Who will be crowned the NFL champions in the league’s 100th season?
We will find out soon enough.
The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are expected to take part in a close, classic battle this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Who do you think will win the matchup?
Our writers weigh in with their predictions and score for the big game.
Writer: Ben Donahue
Super Bowl LIV is only one day away and it looks to be an exciting match up.
Patrick Mahomes and the 12-4 Chiefs take on Jimmy Garoppolo and the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers.
The last time they won the big game in 1970, Richard Nixon was president.
On paper, the 49ers look to have a slight edge in the game.
They ranked near the top of the NFL in both offense and defense in 2019.
San Francisco had the second most rushing yards, scored the third most points and were fourth overall in yardage.
They also just happen to have the NFL’s second ranked defense.
Meanwhile, Kansas City in 2019 gave up 4.9 yards per carry, which was fourth worst in the NFL.
They do have the NFL’s sixth ranked offense, but San Francisco was ranked fourth offensively.
Garoppolo had a terrific 2019.
He threw for almost 4,000 yards, 27 touchdowns and a passer rating of 102.
Raheem Mostert and San Fran’s ground game should rip off significant yardage against the Chiefs.
Also, their defense will give Mahomes fits all day.
However, one would be cautious to bet against Mahomes.
In their two playoff games, Kansas City was down by a combined score of 34-0.
In both games, against the Texans and Titans, Mahomes willed his team back to blowout victories.
He is a definite wildcard that the 49ers will obviously account for.
Based on Mahomes’ talent alone, the Chiefs seem to be the trendy pick to win the Super Bowl.
It’s hard to forget, though, that Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for Atlanta in Super Bowl LI.
In that game, against a juggernaut Patriots team, the Falcons were up 28-3.
The Pats roared back to win the game in overtime. Analysts believe the Falcons game plan backfired in the second half.
As San Fran’s head coach, Shanahan will use that memory in preparing for the Chiefs.
I expect things to go his way this time
My Prediction: 49ers 27, Chiefs 23
Writer: Kyle Daubs
The 49ers will run the ball down the Chiefs defense and control the time of possession, which means Patrick Mahomes will have limited time to work his magic.
The Chiefs had the 26th ranked rush defense in the regular season, while the 49ers had the No. 2 ranked rushing offense.
Raheem Mostert, who rushed for a franchise-record 220 yards and four touchdowns, will not be the hero.
Instead, Tevin Coleman and Mostert will each rush for over 60 yards respectively.
Wide receiver Debo Samuel will have a rushing touchdown to go along with Coleman and Mostert.
We all knew going into the NFCCG that Kyle Shanahan had the upper hand on Mike Pettine. Shanahan’s stats against #Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo are also quite impressive.
— Matt Barr (@MattBarr_) January 29, 2020
On the defensive side, the 49ers defense will have two interceptions.
Mahomes has thrown just one interception in the last four games but the 49ers will change that narrative on Sunday.
The defense has proven to win games in the Super Bowl and the 49ers will continue that trend.
— DeR (@danrem) January 31, 2020
My Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 24, Kansas City Chiefs 14
Writer: Pat Opperman
This year’s Super Bowl pits two of the NFL’s top 8 defenses against each other.
The Big Game also features two of the most innovative and effective offenses.
One of the youngest genius head coaches leads the San Francisco 49ers into the fray.
Kansas City operates behind one of the most experienced and successful head coaches of all time.
Pat Mahomes and a knee injury knocked Jimmy Garoppolo out of the top quarterback conversation last year.
But the 49ers passer showed he is willing to reopen that discussion.
Neither team has a pedigree running back.
But they can run at will when they feel like it.
Two of the most prolific pass-catching tight ends bolster solid passing attacks.
These teams combined for 150 points over the past two weeks.
So, we all know what that means.
The game will be decided by a field goal.
Harrison Butker will be the hero at the end of this wild classic.
My Prediction: Chiefs 37, Niners 34
Writer: Mark Bergin
The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs feature the NFL’s two best teams and a clash of two different styles.
The 49ers have an excellent defense and control the clock by running the ball, while the Chiefs rely on their speed with their aerial attack led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
San Francisco has allowed an average of 252.5 yards per game in the playoffs, which is best of any team that played in a postseason game this year.
The 49ers also allowed an NFL-best 169.2 passing yards per game in the regular season.
Of the 49ers’ 48 sacks during the regular season (fifth-best in the NFL), 41 of them came from defensive lineman.
It means San Francisco can pressure the quarterback by only rushing four defensive linemen without having to blitz.
Mahomes might not put up huge numbers on Sunday, especially if the Chiefs face an early deficit.
The Chiefs won’t have the luxury of the home-field advantage that Arrowhead Stadium provides either.
Mahomes has only been sacked twice in the postseason and hasn’t committed a turnover.
Expect those two things to change.
The 49ers had three players (Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman) rush for at least 500 yards in the regular season.
The Chiefs had none, even though Damien Williams (498 rushing yards) and LeSean McCoy (465 rushing yards) were close.49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has only thrown the ball 27 times this postseason.
The 49ers have still dominated.I think the 49ers continue their trend of running the ball effectively with their committee of running backs and playing dominating defense.
My prediction: 49ers 34, Chiefs 28
What is your score prediction for the game?