49ers’ defense will have their hands full against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City’s offense in Super Bowl LIV

ap file photo: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes drops back to pass in the first half of their game against the Chicago Bears on Aug 25th in pre season play. Little did Mahomes know at the time he and the Chiefs would wind up in Super Bowl LIV 

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

SANTA CLARA–The San Francisco 49ers made winning the NFC Championship over the Green Bay Packers, 37-20, to advance to Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night look like a walk in the park. It will be San Francisco’s first trip to the Super Bowl since 2013, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31.

For the franchise to claim its sixth Vince Lombardi trophy in seven trips to the Super Bowl, the 49ers are going to have to take down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, who are returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years after defeating the Tennessee Titans, 35-24, to capture the Lamar Hunt trophy, named after the Chiefs’ late owner as the winner of the AFC.

The Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7, in Super Bowl IV.

The play of San Francisco’s defense will be critical when the football is kicked off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb. 2. If San Francisco’s defense plays anywhere near it did against both the Vikings and Packers respectively, than the 49ers will be in primed position to win the game.

In two playoff games, the 49ers stood head and shoulders above the rest on defense, finishing first in points (15.0), total yards (252.2), rushing yards (41.5), takeaways (5), and third down percentage (23.8).

But neither Minnesota or Green Bay can match Kansas City’s offense, which can go nuclear within a blink of an eye with the aforementioned Mahomes as the trigger man. The third-year quarterback has a stacked offense, a track team of wide receivers in Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman, and an electrifying tight end in Travis Kelce at his disposal.

In the AFC Championship Game, Kansas City found itself down 10-0 and 17-7, but Mahomes and that high-powered Chiefs offense didn’t flinch, building a 35-17 lead over the Titans thanks in large part of controlling the clock with a strong ground game. Mahomes, who finished the game throwing for 294 yards and three touchdowns, his final touchdown came on a 60-yard strike to Watkins for the Chiefs’ 28th straight point midway through the fourth quarter.

That’s the type of offensive explosion that the 49ers must avoid if they have any shot at winning this football game. That means the 49ers, who may arguably have the NFL’s best defensive line, featuring Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford and Arik Armstead must make life difficult for Mahomes every time Kansas City has the football.

The 49ers have the league’s best pass defense and ranked fifth with 48 sacks during the regular season. They have nine more this postseason, largely by taking opponents off schedule and setting up favorable pass-rush situations.

That’s huge against a quarterback that has the penchant of eluding would-be tacklers like Mahomes. Especially in a game with so much on the line like the Super Bowl.

 

Mahomes throws for four touchdowns in Chiefs’ 28-10 win

photo from sfgate.com:  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls out the audibles during Sunday’s game at the Oakland Coliseum against the Oakland Raiders

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND — Patrick Mahomes continues his magical run thru the NFL, and it was another impressive showing on Sunday afternoon.

Mahomes went 30-for-44 for 443 yards with four touchdowns, as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 28-10 before a crowd of 52,748 at the Coliseum.

The second-year quarterback put on a show in the second quarter, as he threw four touchdowns in the quarter and the Chiefs took a 28-10 lead into the locker room at the end of the first half.

Demarcus Robinson caught six passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, including two in the second quarter that helped the Chiefs overcome a 10-0 deficit.

Robinson was the receiving end of a Mahomes 44-yard touchdown pass with just five seconds gone into the second quarter, and then a 39-yard touchdown pass seven seconds after the Raiders punted the ball.

In the second quarter alone, the Chiefs gained exactly 300 yards and scored four touchdowns to take a 28-10 lead into the halftime.

Derek Carr went 23-for-38 for 198 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions on the afternoon.

Rookie Josh Jacobs continues to impress, as he carried the ball 12 times, while gaining 99 yards on the game.

Tyrell Williams caught a four-yard pass from Carr that gave the Raiders a 10-0 early in the first quarter.

Daniel Carlson got the Raiders on the board on their first series of the game, as he kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Raiders an early 3-0 lead.

Mecole Hardman also caught a touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs the lead for good, as Mahomes found Hardman for a 42-yard touchdown that ended a 14 play 95-yard drive that took 6:32 off the clock.

Hardman caught three passes off the clock, as the Chiefs improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Raiders fall to 1-1 after the first two weeks of the season.

LeSean McCoy, who was picked up on waivers by the Chiefs after he was released by the Buffalo Bills led the team in rushing, as he carried the 11 times for 23 yards.

Bashaud Breeland led the Chiefs with eight tackles, while Daryl Worley and Tahir Whitehead led the Raiders with seven tackles.

Gareon Conley picked up three tackles just one week after he sustained a neck injury in Mondays 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos.

NOTES: Mahomes threw for 278 yards in the decisive second quarter were the most by a quarterback since Drew Brees threw for 294 yards in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons on December 9, 2008.

Carr passed Ken Stabler as the all-time leading passer in Raiders history, as he connected for a 16-yard pass to Darren Waller in the second quarter. In just his sixth season in the NFL, Carr has thrown for 19,196 yards.

UP NEXT: This is the last Raiders home game with the baseball configuration ever, as the team is scheduled to open Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.

The Raiders’ next game in the Coliseum will be on November 3 against the Detroit Lions; however, the Raiders will be the home for their Sunday evening game against the Chicago Bears on October 6 in London.