The NFL’s 100th season will wrap up in Super Bowl LIV when the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs battle in Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium.
This is the sixth Super Bowl to take place at the stadium, although the venue has had a different name for almost every championship — Sun Life Stadium (XLIV, 2010), Dolphin Stadium (XLI, 2007), Pro Player Stadium (XXXIII, 1999), Joe Robbie Stadium (XXIX, 1995).
Miami is my hometown.
This will be the 11th time a Super Bowl has been played in South Florida. The Miami area ranks first among all host cities, with New Orleans (10) coming in a close second.
Let’s get into it before I share my prediction, critical facts about the big game.
The game between the Chiefs and 49ers is marking the first time these two have met in a Super Bowl.
This is the first Super Bowl appearance for the Chiefs in 50 years. The last time Kansas City made it this far, it was Jan. 11, 1970, when the Chiefs topped the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV for their first — and only — Lombardi Trophy.
This is the 49ers’ seventh Super Bowl appearance. San Francisco went to five Super Bowls between 1981-1994 and won all five of them, then returned their talents to the big game in 2012, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
For the 49ers on offense, in the postseason, they gained 71% of their yards on the ground. Raheem Mostert can be the MVP for the Niners building Jimmy Garoppolo’s confidence in the play-action pass. The 49ers cannot afford to play from behind.
The edge goes to San Francisco on defense. The defensive line needs to get to Patrick Mahomes with Nick Bosa leading the way on that talented defensive line.
The 49ers enter the game leading the NFL in pressure rate when blitzing this season. They will also need to attack Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce at the line of scrimmage and double Tyreek Hill.
If the Niners win Super Bowl LIV, they will tie the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl victories in NFL history (6).
Kansas City is only slightly favored by less than two points, a primary reason why is because they have arguably the best player in the game in Mahomes. He is an NFL best 91 QBR versus zone coverage, which is the 49ers scheme in the secondary.
The Chiefs have to stop the 49ers running attack and force Garoppolo to make tough decisions in passing the ball and take away 49ers tight end George Kittle who has wide receiver speed.
If the Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV, they will end the second-longest Lombardi Trophy drought among teams that have already won a Super Bowl. Nine different franchises have yet to win a single Super Bowl, but among teams that have done so, only the New York Jets (51 years) have endured a longer stretch in between titles.
San Francisco 49ers 38 – Kansas City Chiefs 35