranks sixth all time with 221 career victories. That is the most wins among coaches who have not won a Super Bowl.

The Chiefs are led by a strong offense. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a lot of explosive receivers to throw to such as Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, has been on fire these playoffs. He has 9 touchdowns and 721 yards of total offense in the two games.

Chris Jones and Frank Clark are the big dogs on the Chiefs defensive line. The have combined for 17 sacks on the season. Tyrann Mathieu, who is 5’9’, holds down the secondary. Matheiu has 4 interceptions and 12 pass breakups on the season.

The 49ers can win this game if they are able to get consistent pressure on Patrick Mahomes and are able to take advantage of a weak Chiefs run defense. However, putting pressure on Mahomes is much easier said than done. Mahomes can scramble and extend plays long enough to find Kelce and Hill for big gains that will give the Chiefs the edge.