Super Bowl LIV prediction: 49ers edge Chiefs in thriller behind 49ers MVP Raheem Mostert

photo from mercurynews.com: San Francisco 49iers running back Raheem Mostert celebrates the NFC Championship victory at Levis Stadium on Sun Jan 19th 

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

Call me a homer if you want, but I truly believe that the San Francisco 49ers will win Super Bowl LIV over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Score? 35-28, 49ers.

Why?

Simple, behind the play of their stud defensive line powered by rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, and their solid running game centered around running back Raheem Mostert. In fact, Mostert is my pick to walk away with the MVP award of the game.

Mostert, who single-handily punched San Francisco’s ticket to Miami, FL after his four-touchdown, 220-yard rushing performance on 29 carries in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers, has become an overnight sensation and a key piece in the 49ers’ run to Super Bowl LIV. After being cut by six teams before latching on with San Francisco in 2016, Mostert became the first player to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.

For all the talk that the 49ers’ chances to win their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy rests on the right arm of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and possibly so, but Mostert will be the guy that the bulk of the offense will flow through when the ball is kicked off on Sunday at 6:38 p.m. ET (3:38 p.m. PT) from Hard Rock Stadium.

The game will be tightly contested for three quarters as both Garoppolo and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will trade touchdown scoring drives heading into the fourth quarter to tie the score at 28-28.

After San Francisco forces Kansas City into a 3-and-out, Mostert will punctuate a 12-play, 75-yard drive with his second touchdown run of the game at the four-minute mark giving the 49ers a 35-28 lead. In turn, San Francisco’s offense will anxiously watch its defense get them across the finish line which its done for most of the 2019 season.

The defense, who has exhibited such a herculean effort in trying to slow down Mahomes and Kansas City’s high-powered offense, the aforementioned Bosa will come up with a crucial sack on fourth down to secure the win.

Mostert, who will finish with a stat line of 22 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns, will be just the eighth running back named MVP of the Super Bowl joining Larry Csonka (Super Bowl VIII), Franco Harris (Super Bowl IX), John Riggins (Super Bowl XVII), Marcus Allen (Super Bowl XVIII), Ottis Anderson (Super Bowl XXV), Emmitt Smith (Super Bowl XXVIII), and Terrell Davis (XXXII).

Everyone but Anderson is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Undefeated Niners have potential trap game

Photo credit: @SNFonNBC

By Jeremy Harness

SANTA CLARA–The 49ers are riding a wave they have not experienced in almost 30 years, winning their first five games and getting a statement victory last Sunday against the defending NFC champions on the road.

The Washington Redskins, on the other hand, are 1-5, just fired their head coach a week and a half ago, and only got their first win after holding off a furious comeback against unquestionably the worst team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins.

These are the Redskins that the 49ers will travel across the country to face on Sunday, and this can be safely classified as a potential trap game, for all the reasons illustrated above.

Washington has question marks all over the place, and based on the moves that are being made on and off the field, they are not expected to be solved any time soon. This should all equate to a convincing win, but stranger things have happened in the NFL over the years.

The interim head coach across the sideline from the 49ers has Bay Area ties, as Bill Callahan, who previously served as the team’s offensive line coach until taking over for the fired Jay Gruden, was at the helm when the Oakland Raiders went to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season before he himself was fired after the team stumbled to a 4-12 mark the very next year.

Aside from missing their two starting tackles, starting fullback and starting right corner, the 49ers do have a few other injury concerns as they head into Sunday.

A pair of significant offensive players, tight end George Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel, sat out Wednesday’s practice with groin ailments. Both are listed as day-to-day and are expected to play Sunday.

Running back Raheem Mostert did not practice Wednesday with a knee strain, and he, too, is day-to-day.

For the Redskins, cornerback Josh Norman was held out of Wednesday’s practice with hand and thigh injuries, while running back Adrian Peterson’s quad ailment kept him from practicing as well.

49ers Win Huge 41-17; Start Season with Perfect Road Trip

photo from sfgate.com: Marquise Goodwin #11 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

By Joe Lami

After not winning a single road game last year, the 49ers are off to a perfect start to their 2019 season. On Sunday, they impressively manhandled the Cincinnati Bengals 41-17 in their largest offensive road output since 2014 marking a complete 2-0 road trip.

The onslaught started early, as the defense quickly forced a three-and-out, giving the offense great starting field position on the first drive. The Niners easily capitalized as Jimmy Garoppolo found Marquise Goodwin wide open for a 38-yard score.

Garoppolo flashed what excited the faithful in late 2017 in a dominant performance, throwing three touchdowns on 17 of 25 passing for 297 yards. The Bengals challenged Jimmy G by trying to shut down his top target, George Kittle, but he spread the ball around incredibly well, finding three different receivers for scores and eight different pass catchers for receptions.

Rookie Debo Samuel led the way with five catches for 87 yards and his first career touchdown. Goodwin finished with three catches for 77 yards and a score, while Mostert got four balls out of the backfield for 68 yards and a score. Kittled finished with three catches on three targets for 54 yards.

Garoppolo had one throw he’d like back, throwing a terrible interception while targeting Richie James Jr. in triple coverage.

The passing attack was set up all by the rush, as the 49ers had their best rushing game under Kyle Shanahan, totaling 259 yards. Matt Breida was a monster, rushing for 121 yards on 12 carries, including one rush that reminisced Barry Sanders. Raheem Mostert carried 13 times for 83 yards, while Jeff Wilson Jr. came off the practice squad for ten carries, 34 yards, and two touchdowns.

On defense, the front seven was all over Andy Dalton, sacking him four times, while Kwon Alexander picked up his first interception as a Niner. They held Dalton to 311 yards, on 26 of 42 passes for two touchdowns. Dalton depended upon Tyler Boyd and John Ross as his two main targets, as both combined for 14 catches, 234 yards, and a score.

However, the Niners did lose Joe Staley with a broken left fibula in the win. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks, and it remains to be seen on whether or not he’ll be placed on the IR. After losing swing tackle Shon Coleman in the pre-season, the Niners may seek free agency or a trade to replace their all-pro left tackle.

At 2-0, the Niners now return home to host the 0-2 Steelers in their home opener. The Steelers lost 28-26 to Seattle on Sunday, very similar to Seattle’s 21-20 win over the Bengals in week one.

Join Joe for 49ers coverage each week and podcast commentary each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Will injuries impact 49ers going into the regular season?; Mullens and Beathard, who will be the backup at QB?

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 What is it with all the injuries? It wasn’t even until the first preseason game and you had lineman Shon Coleman out after the third offensive play of the game with an ankle injury, wide receiver Trent Taylor had surgery on his broken pinkie toe, Taylor could come back from the injury in time for the regular season, running back Raheem Mostert and defensive lineman DJ Jones left at the end of Saturday night’s game Mostert with a concussion and Jones with a knee.

#2 Compare the quarterbacks Nick Mullens, who threw for 11 for 17 for 105 yards, and CJ Beathard, who went 13-17 for 145 yards. Looks like the quarterbacking situation at least for the first preseason game is a good problem to have for head coach Kyle Shanahan.

David does the San Francisco 49ers podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com