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Thread: ***Official Super Bowl LIV Game Day Thread: Chiefs vs 49ers***

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    Default ***Official Super Bowl LIV Game Day Thread: Chiefs vs 49ers***


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    The Kansas City Chiefs (14-4) (13-5 ATS)



    vs.

    The San Francisco
    49ers (15-3) (11-6-1 ATS)


    Sunday, February 12, 5:30PM CT
    at
    Hard Rock Stadium

    Miami, FL


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    Stats & Stuff

    Weather forecast:
    67 degrees. Clear 8 mph NNW winds.

    Line: Chiefs -1.5, Over/Under: 54

    Trends:

    Chiefs:
    Kansas City are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games.
    Kansas City are 8-0 SU in their last 8 games.
    Kansas City are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games at home.
    Kansas City are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games when playing at home against San Francisco.
    Kansas City are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games this season.
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas City's last 6 games against an opponent in the NFC conference.
    Kansas City are 14-4 SU in their last 18 games against an opponent in the NFC West division.
    The total has gone OVER in 13 of Kansas City's last 20 games played on a Sunday.

    49ers:
    San Francisco are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games.
    The total has gone OVER in 8 of San Francisco's last 12 games.
    San Francisco are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.
    San Francisco are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against Kansas City.
    San Francisco are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games on the road.
    San Francisco are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Kansas City.
    San Francisco are 15-3 SU in their last 18 games this season.
    San Francisco are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against an opponent in the AFC conference.

    Against the Spread:


    Last 7 Games Head-2-Head:


    Notable Quotables:
    Chiefs:
    "I think I ended up in the perfect place. To have Coach Reid and these coaches around me, to have Alex Smith in front of me for a year and be able to learn from him and then obviously to have all the players I have around me, I'm in a place where the team was already a winning team. They had a lot of success and when I came in, I was able to just be who I am, and ended up winning a lot of football games early in my career.

    I hope I get to play the rest of my career there now. I mean, just the people and how they accept you and how they care about you more as a person than they do as a player and how much passion they have for the Kansas City Chiefs, it's special and it's somewhere I want to be for the rest of my career."
    --Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes

    49ers:
    "I was really sad yesterday and sad this morning. I was really down. I was in the dumps, and then I thought about what [Kobe Bryant] would tell me. He would tell me to stop being a baby and to man up and play and do it in his honor and win this game for him. And that is what we are trying to do. We're gonna go out there and try to play some dominating ball, just like he wanted. The Mamba Mentality still lives on."
    --49ers CB Richard Sherman

