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 two:
Once again, we’re going to start here…at the coin toss…
San Francisco wins and bucks the trend, opting to receive the ball and go on offense first.
We all know what San Francisco wants to do to this Chiefs defense. They want to run the ball right up the gut with Raheem Mostert and the crew.
Kansas City did a fantastic job in the AFC Championship game by loading up the box and almost completely negating Derrick Henry, the NFL’s leading rusher. They’ll start the same way, and after two short gains, it’s third and six. Kyle Shanahan dials up a nifty play action screen pass that catches K.C. off guard for twelve yards and the new set of downs. With the box loaded again on first down, Jimmy G hits Kittle in the flat for seven yards, and the Niners convert on the next play, an end around by receiver Deebo Samuel.
San Francisco converts, and keeps converting. The Niners make their intentions clear, throwing on first down, then mauling the defensive line for yardage through the rest of a brutal and exhausting drive that is capped by a Jimmy G two-yard-rush to the end zone. By the time Kansas City sees the ball, they’re down by seven and more than half of the opening quarter is gone.
49ers 7, Chiefs 0
Patrick Mahomes isn’t scared of anything, and he’s ready to throw right into the teeth of the NFL’s stingiest pass defense. Watkins and Hill both show their speed, and the Chiefs quickly assert their downfield dominance…until Richard Sherman undercuts the route on a third-and-short pass to Watkins. Sherman can’t corral the ball, but the pass breakup forces a field goal attempt and shows some cracks in the Chiefs offensive armor.
49ers 7, Chiefs 3
With Jimmy G connecting on seven of his first nine passes, and George Kittle already having forty yards worth of catches, the Chiefs need to back away from the stacked front that they started with. Jimmy G’s efficiency is enough to keep them honest. But they won’t fare any better as Mostert revs up the engines. In another monster drive that lasts well into the second quarter, Jimmy G throws only three passes, as the run game really starts to click. Worse yet, each of Garoppolo’s three passes each go for fifteen yards, two of them on play action, and the last a dart to an uncovered Emmanuel Sanders on a blown coverage for the Niners second touchdown.
49ers 14, Chiefs 3
It’s now almost six minutes into the second quarter and the Niners defense has only been on the field for four and a half minutes. They look fresh and are doing well to pressure Patrick Mahomes, but he’s still making opportunities out of nothing. Hill slips past Sherman on a go route for a huge gain, and the Chiefs counter with a touchdown of their own as Sammy Watkins does his best toe drag in the corner of the end zone.
49ers 14, Chiefs 10
After the second half gets started with the 49ers leading 17-13, Kansas City executes a lightning fast textbook drive to take their first lead of the game on a Mahomes keeper following a pass interference penalty that sets them up inside the twenty. At 20-17 Chiefs, just three minutes into the half, it’s anyone’s game.
The back and forth that follows will be amazing to watch as the teams trade touchdowns in vastly different styles, with San Francisco grinding the clock with the running game and short play action passes, and Kansas City taking huge chunks of the field and executing perfectly on short, efficient drives. It starts to look like whoever gets the ball last will win.
That’s when it finally happens, just after the two-minute warning with the Chiefs driving close to midfield.
Mahomes tries to throw over a fast approaching Nick Bosa to hit Tyreek Hill on a crossing route, but Bosa elevates and gets one finger on the ball. It’s just enough to deflect the ball out of the path of the streaking Hill, and directly into the chest of Richard Sherman, who won’t drop two balls in the same game. He’ll run it back to the thirty-yard line before being pushed out of bounds by Mahomes. One first down later, Jimmy G and the Niners line up in victory formation and run out the clock for the win.
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Image Source: AP Images