• Zach Grier

When Dreams Come True: Super Bowl Preview from a 49ers Fan in Kansas City

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann


Many of you know me as the young man from Kansas that enjoys giving out completely accurate food takes, drinks applesauce, and creating memes for pleasure. Well today I’m going to do what I do best on average by throwing out some facts about the upcoming Super Bowl match.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always dreamed of this matchup coming into fruition by playing Madden every year and making sure that both teams made it to the Super Bowl. Of course, I would play as the Niners and destroy the Chiefs in the game just to make myself feel better.

My father got me into watching football at a young age and I always wanted to learn more and more about the sport each time I watched a game. Living in the Kansas-Missouri region, we always got the Chiefs games so I have watched just about every single game when they played and watch at the bottom of the screen to see how well the Niners were doing during that time frame. Now that I have the ability to live stream games, I don’t have to keep checking the score every five seconds. I can actually watch both games at the same time. Modern technology is so awesome and helpful!

Both teams had the chance to meet for the first time in the 1993 conference championship games. The world would have seen a game with Joe Montana facing his former teammates being led by his previous backup Steve Young in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, both teams lost in their championship games, with the Chiefs losing to the Buffalo Bills 30-13 and the Niners losing to the Dallas Cowboys 38-21. The Cowboys would go on to win the Super Bowl against the Bills that year 30-13.

Now it’s the 2019 season, and both teams won their respective championship games to meet in Super Bowl LIV! Some of you may be wondering how they got there in the first place. You’re about to find out.

We’ll start off with the teams’ statistics. The Niners have the second best scoring offense, averaging 29.9 points a game, and have the eighth best scoring defense, allowing 19.4 points a game. The Niners have the best passing defense in the league but are seventeenth in rushing defense.

The Chiefs are fifth best in scoring offense by 28.2 points a game, and have the seventh best scoring defense by allowing 19.2 points a game. They have the eighth best passing defense, but are the sixth worst rushing defense in the league.

Of course stats don’t always tell the whole story, because it also depends on who their opponents were as well and how well they fared against them. The Niners went into a three-game stretch from Weeks 12through 14 called, “The Gauntlet,” which featured three teams with the best records in the league. No team had this problem before in NFL history and the Niners went 2-1 in the stretch by beating the Green Bay Packers and then the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens by a last-second field goal to win the game. In fact, all of the Niners losses have come down to the last second play, with Seattle kicking the field goal in at the end of overtime and Julio Jones crossing the touchdown plane.

The Chiefs’ best wins were against the Minnesota Vikings, without Patrick Mahomes, the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. Even though the Ravens were a completely different team from the beginning of the season than in the end.

The Chiefs have been a second- and third-quarter team this year. You may be thinking, “Don’t you mean a second half team?” No, I mean they are a completely dominant team when they reach the second and third quarters of every game, but are not effective during the first and fourth quarters. They go downhill! Yes, I know it’s weird, but it’s a true fact, and the Niners are a well-rounded team and can consistently score in any quarter.

Here comes the part where most of you are going to say, “Why am I reading this article? We all know this guy is completely biased.” That’s not true. I’ve been completely unbiased this entire time and speaking from an NFL fan point-of-view and been doing some extensive research.

The Chiefs have better offensive weapons, but the Niners have a better defense. Everyone knows that the better matchup is between those two but don’t sleep on Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners offense against the Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu-led defense. Like I mentioned before, the Chiefs may have better offensive weapons but the Niners have the best overall offense when it comes to both running and passing the ball. The Chiefs’ defense struggles against the play action and the run game, which the Niners excel at, so if they don’t find a way to stop those two aspects of the Niners defense, they are going to have one long evening.

In order for the Niners to win, they have to find a way to contain Patrick Mahomes and get into his head. They also need to figure out how to keep up with both Tyreek Hill’s and Mercole Hardman’s speed and agility.

The best thing about Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce’s connection is that they both know where to find the zone spots in the defensive coverages. The Niners run a Cover-3 scheme that used to rely heavily on the zone but has implemented more man coverages this season so Kelce may find open holes in the zone coverage to just sit and wait for the ball to come to him once he finds the sweet spot, something he excels at. Niners also have one of the best defensive lines in football right now. The reason Mahomes was able to run so freely against the Tennessee Titans was because they kept on rushing on three players instead of four. The Niners almost always rush all four players and very rarely blitz the quarterback, but they may try some disguises to trick Mahomes. Those will be a couple of things to watch out for on this upcoming Sunday.

The connection between quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle is unique because of Kittle’s YAC (yards after catch) and run-blocking abilities. The Chiefs struggle against players that have YAC abilities and can often miss tackles. Their linebackers are the worst positions on the defense and the middle of the field is always wide open. Head coach Kyle Shanahan will exploit this flaw.

I am so excited for this Super Bowl matchup and of course I will be happy if the Chiefs do find a way to win this game. It has been 50 years since the franchise last won the big game and they definitely deserve it. I’m just hoping it’s not this year and that the Niners can take it home because they too deserve it for the constant disrespect that they have been getting all year, and for the owner Jed York’s brother, Tony, since he passed away last year and his last wish was to bring home the Lombardi trophy.

It also would be poetic justice for Jimmy G to win the Super Bowl against the team that he was facing when he tore his ACL in Week 3 of 2018.

Go Niners!


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