March 3, 2024

Because I’m a professional football fan and it’s the Super Bowl. One of these years, hopefully, next year at this time, I’ll be preparing for the Browns playing in this game. Both teams deserve to be playing Sunday and despite the irrational voices, the game was determined on the field, not in the league offices. What do I think will happen?

For the 49ers to win, they have to lean on their all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey. This year he’s had 25 touchdowns from the line of scrimmage. San Fransico will use misdirection with McCaffrey, mostly running to the left. They’ll also line wide receiver Deebo Samuel on sweeps. The 49ers will have to spread the field and use the outside runs to wear out the Chiefs defense. Quarterback Brock Purdy must have ball security. Purdy’s primary targets, besides McCaffrey and Samuel, are wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle. The 49ers strength on defense is their defensive line. Chase Young, Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrove and Nick Bosa. Their linebackers, Oren Burks, Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, are some of the best in the game. The weakest part of the defense is the secondary.

For the Chiefs to win, they’ll lean on franchise quarterback Pat Mahomes. But not all the time. Running back Isiah Pacheco has the strength to run between the tackles and hit the big run on the outside. He’s a very physical back. Pacheco has scored a touchdown in seven straight games. Kansas City must have a balanced attack on offense and wear down the 49ers defense. They need to take advantage of San Fransico’s aggressiveness. Mahomes’ number one target is all everything tight end Travis Kelce. The Chiefs could start the game using tight screens and bubble screens to wide receivers Rashee Rice and Marques Valdes-Scantling. The Chiefs defense is underrated. They play stronger as the game continues and seem to play their best near the end of the game when Kansas City has the lead.

The last time these teams played in the Super Bowl, the 49ers outrushed the Chiefs (141 yards on 22 attempts for a 6.4 YPA) and had a 21 to 10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Kansas City then outscored San Fransico 21-0 in the last quarter. My philosophy is to go with the hottest team heading into the game and that would be the Chiefs. For the first time in his professional career Patrick Mahomes had to play a road playoff game. Not only once, but twice and won both. Not matter if you’re going to a bar, a party or watching at home, enjoy the game, the commercials, the food and the 25 seconds of the network showing Taylor Swift.

 

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