NFL

Super Bowl: The Biggest Myth About the 49ers and Chiefs You Should Stop Believing

A lot of storylines surround Super Bowl LIV. Will Andy Reid win his first championship? Will Kyle Shanahan follow in his father’s footsteps by winning a title? Will Patrick Mahomes or Jimmy Garoppolo lead their team to glory after haters doubted both of them?

Another developing storyline surrounds the Chiefs’ offense. Kansas City has scored a lot of points this postseason, and it’s led many people to a similar conclusion. However, this conclusion may just be a myth.

The Chiefs offense in the 2019 playoffs

In the 2019 playoffs, the Chiefs were absolutely on fire offensively. Kansas City had two games where they needed to score early and a lot due to falling behind. Both times they succeeded in the face of overwhelming odds. 

In the divisional round against Houston, the Chiefs trailed 21-0 and 24-7 before mounting a comeback. The Texans failed on a fake punt in Chiefs’ territory to give them a little help. The end result? A 51-31 blowout. For the first time in NFL playoff history, a team came back from more than 20 points down to win by 20 points. 

In the AFC championship game, the Chiefs founds themselves trailing the upstart Tennessee Titans, 17-7. With another deficit came another impressive offensive display. The Chiefs won the game, 35-24. 

The 49ers’ offense in 2019

While the Chiefs’ offense is lauded for its superior performances in the postseason, let the record show that the 49ers offense is no slouch either. San Francisco scored 479 points during the regular season — good for second in the NFL.  

The 49ers’ offense scored consistently each week, averaging 29.9 per game. They had two games where they tallied points into the 40s: Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals and Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. They also put up 51 against the Carolina Panthers in Week 8.

San Francisco did it with a balanced attack. Garoppolo threw 27 touchdowns — the team had 28 overall for 10th in the NFL. They were even better running the ball.

The Niners scored 23 rushing touchdowns, which was best in the league. Their 2,305 total rushing yards ranked second in the NFL. They didn’t have one primary rusher for most of the year; Raheem Mostert rushed for 772 yards, Tevin Coleman rushed for 544, and Matt Breida rushed for 623. 

But with Garoppolo completing only eight passes in the NFC championship and the Chiefs exploding offensively the last two weeks, is Kansas City in position to score more points than San Francisco?

The biggest myth about the 49ers and Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes takes a big hit from a 49ers defensive end in 2018
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes takes a hit from a 49er in 2018 | Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chiefs get a lot of credit for their postseason offensive outbursts, and they should. Mahomes has them playing incredibly well. Some fans may even think they’re much better off than San Francisco on that side of the ball. Those people would be wrong. 

While Mahomes’ ability to throw deep at any time, particularly to Tyreek Hill, makes Kansas City seem like it’s better on offense than the Niners, this isn’t the case. During the 2019 regular season, the Niners ranked ahead of the Chiefs. San Francisco was fourth overall while Kansas City was sixth. 

Both teams will likely score a lot in Super Bowl LIV. The game will come down to which defense can bend without breaking. A shutout is highly unlikely either way, but San Francisco’s defense has been particularly reliable this year.

As strong as Mahomes performed in these playoffs, he may have finally run into the defense that has answers for his arm.

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