Whether you watch it for the commercials, the halftime show or the game, Super Bowl LIV is set to be one of the most competitive matchups ever. The game has the sixth-highest Super Bowl matchup rating since 2009, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. The San Francisco 49ers (13-3) and Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) are just two days away from, likely, the biggest game of their careers.
Super Bowl LIV is set for a 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Previewing 49ers v. Chiefs
San Francisco had just a 2.8 percent chance of reaching the Super Bowl, according to ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index. They beat the odds. On the other hand, Kansas City had a 27.1 percent chance of making it.
This will be the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl appearance since 1970 and head coach Andy Reid’s first Super Bowl appearance in 15 seasons. Following the 2004 season, Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
49ers’ head coach Kyle Shanahan is 40 years old. If San Francisco gets a win, he’ll become the fourth head coach age 40 or younger to win the Super Bowl. Shanahan describes how cool it is to be a part of the game.
Dominance v. Also Dominance
San Francisco led their conference in rushing yards this season. Kansas City led their conference in passing yards. Sunday will be a battle between two monster offenses.
The 49ers’ pass rush will be put to the test against Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes leads the NFL’s fifth-ranked offense. He threw for 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions this season.
The Chiefs scored a total of 88 points in the postseason, grabbing wins against both the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans. Clearly, scoring is not an issue for Shanahan’s offense, but how will they fare against the 49ers explosive defense?
Mahomes expresses his respect for the defense his team will be facing.
San Francisco has the league’s second-best defense. They’ve averaged 3.2 sacks per game and picked off 12 passes in the regular season, along with three in the postseason. Their quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, however, has been the victim of 14 interceptions. He has had one in the postseason. Ball security is essential to winning games, especially the Super Bowl.
Speaking of turnovers, San Francisco has recovered 17 fumbles and lost 11. The Cheifs have eight recovered fumbles and 10 lost.
Sunday’s matchup might just come down to who can control time of possession.