    OddsShark Super Computer Prediction:
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    Schedules/Results:
    Date
    Opponent
    Time/TV
    Tickets
    Sunday
    Sep. 8
    at JAX Jaguars
    TIAA Bank Field
    Jacksonville, FL
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    W 40-26
    Sunday
    Sep. 15
    at OAK Raiders
    Oakland Col.
    Oakland, CA
    4:05pm ET
    CBS
    W 28-10
    Sunday
    Sep. 22
    BAL Ravens
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    W 33-28
    Sunday
    Sep. 29
    at DET Lions
    Ford Field
    Detroit, MI
    1:00pm ET
    FOX
    W 34-30
    Sunday
    Oct. 6
    IND Colts
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    8:20pm ET
    NBC
    L 19-13
    Sunday
    Oct. 13
    HOU Texans
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    L 31-24
    Thursday
    Oct. 17
    at DEN Broncos
    Broncos Stadium
    Denver, CO
    8:20pm ET
    FOX/NFLN
    W 30-6
    Sunday
    Oct. 27
    GB Packers
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    8:20pm ET
    NBC
    L 31-24
    Sunday
    Nov. 3
    MIN Vikings
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    1:00pm ET
    FOX
    W 26-23
    Sunday
    Nov. 10
    at TEN Titans
    Nissan Stdm
    Nashville, TN
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    L 35-32
    Monday
    Nov. 18
    at LA Chargers
    Estadio Azteca
    Mexico City, MX
    8:15pm ET
    ESPN
    W 24-17
    Sunday
    Nov. 24
    .
    BYE
    .
    Sunday
    Dec. 1
    OAK Raiders
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    4:25pm ET
    CBS
    W 40-9
    Sunday
    Dec. 8
    at NE Patriots
    Gillette Stadium
    Foxborough, MA
    4:25pm ET
    CBS
    W 23-16
    Sunday
    Dec. 15
    DEN Broncos
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    W 23-3
    Sunday
    Dec. 22
    at CHI Bears
    Soldier Field
    Chicago, IL
    8:20pm ET
    NBC
    W 26-3
    Sunday
    Dec. 29
    LA Chargers
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    1:00pm ET
    CBS
    W 31-21
    AFC Divisional Round
    Sunday
    Jan. 12
    HOU Texans
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    3:05pm ET
    CBS
    W 51-31
    AFC Championship Game
    Sunday
    Jan. 19
    TEN Titans
    Arrowhead
    Kansas City, MO
    3:05pm ET
    CBS
    W 35-24
    Super Bowl LIV
    Sunday
    Feb. 2
    SS 49ers
    Hard Rock Stdm
    Miami Grdns, FL
    6:30pm ET
    FOX
    Buy Tickets
    Date
    Opponent Time/TV
    Tickets
    Sunday
    Sep. 8
    at TB Bucs
    Rd James Stdm
    Tampa, FL
    4:25pm ET
    FOX
    W 31-17
    Sunday
    Sep. 15
    at CIN Bengals
    Paul Brown Stdm
    Cincinnati, OH
    1:00pm ET
    FOX
    W 41-17
    Sunday
    Sep. 22
    PIT Steelers
    Levi's Stdm
    Santa Clara, CA
    4:25pm ET
    CBS
    W 24-20
    Sunday
    Sep. 29
    .
    BYE
    .
    Monday
    Oct. 7
    CLE Browns
    Levi's Stdm
    Santa Clara, CA
    8:15pm ET
    ESPN
    W 31-3
    Sunday
    Oct. 13
    at LA Rams
    LA Mem Col
    Los Angeles, CA
    4:05pm ET
    FOX
    W 20-7
    Sunday
    Oct. 20
    at WAS Redskins
    FedExField
    Landover, MD
    1:00pm ET
    FOX
    W 9-0
    Sunday
    Oct. 27
    CAR Panthers
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    4:05pm ET
    FOX
    W 51-13
    Thursday
    Oct. 31
    at AZ Cardinals
    State Farm Stdm
    Glendale, AZ
    8:20pm ET
    FOX/NFLN
    W 28-25
    Monday
    Nov. 11
    SEA Seahawks
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    8:15pm ET
    ESPN
    L 27-24(OT)
    Sunday
    Nov. 17
    AZ Cardinals
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    4:05pm ET
    FOX
    W 36-26
    Sunday
    Nov. 24
    GB Packers
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    8:20pm ET
    NBC
    W 37-8
    Sunday
    Dec. 1
    at BAL Ravens
    M&T Bank Stdm
    Baltimore, MD
    1:00pm ET
    FOX
    L 20-17
    Sunday
    Dec. 8
    at NO Saints
    M-B Superdome
    New Orleans, LA
    1:00pm ET
    FOX
    W 48-46
    Sunday
    Dec. 15
    ATL Falcons
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    4:25pm ET
    FOX
    L 29-22
    Saturday
    Dec. 21
    LA Rams
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    8:15pm ET
    NFLN
    W 34-31
    Sunday
    Dec. 29
    at SEA Seahawks
    CenturyLink Field
    Seattle, WA
    8:20pm ET
    NBC
    W 26-21
    NFC Divisional Round
    Saturday
    Jan. 11
    MIN Vikings
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    4:35pm ET
    NBC
    W 27-10
    NFC Championship Game
    Sunday
    Jan. 19
    GB Packers
    Levi's Stadium
    Santa Clara, CA
    6:40pm ET
    FOX
    W 37-20
    Super Bowl LIV
    Sunday
    Feb. 2
    at KC Chiefs
    Hard Rock Stdm
    Miami Grdns, FL
    6:30pm ET
    FOX
    Buy Tickets

