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Super Bowl LIV: Essential Storylines and Predictions

After 266 total games during the NFL regular season and postseason so far, it now all comes down to one.

While J-Lo and Shakira will be gracing the stage during halftime, football fans are anticipating an even more entertaining show between two of the NFL’s top teams. 

The Kansas City Chiefs will be taking on the San Francisco 49ers on February 2nd in Miami. 

With only one Super Bowl appearance and victory since 1970, Kansas City’s 24-year-old star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is looking to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City will have their hands full against young head coach Kyle Shannahan’s squad, boasting an NFC West Championship title with a top-tier offense and defense. 

While the 49ers are a worthy opponent for Kansas City, San Francisco’s defense will be tested by Mahomes. 

Before we dive into our predictions for the matchup, let’s explore some storylines for both teams that will influence our final thoughts: 

Top San Francisco 49ers Storylines 

Before the 2019 NFL season commenced, most 49ers fans and analysts anticipated that the team would finish around .500 due to their competitive schedule. 

Finishing the 2019 regular season with the best record in the NFC West and being placed at +550 odds to win Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers have exceeded the public’s expectations

Top-Tier Defense 

Part of what makes Super Bowl LIV such an exciting matchup for viewers is how San Francisco’s dominant pass defense will stack up against Kansas City’s powerhouse offense led by Patrick Mahomes. Because Mahomes missed part of the year due to a dislocated kneecap, he has regressed slightly since his monstrous previous year, in which he threw 50 TDs.

Offseason additions for San Francisco, including Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, will test Kansas City’s young star quarterback just as they’ve tested other top-notch quarterbacks during the season. The likes of Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Baltimore’s MVP-to-be Lamar Jackson were no match for this 49ers defense.

Key Breakout Players  

San Francisco’s regular season and playoff success have partially hinged on unexpected players having breakout seasons on both sides of the ball. 

49er running back Raheem Mostert spent the early phase of his NFL career bouncing between different teams, including the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears, before San Francisco picked him up in 2016. Mostert was primarily a special teams gunner until recent years where he’s taken the lead running back role following injuries to Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman. Mostert now leads the 49ers in rushing yards (772) and rushing touchdowns (8). 

On the defensive side of San Francisco’s roster, notoriously injury-prone defensive back Jimmie Ward has been having a career year. After suffering a collarbone injury during training camp, Ward has been dominating at the free safety position and has even earned himself a Pro Bowl alternate spot. 

Now onto the Kansas City Chiefs!  

Top Kansas City Chiefs Storylines 

The Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years! Led by veteran head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs are looking to give Kansas City football fans what they’ve been waiting so long for: a long-awaited second championship title. 

Let’s dive into the top Kansas City Chiefs storylines to follow heading into February 2nd’s matchup: 

Head Coach Andy Reid Looks to Polish His Resume 

Statistics show that Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in NFL history. Reid is most known for his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, in which he had only three losing seasons and reached a Super Bowl. A win in Super Bowl LIV would go a long way when it comes to solidifying Reid’s legacy as an exceptional NFL head coach. 

San Francisco Can Tie for the Best

The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for the most Super Bowl victories in NFL history at 6. Not far behind Pittsburgh and New England sits San Francisco with 5 Super Bowl titles. A win for San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV carries a lot of significance for the franchise as a whole. Kansas City will look to spoil this potential celebration, hoping to keep the 49ers away from that elusive sixth title.

Overall Super Bowl LIV Prediction 

Now that we’ve weighed both sides of the ball, let’s dive into predictions. 

Kansas City’s hopes ride or die with Patrick Mahomes. While Mahomes has put up dominant stats, the young quarterback is heading into February 2nd’s matchup with a lack of Super Bowl experience. The big stage that the Super Bowl presents can make or break a player. If Mahomes rises to the occasion, it’s more than likely that the Chiefs will end up on top. 

If Mahomes cracks under pressure, San Francisco’s well-rounded squad should tie Pittsburgh and New England for the most Super Bowl titles in NFL franchise history. With the Chiefs sitting at -1.5 to win it all, we agree with the Vegas lines that Kansas City will come out on top in a last-minute victory. 

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