The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs square off in the big game. Here are the RSR staff Super Bowl 54 predictions.
Super Bowl 54 will be the most difficult to watch since Super Bowl 46 when the Patriots and Giants squared off. If not for Lee Evans’ inability to secure a perfectly thrown back-shoulder pass from Joe Flacco, for what would have been the winning score in the 2012 AFC Championship Game, the Ravens would have taken on the G-Men instead of Tom Brady & Co.
Now, in 2020, we can’t help but think it should be the Ravens v. 49ers in a rematch of Super Bowl 47. What could’ve been…
Be that as it may, the healing process is slow and it’s hard to believe that as of the posting of this article, it has been just 19 days since the Ravens fell to the Titans – 19 long, agonizing days.
So today we painfully turn our attention towards the 49ers v. Chiefs, in many ways old school v. new school football.
• The 49ers will double the rushing output of the Chiefs
• Patrick Mahomes will throw for 150+ yards more than Jimmy Garoppolo
• Tackling will be an issue for the Chiefs after the catch as George Kittle and Deebo Samuel YAC away.
• Referee Bill Vinovich will make a controversial call that keeps the Chiefs hopes alive on their final drive. Troy Aikman will vehemently protest the call while Mike Pereira lamely defends his former colleague.
• However, the comeback stalls when Tyreek Hill fumbles in 49ers territory after which, the Niners line up in victory formation.
• Raheem Mostert will be the game’s MVP with 175+ yards from scrimmage.
• Block pool participants with good numbers will be upset.
49ers 36 Chiefs 32
Since the Ravens were defeated in the divisional round I have checked out mentally from football. I needed time to grieve and am still doing so. I have still been watching the games including the Pro Bowl but with much less enthusiasm. I’m not sure who I am really even rooting for yet but I think the 49ers. I’d really like it if it would end in a tie.
The San Francisco 49ers, much like the Ravens have been a favorite to be in the Super Bowl for a large portion of the season. They have a very complete, balanced team with playmakers on both sides of the ball. A great defense combined with a great run game makes for great success in the post season. Their defensive line should be able to cause problems for Patrick Mahomes.
The Kansas City Chiefs seem to be the team destined to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday with last year’s league MVP playing at a very high level again. The defense has made strides throughout the season and getting key players like Chris Jones back healthy will make a big difference as well. The speed that the Chiefs offer give even the best defenses some problems. The biggest determining factor will be how quickly the 49ers front line gets to Mahomes. Will they allow Mahomes to have enough time to get the ball down the field or can he scramble enough to make some huge plays.
I think the Chiefs take this one and the 49ers simply won’t be able to keep up with the high flying offense of the Chiefs.
Chiefs 31 49ers 24
I still feel like we should be watching the Ravens on Sunday, but here we go…
– The Niners are a great defense, but I don’t trust their quarterback to make big plays. The Chiefs have a great quarterback, but I don’t trust their defense to make big stops. This prediction really comes down to who I trust more.
– Mahomes may struggle at first due to SF’s pass rush, but I do expect him to find footing and have a tremendous game. If he can eliminate turnovers altogether, this offense could be impossible to stop down the stretch.
– The 49ers should find some success on the ground, and I look for a big game from Raheem Mostert. They have to use him to open up the play-action and get the ball to Kittle. If they can do that, they might be able to keep it close.
– Ultimately, while I think this will be a great Super Bowl, I think Honey Badger Mathieu makes a big play to seal it for KC.
Chiefs 34 49ers 30
Kansas City’s journey to this Super Bowl reminds me so much of the 2011 and 2012 Ravens’ seasons. Had it not been for a terrible offsides against Dee Ford in the 2018 playoffs, the Chiefs would be in their second straight Super Bowl this season. That type of miscue against the Patriots is awfully similar to Lee Evans/Billy Cundiff, isn’t it? The Ravens used that heartbreak to go out and win the Super Bowl the next season.
Kansas City has that same opportunity against the same opponent. The symmetry is crazy.
This game is simple to dissect. Kansas City needs to stop San Francisco’s running game and San Francisco needs to slow down Patrick Mahomes. Whichever team does a better job at their respective task, will win Super Bowl 54.
The reason I’m backing the Chiefs hard in this game is because there are two ways they can slow down the 49ers rushing offense. First would be by simply playing great defense up-front and that starts with Chris Jones. He seems to be healthy and will be a major factor in this game. The second, and in my opinion most likely, way the Chiefs will slow down the 49ers offense is by scoring points. Sounds simple right? The best way to eliminate Raheem Mostert and co. is to force San Francisco to beat you through the air. They were able to do that against the Saints late in the season, but I see that as an outlier.
Kansas City’s offense is a juggernaut. The sentiment that “you can’t stop them; you can only hope to contain them” is true against this team. San Francisco won’t be able to contain them.
I like the Chiefs to cover and the over to hit:
Kansas City 34 San Francisco 23
I’ve seen the arguments from Ravens fans for why to root for each team on Sunday. I just can’t get behind – or against – either squad wholeheartedly. I’m ok with that though…it’ll be fun to just sit back and hope for an entertaining game, without having to get stressed out cheering against someone (like we’ve had to do every time New England is in this game).