    Last edited by TopekaRoy; 02-02-2020 at 02:49 PM.
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    Injury Report:

    Morris Claiborne CB Shoulder
    Probable
    Andrew Wylie
    G Ankle
    Probable
    LeSean McCoy
    RB Illness
    Probable (Inactive)
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    S Knee
    OUT
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    QB Ankle
    IR
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    RB Shoulder
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    WR Knee
    IR
    Breeland Speaks
    LB Knee
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    Darrel Williams
    RB Hamstring
    IR

    Tevin Coleman RB Shoulder
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    Jullian Taylor
    DT Knee
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    PUP
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    WR Foot
    IR
    Kentavius Street
    DE Knee
    IR
    Jalen Hurd
    WR Back
    IR
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    Depth Charts:

    Chiefs
    OFFENSE

    DEFENSE

    SPECIAL TEAMS


    49ers
    OFFENSE

    DEFENSE


    SPECIAL TEAMS

    Last edited by TopekaRoy; 02-02-2020 at 02:50 PM.
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    More Stats & More Stuff
    Team Leaders:



    Expert's Picks:


    Prisco's Pick:
    Super Bowl LIV in Miami offers the perfect matchup of a top-flight offense vs. a dominant defense. On one side is an elite passing game, one perfectly built for the modern game with a fearless, gunslinger quarterback who's throwing to a 4x100-meter relay receiving group. On the other is a nasty defense loaded with star pass rushers and a scheme built to make the quarterback be patient.

    On the surface, that's what Sunday's Kansas City Chiefs-San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl will be all about.

    It will be Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his outstanding passing game against San Francisco's nasty defensive front, a unit that has battered and beaten quarterbacks all season long, including in the playoffs.

    But it's much more than that when you consider the Chiefs offense finished behind the 49ers in points this season. The San Francisco offense, a physical throwback unit predicated on the run game, can light up the scoreboard as well.

    In an era of wide-open offenses, the 49ers have taken theirs back to a time when pass was a four-letter word, not a way of life.

    The 49ers were second in the league to the Baltimore Ravens in rushing offense, but they were actually the best conventional run game when you consider Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was that team's leading rusher. The 49ers do it with a zone scheme that can make it tough for a front seven to handle.

    The Chiefs finished the season 26th in yards-per-rush against, but that's because of the first 10 games. They were much better in the final six games and the playoffs. In Week 1-10, the defense gave up 148.1 yards per game on the ground -- which means they were getting gashed -- but that number went down to 93.6 in the final six regular-season games and two playoff games.

    The Kansas City defense is much improved since it has grown comfortable with the schemes of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The 49ers, who had running back Raheem Mostert rush for 220 yards in the NFC Championship Game victory over the Packers, pose the biggest test of all in terms of the run game.

    The Kansas City defense is much improved since it has grown comfortable with the schemes of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The 49ers, who had running back Raheem Mostert rush for 220 yards in the NFC Championship Game victory over the Packers, pose the biggest test of all in terms of the run game.

    The second big question will be whether the Chiefs offensive line can protect Mahomes. They've done an outstanding job in the playoffs, but the San Francisco front is the best they will have seen and the best in the league. The ability of Mahomes to get outside the pocket and make plays off-schedule could be huge in this game. The 49ers are that good rushing the passer.

    The 49ers led the league in passing yards against, giving up just 169.2 per game. They were also the best at limiting the big passing plays, giving up 43 plays of 20-plus yards, which will challenge the Chiefs and especially Tyreek Hill, their big-play threat.

    Add it all up, and it's tough game to pick. That's why the line is as close as it is. The teams are so even, but in the end I think it always comes down to quarterback play, and Mahomes is the elite player in this game.

    Run, run, pass will lose out to pass, pass, run.




