One of the largest sporting events in America, the Super Bowl, is almost here and the people of America are shaking with anticipation. Two football powerhouses, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, have locked their position in the biggest football game of the year, and this game is panning out to be a great one.
Both of these teams have had amazing seasons and have had to overcome adversity to make it to this championship. The Chiefs have been an offensive menace ever since Patrick Mahomes stepped on the field as a 2nd year player in 2018. In last year’s season, he played outstanding, winning the MVP award and leading his team all the way to the AFC Championship where their season ultimately ended to the Patriots in a 37-31 over-time win (ESPN). This season, the Chiefs went 12-4 and picked up their level of play in the playoffs. In the AFC Championship this year the Chiefs faced the steamrolling Tennessee Titans who had just beaten the Patriots (last year super bowl winner) and
the Ravens (this year’s Favorites). However, despite the Titan’s impressive games earlier in the playoffs, the Chiefs were able to hold their super-star running back,
Derrick Henry, to just 63 yards and a touchdown. This strategically took away the Titan’s strongest offensive weapon and forced their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, to make plays and have an offensive battle with the impressive Patrick Mahomes. In the end, the Chiefs offensive output was just too electric for the Titan’s defense and, led by Mahomes’ 3 passing touchdowns, 294 passing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown, the Chiefs won 35-24 (Dajani). My MVP for this game was obviously Patrick Mahomes, but my under appreciated player of the game (or UAP) was Tyrann Mathieu who just seemed to be everywhere on defense.
The 49ers, on the other hand, had a more defensive style of play all season. After a disappointing 2018 season where they went 4-12, the 49ers turned everything around. Having Jimmy Garappolo, once a backup for the future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, come back after a torn ACL in the left knee was a huge boost for their offense, and drafting Pro Bowler Nick Bosa in the 2019 draft gave them a defensive line that was not to be messed with. The team’s defense proved to be more than most teams could handle this season, and thus, despite an inconsistent offense, they went 13-3. The 49ers also seemed to up their play in the playoff, even holding off a red-hot Green Bay Packers team led by a seemingly unstoppable Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship. The 49ers defense played like they had all season and didn’t even allow a single point in the first half. They ended the game with two picks and seemed to be frustrating Rodgers all game long. Their pressure from the defensive line was impressive but I also give a lot of credit to their secondary who made a lot of quick tackles as soon as passes were caught, cutting down offensive production for the Packers significantly. Their offense, despite a mere 77 passing yards from Garappolo, was productive due to an astounding 220 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns from Raheem Mostert who seemed to outrun every Packer’s defender as if they were standing still (Shapiro). The 49ers won this game 37-20 due to a strong running game and a defense that forced Aaron Rodgers to use check-downs (shorter passes with little run after catch ability) instead of the big plays he wanted to make. My MVP for the game is Mostert for his incredible running and my UAP for this game is the entire defensive line whose pressure on Aaron Rodgers was unmatched.
As this game between these two impressive franchises draws closer, it is impossible to see who a clear favorite is. Some people, such as Ramapo Senior Bobby Styles, favor San Francisco for their defense saying “I believe more in the 49ers defensive line than any other position group on the field despite how great Mahomes is”. Others believe the Chiefs have the advantage, such as Ramapo Senior Brian Kim who says “I believe the Chiefs will win the Superbowl because no team can stop Mahomes and his big-play offense”.
Personally, I believe this game will come down to the wire and will really be able to go both ways. However, I ultimately believe that the Chief’s offensive explosion will be too much for the 49ers to withstand. I predict that the Chiefs will win a thriller 38-31, but the game is definitely able to go very differently. No matter what, this game is definitely one to watch, as the two quarterbacks in the game have never played in a Super Bowl before, and how they play will surely set the bar for the next decade of big games that are yet to be played.
The Super Bowl will be played on February 2nd, 2020 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs
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