If you’re a loyal listener of the Sports are from Venus podcast, you know I think that this Super Bowl can go one of two ways, so let’s explore both scenarios, shall we?
Super Bowl LIV Scenario one:
We’re going to start here…at the coin toss…
The Niners win and defer, because that’s the conventional wisdom now, and kicks off to start the game.
Before the San Francisco defense adjust to the downfield speed of the Chiefs receivers, Patrick Mahomes connects with Tyreek Hill for a 55-yard reception that results in a Travis Kelce touchdown four plays later.
Chiefs 7, Niners 0
Trying too hard to establish the run in the early going, San Francisco struggles to move the ball and punts after just one first down. Jimmy Garoppolo has yet to attempt a pass.
Following a shifty 27-yard punt return from Mecole Hardman, Kansas City starts their next drive at the Chiefs 45-yard line. Mahomes takes off on his own on first down, scampering 15 yards into Niners territory. After an incompletion on a tipped ball, Mahomes connects on his next four passes, finishing with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins.
Chiefs 14, Niners 0
This is exactly the Super Bowl scenario that the Niners need to avoid early. Trailing by two scores before the end of the first quarter and struggling to run the ball will render San Francisco’s pre-game plan null and void and force them to push the ball downfield with Jimmy G too much. They’ll need to play Kansas City’s game, not theirs. Frankly, that’s going to end badly for San Francisco, like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Mistakes will be made, Mahomes will make them pay with precise, efficient drives and that stout Niners defense will start to lose steam. And if they start running out of energy in the second half, lookout.
The Chiefs speed advantage in the secondary will become too much to handle and the rout will be on. Needing to provide safety support over the top at all times, Travis Kelce will become nearly unstoppable while single covered in the flat. Twelve to fifteen-yard completions to the big tight end will just pile up.
With the running game a distant memory and a big deficit to make up, Jimmy G will air it out in the second half, but Deebo Samuel and a dinged up George Kittle won’t be enough to keep pace with Kansas City’s array of weapons, and the Chiefs will get off the field quickly more often than not.
Plenty of people think that Mahomes and the Chiefs have too much firepower for the Niners to keep it close. If this scenario plays out, it most definitely will be.
For more thoughts and opinions from Tom, check out his author page.
Image Source: AP Images