    Chiefs 31

    49ers 27
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    Super Bowl LIV: Game Preview
    From Chiefs.com

    Friday, Jan 31, 2020 07:39 PM
    Matt McMullen
    Community & Digital Media Producer
    Chiefs.com
    @KCChiefs_Matt

    The play is a thing of legend.

    Quarterback Len Dawson handed the ball off to tailback Mike Garrett as the offensive line created a mammoth hole, paving the way for a touchdown and an eventual victory in Super Bowl IV.

    It was the iconic play – the 65 Toss Power Trap - that helped Kansas City secure a world championship, further emphasizing the legitimacy of the American Football League ahead of the AFL-NFL merger while cementing the Chiefs' place in the hearts and minds of fans around the globe.

    Fifty years have passed since that game, and now for the first time in a half-century, the Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl.

    It's the culmination of a magical season, an unprecedented seven-year run of success under Head Coach Andy Reid and five decades of unforgettable moments. Every fan of this football team has a reason for donning the red and gold, and for each of them, this is the opportunity they've been patiently awaiting.



    The San Francisco 49ers stand as the final obstacle in the way of Kansas City's pursuit of a title following one of the best turnarounds in recent memory, assembling a 13-3 record in 2019 after winning just four games the season prior.

    They engineered that turnaround as one of the most balanced teams in the league, featuring a high-powered offensive attack and a stout defense anchored by a tenacious pass-rush. They present a mighty challenge in every facet of the game, but in what exists as the biggest stage in professional sports, the Chiefs are focused on what they can control.

    "You have to come out and be on the attack, but the biggest thing is you can't have dropped balls or penalties, which are the things that really hurt us in the Divisional and AFC Championship Games," said tight end Travis Kelce. "We want to come out and play mistake-free while matching the energy and the hype of the game knowing that everybody is going to be fired-up and that this game is going to be a little bit faster than usual."

    The Chiefs, of course, overcame their early mistakes in the first two rounds of the postseason with relentless comebacks. Kansas City fought back from a 24-point deficit in the Divisional Round against Houston before climbing out of a 10-point hole in their AFC Championship bout with Tennessee.

    Both performances demonstrated the Chiefs' unique ability to fight through adversity with an unwavering mentality – "championship swagger," as safety Tyrann Mathieu calls it – and while Kansas City will try to avoid an early deficit this time around, they'll still need that ferocious attitude throughout the game on Sunday as they combat one of the top defenses in the NFL.



    It begins with the defensive line, which includes pass-rushers Arik Armstead (10.0 sacks), Nick Bosa (9.0 sacks), DeForest Buckner (7.5 sacks) and Dee Ford (6.5 sacks). The group tallied 48 sacks as a whole this season – the fifth-most in the NFL – and it sets the tone for a defensive secondary that's headlined by All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.

    Simply put, the 49ers have defensive playmakers at every level.

    "It's not just the front four, which is one of the best groups in the league, it's the whole defense. They play off of each other. The linebackers know what the defensive line is doing and the defensive backs know what the linebackers are doing," said Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes. "It's going to be a great challenge for us. We have to make sure that we're executing at a high level, not making mistakes and taking it one play at a time, but I think the best part [of our offense] is that I just need to get it to these playmakers I have around me and let them make plays."

    Indeed, the Chiefs have plenty of firepower when it comes to offense. In fact, Kansas City is one of just six teams since the turn of the century to tally 35 or more points in multiple postseason games, lighting up the scoreboard behind huge performances from wide receiver Sammy Watkins, tight end Travis Kelce, tailback Damien Williams and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.



    Mahomes has been at the center of that offensive explosion, slinging eight touchdowns without an interception while racking up 615 yards through the air. He's been sacked just twice and owns a passer rating of 131.5, tallying six plays of at least 25 yards. Furthermore, Mahomes is four touchdown strikes away from the NFL single-postseason record.

    The stats are unworldly, approaching territory that the football-watching world has never seen before from such a young player, but Mahomes is rarely interested in talking about himself.