On the Chiefs side, you’ve got Suggs, Mahomes completely putting the Madden curse to bed (I’m telling you, this is in our interest!), and Andy Reid, but of course they also employ Tyreek Hill, and some of their fans are quite obnoxious on social media. Plus, if you’re an O’s fan like I am, Kansas City is forever on your ish list.
On the 49ers side, you’ve got another team flipping the “this is a passing league!” script completely on its head, the chance for a sixth ring that would tie those fools in New England and Pittsburgh, and Kyle Shanahan’s redemption. On the other hand, they employ Richard Sherman (I don’t mind him, but he rubs many the wrong way), it’s annoying that they got back to the Super Bowl before the Ravens did, and oh yeah, their fans were annoying on social media this year too.
So, it’s a wash in my mind. Give me a good, close game.
Chiefs 31 49ers 30
There’s always one person that has to spit in the face of popular opinion… it’s typically yours truly.
This time is no different.
Everyone is predicting a high-scoring affair, given the firepower of the Chiefs offense led by Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and notable POS Tyreek Hill, countered by a 49ers offense that cannot be stopped in the run game as they continue to chunk yards, and eat clock.
With that being said, I’m expecting a lower-scoring affair come Super Bowl Sunday. It’s not that I don’t think KC’s offense is electric – it’s simply that I think the 49ers defense is going to stifle them, and do so efficiently. The pressure in Mahomes’ face won’t allow Hill & Hardman to go streaking downfield, the underneath routes to Kelce will be doubled, and the run game for KC will be non-existent.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers will continue to do what they’ve done all season- chunk yards in the run game, mix in the occasional pass, and embarrass an opposing defense.
Sounds painfully familiar, doesn’t it?
Ultimately, the 49ers jump out to a 17-3 halftime lead, and continue the dominance in the second half with a few clock-eating scoring drives, all while making the Chiefs look flat out pedestrian. Andy Reid continues to search for his first Super Bow victory, while Mahomes doesn’t get the 1-up on Lamar Jackson in the ring category. Jimmy G only throws a dozen times, while the 49ers rack up over 220 rushing yards. Sam Fran’s sixth ring ties them with New England and Pittsburgh for most in NFL history and pissing off Pats fans and Yinzers will give me reason to smile.
SB MVP: Raheem Mostert (145yds, 2 TD)
49ers 27 Chiefs 10
“Jermaine, are you still hot about the Ravens’ loss?” YES! Heck Yes, I’m still hot that here it is a couple of days before the big dance and my team is not in it. I’m hot that for some reason or another, my team couldn’t win a home game after destroying the league since week five without a loss. Frustrating is an understatement. People are back to calling the Ravens QB a RB and saying the team is all about “the choke” but I’ll go cry in the fetal position about this later. For now, l believe you are here for the bold predictions for this upcoming Super Bowl 54.
The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs present a similar matchup to Super Bowl 53, where there was a high-powered offense (Los Angeles Rams) vs. a stout defense and run game (New England Patriots). Unfortunately for the fans, this was an incredibly dull defensive game that had me focusing, praying on decent Super Bowl commercials. This year, my bold prediction is that Mecole Hardman wins MVP.
Special teams is an area that is paramount in field position. Hardman and the Chiefs are currently 6th in the league on yards per return on kickoffs. Giving Patrick Mahomes the short field to work with already gives him an advantage on the NFC Champions, who, according to footballdb.com, allow 21.79 yards per game. Hardman may be the second-fastest player on the team behind the “Cheetah” Tyreek Hill, but the speed is evident. If the 49ers leave the simplest gap in coverage, Hardman will sail in for six.
The former Georgia boy is not just a weapon on special teams. I believe he will have a major contribution to the offense as they move the ball down the field as well. The focus of Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon will be where Hill and Travis Kelce lines up on the field. The Niner’s D may play a zone package to protect the two. We know Richard is exposable in man-to-man coverage, being that he is long in the tooth. Witherspoon only has a 40-time of 4.5 recorded since entering the league. They’ll face WRs with 40s in the 4.3s and below. Sure, they have security in zone coverage over the top with Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmy Ward, but there will opportunities that the Chiefs can exploit. Hardman will be that opportunity.
Here is a compilation of shot (+20 yards) plays where he has taken advantage of teams deep down the field.
All Mecole Hardman does is score touchdowns that are over 20 yards.
Also, that TD against TEN is one of the most incredible "fast guy" moments I've seen. Just dusts a pair of world-class athletes. pic.twitter.com/cX6lowh6QO
— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) January 28, 2020
Hardman’s ability to stretch defenses will open up things underneath, and he should be recognized as the determining factor in this matchup.
I predict he will follow Jacoby Jones’ SB 47 Model of 234 return yards and 1-TD and 56 receiving yards and 1-TD bringing home the Championship to KC after a 50-year gap and adding an MVP Award as icing on the cake. Don’t @ me bro. Enjoy the game.
Chiefs 34 49ers 21
Patrick Mahomes has carried the Chiefs all season and this game will be no different. Kanas City will lock down the 49ers running game. much like it did against the Titans. San Francisco will not be as successful against Mahomes, who will start breaking down the 49ers defense in the second half and pull away.
Chiefs 28 49ers 17