For the first time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs have returned to the Super Bowl with a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. It pits two of the league’s top teams on the grandest stage. The Chiefs’ defense are in for a tough challenge against the 49ers‘ balanced offensive attack that could be the driving point in how Super Bowl 54 unfolds. With that in mind, Kansas City may have pinpointed how they plan to defend San Francisco on Sunday night.
49ers’ balanced offense
Since Kyle Shanahan took over the as the head coach of the 49ers, the team has pushed their way forward to possessing one of the more formidable offenses in the league.
San Francisco has pieced together a roster on that side of the ball that possesses a tremendous amount of balance. That has seen them put in place their franchise quarterback with Jimmy Garoppolo as he put forth a career-best campaign in 2019 with 27 touchdown passes, 3,978 passing yards, and a 102.0 passer rating.
Meanwhile, their running game was the second-most productive in the league behind the Baltimore Ravens, averaging 144.1 yards per game, first with 23 rushing touchdowns. The combined production from these both aspects has pushed them to second with 29.9 points and fifth in total yards.
The defense may have led the 49ers through stretches of the season, but their offense can more than hold its own on the field to keep up with the best units. However, Kansas City has a game plan in place that they believe can help them get past San Francisco in Super Bowl 54.
How the Chiefs will defend the 49ers
In the days heading into Super Bowl 54, one of the most significant areas that will be focused on is the Chiefs’ defense. Over the last couple of years, that unit has drawn some stigma around their ability to defend effectively.
Regardless of all that, Kansas City has an opportunity to prove themselves on the grandest stage. According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Chiefs star defensive end Chris Jones has voiced the team is planning to put pressure on Garoppolo to carry San Francisco’s offense.
The 49ers reached the Super Bowl, but much has been made from Garoppolo’s lack of production with 17-of-27 completed passes for 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception. That includes him throwing for just 77 yards on 6-of-8 completed passes in the NFC Championship Game.
The 49ers have more than enough belief that Garoppolo can head the charge, but that looks like it will truly be put to the test.
Pressure is on more than Jimmy Garoppolo
What this further emphasizes is that Garoppolo will have a significant amount of responsibility to lead the 49ers. His production may not be at the level that would generate a great deal of outside confidence in his performance, but it’s a chance for him to prove himself on the grandest stage.
Garoppolo has proven himself throughout the season as he had a strong performance against the New Orleans Saints, where he matched the play of Drew Brees by passing for 349 yards with four touchdowns. That was capped off by guiding the offense down the field in the final minutes of regulation to set up the game-winning field goal.
The 28-year-old also put up strong outings against the Arizona Cardinals, where he had at least 300 passing yards and four touchdowns in each contest. There may be a substantial importance on Garoppolo’s performance. Still, the 49ers defense should have an equally tough challenge of defending on Patrick Mahomes, who has put together an impressive run through the playoffs. Mahomes is the focal point of the Chiefs, whose play could be indicative of how the Super Bowl unfolds.
All of this sets up what should be an entertaining matchup in Super Bowl 54 with these two evenly matched powerhouse.