    "Just to be able to be here in this moment is a tribute to the guys I have around me," said Mahomes, who has a chance to be the second-youngest starting quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl. "I was put in a great situation early in my career and I'm just trying to take advantage of every single day that I have."

    But while Kansas City has piled up the yardage and the points through the air, San Francisco has been equally successful with its ground-attack. The 49ers rushed for an astounding 285 yards in their victory over Green Bay to secure the NFC title, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. It was the continuation of a season-long trend, as San Francisco tallied the second-most rushing yards of any team in the NFL this season behind only the Baltimore Ravens.



    The 49ers utilize a three-headed monster of sorts to generate those yards, as tailbacks Raheem Mostert (772 yards), Matt Breida (632 yards) and Tevin Coleman (544 yards) each made a significant impact on the ground. Mostert, in particular, accounted for 220 rushing yards all by himself against Green Bay. It was only his second performance of the season with 100+ yards on the ground, but it demonstrated what this offense is capable of in the running game.

    "This run game is so dynamic and they move so many pieces around. The biggest thing is people underestimate their offensive line. Those guys are athletic, they're big and they're maulers," Mathieu said. "It's going to be important for us to have an attitude and to understand that these guys like to run the football. They have fun doing that."

    And while the running game has churned yardage and baited defenses, 49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has found success through the air. Garoppolo, who just completed his first full season as the 49ers' starter under center, tossed 27 touchdowns in 2019 while averaging 8.36 yards-per-attempt and posting a 102.0 passer rating.

    He threw the ball just eight times in San Francisco's victory over Green Bay, but Garoppolo demonstrated throughout the year that he can move the 49ers' offense if needed - especially in the direction of tight end George Kittle.

    Kittle hauled in 85 catches for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 2019, trailing only Kelce and the Oakland Raiders' Darren Waller in receiving yards among tight ends. He did the bulk of his damage after the catch, ranking third in the NFL in the category behind just Panthers' tailback Christian McCaffrey and Chargers' tailback Austin Ekeler with an incredible 626 yards.



    Garoppolo also has rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel (57 catches, 802 yards, 3 touchdowns) and former Broncos' wide out Emmanuel Sanders (36 catches, 502 yards and 3 touchdowns) at his disposal, presenting 49ers' Head Coach and play-caller Kyle Shanahan with numerous options to spread the ball around to offensively.

    Shanahan - the son of longtime Broncos' Head Coach Mike Shanahan – is considered one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game, particularly with his use of pre-snap motion to confuse the opposition.

    "The formation they break the huddle in won't be the formation they snap the ball in, so it poses a challenge for guys like myself," Mathieu said. "Kyle Shanahan is smart, it's not just the play-calls he's drawing up, he's moving a lot of people around because he wants you to stop for a second and think…I think he's trying to take advantage of guys like myself who want to play fast, see what they believe and go. He moves a lot of things around to try and make you second guess yourself."



    Of course, if the last eight games are any indication, Kansas City is up for the challenge. The unit has been the second-best in the NFL since Week 11, holding the opposition to just 15.5 points-per-game. In fact, as good as San Francisco has been defensively this season, the Chiefs actually posted a better scoring defense overall in 2019 with the seventh-ranked group in the league.

    The defense has been right in the middle of both comebacks this postseason, preventing both Houston and Tennessee from answering the Chiefs' rallies, and it has consistently served as a perfect complement to Kansas City's high-powered offense over the course of the Chiefs' eight-game winning streak.

    Kansas City can extend that streak to nine-straight victories on Sunday, and if they do so, it'll mean the Lombardi Trophy is coming back to Kansas City for the first time since 1969. It's a responsibility that Mahomes doesn't take lightly.

    "It's important for Coach Reid, for us and for Kansas City. We want to go out there and win the game for them," Mahomes said. "We're going to try and play our best football, have fun doing it and, hopefully, find a way to win it."
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    Game Preview from ESPN.com

    Chiefs-49ers Preview

    MIAMI -- Few Super Bowls in recent memory have appeared as competitive as the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs.

