An NFL game day preview of the Super Bowl LIV matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers – Odds & Trends
When: 6:30 PM ET, Sunday, February 2, 2020
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
Point Spread: Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
OVER / UNDER Game Total: 53.5
Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers Game Day Preview
The AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs will face the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Both teams had dominant wins in their respective championship games; the Chiefs overcame a slow start against the Tennessee Titans, but scored 28 unanswered points to win the game handily. The 49ers meanwhile, shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
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Similar to the AFC Divisional Game against Houston, Kansas City got off to a slow start against Tennessee, who was looking for their third straight playoff road win. But the Chiefs defense were able to contain Titans RB Derrick Henry and force QB Ryan Tannehill to beat them. Henry was held to only 69 yards on 19 carries after averaging 189 yards the previous two weeks. Although they didn’t force any turnovers, the Chiefs defense did sack Tannehill three times and had six tackles for losses. Can they duplicate the same effort against the Niners? One thing is for sure: Tannehill is not Jimmy Garoppolo.
Offensively, QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns in addition to 53 rushing yards and a touchdown. WR Sammy Watkins had 114 yards receiving and a touchdown while Tyreek Hill had 67 yards and two touchdowns. What can we expect against San Francisco defense? It could be an uphill battle; the 49ers were ranked first in the NFL in pass defense in 2019. They certainly proved their ranking against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers two weeks ago. But unlike the Packers (and the Vikings before them), Mahomes has the ability to beat teams with his arm AND his feet. If he can manage the Niners’ formidable pass rush with positive plays, watch out.
In the NFC Championship Game, RB Raheem Mostert had himself a game. Mostert ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns as the 49ers as a TEAM ran for 285 yards. It was such an easy game for QB Jimmy Garoppolo that he only needed to throw the ball eight times. It was only the third time in NFL history that a quarterback attempted less than 10 passes in a conference championship game. (Only Bob Griese’s six pass attempts in the 1973 AFC Championship game were the least ever.) Will the Niners change up their game plan against the Chiefs and mix up their game plan with more passing? Given that the Chiefs’ defense keying on Derrick Henry in the AFC Championship game worked, they might have to.
Defensively, the 49ers haunted Aaron Rodgers all game long. The Niners’ front seven harassed Rodgers into three sacks, three fumbles, and two interceptions. DBs Emmanuel Moseley and Richard Sherman each had one a piece. DL Nick Bosa had a sack, a TFL, and forced a fumble. San Francisco’s rushing defense kept up their dominance from the week before against Minnesota, holding the Packers to only 62 yards rushing. Mahomes is a threat with his arm AND his feet, so 49ers DC Robert Saleh will need to draw up his best game plan to stop him.
Chiefs & 49ers Facts
1. Both teams ranked in the top ten in passing defense during the regular season.
2. Kansas City’s defense held opposing quarterbacks to a lower QBR (80.8) than San Francisco (83.0).
3. San Francisco finished second in the regular season in rushing while Kansas City’s defense finished 26th against the run.
4. Patrick Mahomes (105.3) and Jimmy Garoppolo (102.0) finished 7th and 8th in QBR respectively in the 2019 regular season.
5. Kansas City had a +8 giveaway/takeaway ratio (7th in the league) in the regular season while San Francisco finished with a +4 (11th in the league).
Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Fransisco 49ers Picks with The IDP Guys
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Game Pick – Kansas City Chiefs 38 San Francisco 49ers 35
10 PT Pick = Total PTS OVER 54.5
9 PT Pick = San Francisco 49ers Defense OVER 2.5 Sacks
8 PT Pick = Travis Kelce OVER 6.5 Receptions