The long wait for Super Bowl LIV is almost over. The Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Chiefs will come into the matchup with a tough assignment. Here are the good, the bad and the ugly of the Chiefs.
Patrick Mahomes is one of the most electric quarterbacks in the NFL. He and soon-to-be MVP quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson will be tearing up the league for many years to come. Though Mahomes suffered a small sophomore slump this season with 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, it wasn’t a bad year for the star QB, though it was a drop from his 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season. The offense is electric when it needs to be.
The Chiefs can score quickly and covering tight end Travis Kelce is going to be tough. He’s been a driving force of the team’s offensive production along with wide receiver Tyrek Hill and running back Damien Williams. If they need to, they can flip a switch instantly. Their biggest advantage is having a guy like Mahomes as a leader. He’s never down and out and is constantly keeping his head up. The leadership he shows is crucial for their success.
There isn’t a lot of bad or ugly for the Chiefs, but there is an issue that has shown in both of their playoff games. Against the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans, the Chiefs fell behind early and had to come back. This time, they are facing one of the best defenses in the NFL. The 49ers have multiple first-round draft picks on their defense and the running game has been extremely efficient under Kyle Shanahan.
The 49ers have answered every call and overcome just about every challenge this season. Even in the games they lost, they still performed well.
In all four of their losses this season, the Chiefs gave up 110+ yards rushing on defense. In their close win against the Detroit Lions in week four, they surrendered 186 rushing yards. If not for a goal-line turnover that was returned for a touchdown and a game-winning drive from Mahomes, the season would have looked much different.
Against a good Green Bay Packers defense during the conference championship game, the 49ers ran for 285 yards. Those are passing stats. The Chiefs defense has the tendency, as of late, to get down early. If the 49ers get a two-score lead early, they will run the ball down the Chiefs’ throat.
Of course, the Chiefs held NFL limited rushing leader Derrick Henry during the AFC Championship. However, Shanahan and the 49ers are a different beast altogether.
Overall, the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the NFL. They have flaws, but can play with the best of the best. The big thing to look out for is an elite play from Mahomes. The biggest threat is falling behind. They play with momentum. Any bet against them should be approached with caution.