    No wonder there's a little more buzz about this one.

    History and excitement are a nice combination for any championship game.

    The history stems from the Chiefs seeking their first title since 1970, when they won the fourth Super Bowl in the final matchup of AFL-NFL. The full merger took place the next season -- and Kansas City hasn't been back to the Super Bowl for which its founder, Lamar Hunt, provided the name.

    "I think he would be amazed," said his son, Clark Hunt, who now oversees the Chiefs. "He and my mother actually talked about that at one of the last Super Bowls they attended together about 15 years ago. He said, 'I always knew it was going to be big, but I didn't know it was going to be this big."

    Then there's Andy Reid, whose NFL head coaching resume goes back to 1999 in Philadelphia. He has a Super Bowl ring from work as an assistant coach in Green Bay, but Reid is 0-1 in the big game.

    "Just getting him here isn't the goal," star tight end Travis Kelce said. "Winning this thing for him is."

    San Francisco is seeking its sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, which would equal the record held by Pittsburgh and New England. The 49ers also are looking to be only the second team to go from 4-12 the previous season to the top of the heap.

    "It's been quite a journey," said halfback Raheem Mostert, who himself has had quite the sojourn in the NFL. He was cut by seven teams and was a special-teamer for the 49ers before getting a chance -- and taking off running with it. Mostert rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC title game.

    "This franchise has a lot of history and accomplishments. Of course we want to add to that."

    Mostert is one of a field full of players who will push the thrill throttle to the floor and keep it there. So is Kelce.

    But Kelce might not be the best tight end in the game. It's close, but 49ers All-Pro George Kittle is just as capable of breaking open this Super Bowl with something spectacular.

    And celebrate it almost as adeptly as J-Lo and Shakira will fill the halftime stage.

    "I think we both have a really good time playing football," Kittle said. "You can see that on the tape. We both just enjoy being out there with our teammates. We both make plays when we're asked to, and I think we both make plays when we're not asked to."

    Both teams have wideouts capable of swinging momentum in their team's favor. For the Chiefs it's perhaps the speediest group the NFL has seen. Tyreek Hill is sure of it.

    "If I'm healthy and my mind is in the right place, I'd go try out for the Olympics, put together a relay," Hill said. "We'd show these track guys, 'Hey, we football players can do that, too.'"

    He's put fellow receivers Sammy Watkins and rookie Mecole Hardman on that relay.

    "It almost looks like they got their roster from the Olympic relay team and threw them all on the football field," 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. "Not to say they can't run routes and catch either, because they can do that. They're a special group and you can see why they're there."

    Still, the 49ers have a clutch receiver in veteran Emmanuel Sanders, a rookie with no fear of going anywhere on the field -- or above it -- to make a catch in Deebo Samuel, and an emerging talent in Kendrick Bourne. Just like with Kansas City, they're capable of making a difference.

    So is San Francisco's defense, and it will need to be at optimal precision to deal with perhaps the most electrifying player of them all in this Super Bowl: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

    The 49ers have a powerful pass rush sparked by a deep front four that includes a sack threat at every spot -- including one rookie, Nick Bosa. A year ago, the Niners were so bad they had the second overall draft pick. They took edge rusher Bosa, and look where they are now.

    The Niners have 57 sacks including the playoffs, with veteran linebacker Dee Ford, Bosa, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner all having at least 7 1/2.

    Fred Warner has developed into a versatile linebacker and Richard Sherman remains one of the NFL's great cornerbacks -- an action guy who will love taking on Mahomes.

    "We believe in each other," Sherman said. "We believe in the scheme. We believe in what we've done all year, and we plan on going out there and putting a good product on tape and seeing how it goes."

    For Kansas City, whose defense performed particularly well down the stretch of the regular season but hasn't been so stingy in spots during the postseason, how it goes Sunday very possibly will depend on how successful Mahomes is. The 49ers don't need their QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, to be extra special; he's been more of a caretaker behind that monstrous running game and defense in the two postseason victories.

