SNIDER: 49ers to beat Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV

Rick Snider
January 31, 2020 - 1:06 pm
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The best defense may be a good offense for the San Francisco 49ers. Not that the 49ers don’t already have a good defense, but combined they’ll beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV.

San Francisco’s second-ranked pass defense can stop Kansas City’s second-ranked passing offense. Straight up, the 49ers can lick them. But, throw in a ball-hogging 49ers offense and the Chiefs will probably have a couple fewer possessions than usual. Throw in San Francisco likely grabbing an early lead against the slower-starting Chiefs and Kansas City won’t have enough time for a comeback.

San Francisco (+1) 31, Kansas City 28.

Yes, take the over 54½ points in what should be the most exciting Super Bowl in years. Lots of scoring. Wait, didn’t I just talk about the 49ers defense curtailing the Chiefs? Yes, but it’s all relative. Even a bad day has the Chiefs scoring four touchdowns. They can do it in a flash as the Houston Texans know well.

But the 49ers will show the Redskins that having a dominant inside disruptor like Nick Bosa is a great reason for Washington to draft Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick on April 23. The 49ers will use their four-man rush to keep Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes from drifting outside where he’s more deadly. Bosa will go inside over center and collapse the pocket where Mahomes is stuck.

That’s really the whole key to the game – containing Mahomes. Make him struggle against the 49ers cover-3 defense with Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley. The Chiefs will get their points, especially late trying to rally, but the 49ers have enough defense to contain Kansas City.

Meanwhile, don’t sleep on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, he barely threw in the playoffs, but only because the 49ers relied on a successful running game. They’ll run often again to chew up the clock and keep the ball away from Mahomes. But Garoppolo completed 69.1 percent this season for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns. This isn’t a team hiding its passer.

Meanwhile, add a few prop bets to your list. Always take heads on the coin toss. No to J-Lo having a wardrobe malfunction. Less than eight songs in the halftime show. Garoppolo will throw less than 239½ yards. Mahomes will throw for less than 305½ yards. Sherman will win the MVP.

And don’t forget – it’s not the Super Bowl if you’re not eating wings.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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