Some might say defense wins championships, however, quarterbacks win championships in the National Football League. Ask legends such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and they’ll tell you what it takes to win. Fortunately for the Chiefs, they have the right quarterback for the job in Patrick Mahomes to lead them to victory.
Mahomes began this season like his usual self, slicing apart defenses and forming an MVP type season until his week 7 injury slowed him down for a few weeks. Luckily for the Chiefs he came back ready for a Super Bowl run, leading his team on a six game win streak into the playoffs. Mahomes made the Texans’ defense look like fools as he dropped 51 on their heads, and the Titans defense which shut down both Brady and Lamar Jackson had no answer for the former Red Raider. Mahomes accounted for 9 touchdowns in two playoff games, and the Chiefs stacked offense certainly helped. Injuries to Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams, Sammy Watkins, and key members to the offensive line limited their success as a unit, however with the team now fully healthy, along with Travis Kelce dominating defenses, it’s hard for any unit to stand in their way.
The San Francisco 49ers definitely earned their Super Bowl run, but don’t be fooled, their defense isn’t as dominating as one might expect. The first half of the season was a cakewalk for the team, as their hardest opponents were the struggling Rams and a Steelers team with Mason Rudolph starting. There were dominant showings against the Packers and Vikings in the playoffs, but both those teams have been inconsistent on offense all season. In the second half of the season, the Niners defense struggled to an extent, giving up 46 to the Saints, 31 to the Rams, 29 to the Falcons, and games of 20+ to the Ravens, Seahawks, and Cardinals. Those offenses are good, but none compare to the red hot offense of the Chiefs, especially with Mahomes looking like the best player in the NFL.
One might ask themselves, “So how did the Niners get here?” The Niners got to the Super Bowl through a dominant run game led by Raheem Mostert who went from a backup to a key member of the team. This was capitalized by his performance last week, scoring 4 touchdowns and racking up 220 yards on the Packers defense, a surprise to most. The reality of this performance is, though Mostert did look good, the Packers run defense is just awful. The team ranks 26th in yards per game and 28th in yards per attempt, showing the lack of interior strength of the unit. One could argue that the Chiefs have the same issue, ranking right above the Packers in both statistics, however the team’s performance against Derrick Henry showed their ability to stop the run, as Steve Spagnolia’s defense has only allowed 95 rushing yards since week 11. Players such as Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark, and Chris Jones have stepped up as play makers to strengthen the defense and put Kansas City in the position they are in now.
Saying the Chiefs offense will put up points is almost guaranteed, and with the evolution of the Chiefs run defense, the Niners will need to turn to Jimmy Garroppolo, their $137.5 million man, to step up and win the game for them. Jimmy Garroppolo, the man who has completed 17 passes in the playoffs, will need to throw the ball to win the game. Personally, I don’t have the faith in Jimmy just yet to lead his team to the win when the lights are brightest, and I ultimately believe that Mahomes has the skills to win it. Ultimately, I believe that the Chiefs take home the win in a 31-21 victory.