    Make no mistake about Mahomes: Kansas City needs him to be, well, vintage Mahomes.

    Which means big plays with his arm, thrown from angles we didn't know existed. Howitzer throws as he rolls out -- even to his left -- and doesn't bother fully planting his legs. Maybe even the tightrope kind of run down the sideline that still has NFL folks shaking their heads in wonder.

    "You have to accept the excitement that it is," Mahomes said this week as he stood on a podium and spoke to reporters. "It's amazing to be here, to be in this atmosphere, to be at this podium. It's where you want to be when you start training camp in St. Joe, Missouri. For me, to be in this moment, I'm just enjoying it as much as possible."

    Chances are, Mahomes and his teammates, along with the 49ers, will produce one of those enjoyable, memorable, perhaps even classic Super Bowls.
    ***Official Chiefs Crowd Game Thread Starter***

    This space is reserved for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with MatthewsChiefs. (Whoever THAT is!)

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    Five Key Matchups: 49ers vs. Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

    Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 01:05 PM

    Matthew Asher
    DIGITAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
    49ers.com

    It all comes down to this. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are set to meet on Sunday, Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla. for Super Bowl LIV. Both teams handled business at home and will try to jump over the final hurdle of the season. Here are five key matchups that could decide which franchise will lift the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night.



    1. TE George Kittle vs. S Tyrann Mathieu

    George Kittle and the 49ers passing offense has not been called upon much so far in the playoffs with the ground game stealing the show, but Kittle is still a major factor in helping the 49ers offensive machine. The tight end has hauled in only four passes for 35 yards in the playoffs, but in the regular season Kittle led the 49ers in receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,053). The All-Pro tight end has helped set up the 49ers potent rushing attack, paving the way with the offensive line to open up lanes for Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida who collectively have averaged 235.5 rushing yards per game in the playoffs. Kittle will have a favorable matchup against a Chiefs defense who have allowed the 28th-most yards to tight ends this season. Another area Kittle can exploit is yards after catch. The tight end has registered 599 yards after the catch, leading all tight ends, and the Chiefs defense has allowed the 29th-most yards after catch this season.

    One of the players who will be assigned to slow down Kittle will be Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu. The seventh-year safety has had a fantastic first season in Kansas City, notching 75 tackles, three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, four interceptions and 12 passes defended. Mathieu is coming off of a fantastic AFC Championship performance, leading the team with nine tackles, adding a tackle for loss and a pass defended.

    "He is an exceptional talent," Mathieu said of Kittle. "They move him around. He runs routes from really all three positions. They bunch him up. They stack him up. They try to get him free releases. They put him in the backfield. He is a big part of what they do, concept-wise. It will be important for us to identify where he is. If it's man-to-man, really compete at the highest level against him."



    2. S Jaquiski Tartt vs. TE Travis Kelce

    Jaquiski Tartt has been a key piece for the 49ers secondary this season. The veteran safety tallied 44 total tackles, one tackle for loss, 0.5 sack, two passes defended, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Tartt missed the team's final four games with a rib injury and it took a toll on the defense. Since returning to the lineup in the postseason, the 49ers defense has allowed an average of 249 passing yards per game and a total of four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing). On the season, the 49ers have allowed the fewest yards to opposing tight ends which will be put to the test come Super Bowl Sunday against Travis Kelce. The tight end has been a major key to the Chiefs offensive success, hauling in 97 passes for 1,229 yards and six touchdowns. Kelce has continued to play at a high level in the postseason, posting 164 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs two come-from-behind wins in the playoffs. A major key to slowing down the Chiefs offense will be to take away one of Mahomes' favorite targets.

    "The dude is a receiving threat for sure," 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said about Kelce. "They like to put him in a lot of different positions to get him to catch the ball, and he knows what to do with it after he catches it. So I mean, he's a mismatch for sure. You don't really know who to put on him. You put a safety on him, he's a bigger body. You put a linebacker on him, he's shifty, he's fast. So he's going to be a challenge for us for sure."



    3. DL Nick Bosa vs. T Eric Fisher

    Nick Bosa has looked right at home in his first NFL playoff run. The rookie has notched 3.0 sacks, making him the first 49ers rookie to register 3.0-or-more sacks in a postseason. In the regular season, Bosa tallied 47 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks, one interception, two passes defended, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. The rookie also led the 2019 rookie class in quarterback hits with 25. Bosa and the rest of the 49ers defensive line will have a tall task to put pressure on Mahomes and force him into uncomfortable situations. Tackle Eric Fisher will be lined up opposite Bosa on the outside and will try to protect his quarterback from the stout rookie. The former-first overall pick has only allowed one sack this season.

    "Yeah, we're back playing a mobile quarterback and one who could throw better than any we've faced," Bosa said of Mahomes. "One of the biggest things is trying to keep him in the pocket and not let him escape when he wants to escape and make him uncomfortable."



    4. OL Laken Tomlinson vs. DT Chris Jones

    Laken Tomlinson has been a stalwart presence on the 49ers offensive line in 2019. The fifth-year offensive lineman has been a key piece in opening running lanes for the 49ers leading rushing offense in the postseason. Paired with Joe Staley on the left side of the offensive line, Tomlinson has kept his quarterback clean, allowing only three sacks on the season. Tomlinson will be focused on slowing down one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL on Sunday in Chris Jones. The fourth-year defensive lineman led the Chiefs in sacks in the regular season with 9.0, while adding 36 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 20 quarterback hits, four passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. After missing the AFC Divisional Round victory over the Houston Texans with a calf injury, Jones returned to action in the AFC Championship and notched two tackles and one quarterback hit. With another two weeks to get healthy, expect Jones to be prepped for action on Super Bowl Sunday.

    "Then you look at the offense," Jones said of the matchup against the 49ers. "Jimmy Garoppolo and the speed they create around him. One of the best tight ends in the league, George Kittle. They have a lot of weapons and they're very dynamic. Good team. Great team. You know with the scheme (Kyle) Shanahan is running over there, it's very pivotal. We've got to study film and dial in to whatever we can do to affect those guys."



    5. WR Emmanuel Sanders vs. CB Bashaud Breeland

    As soon as Emmanuel Sanders joined the 49ers in Week 8, he quickly became a veteran presence that the offense would lean on. That leadership will be vital on Sunday as Sanders is one of eight 49ers with past Super Bowl experience. In his two previous Super Bowls, Sanders hauled in eight passes for 100 yards. Since becoming a member of the 49ers, Sanders has registered 36 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns.

    "I think it's a mindset," Sanders said of the 49ers skill players being involved in other areas of the offense. "At the end of the day, we've got a lot of guys who aren't 'me' guys, it's about let's get the job done and let's win. It's more about 'we' than 'me.' And I'm one of those guys as well. And I think everybody is a part of it. You even look at (TE George) Kittle. Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the league, but everybody wants to talk about his blocking as well. So, I think it's contagious around the building in terms of going out and doing your job. When you look at your best players and they're doing it, I feel like everybody else will hop on board as well. So, it's contagious."

    Trying to slow down Sanders and the 49ers air attack will be Bashaud Breeland. The sixth-year NFL veteran has been a welcome addition to the Chiefs defense after joining the team this past offseason. Breeland has started 17 of the team's 18 games and notched 48 tackles, one tackle for loss, two interceptions, eight passes defended and two fumble recoveries. Breeland, along with the entire Chiefs secondary, have allowed the fewest yards to wide receivers in the league.

    Bonus Matchup: The Faithful vs. Chiefs Kingdom

    Who's going to bring more noise at Hard Rock Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday?

    Last edited by TopekaRoy; 02-02-2020 at 02:54 PM.
    ***Official Chiefs Crowd Game Thread Starter***

    This space is reserved for something that has nothing whatsoever to do with MatthewsChiefs. (Whoever THAT is!)

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