In San Francisco, it’s Mostert, Breida, Coleman and Wilson who form the 49ers’ speedy backfield. In Kansas City, it’s Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson or Byron Pringle who make up the Legion of Zoom.
”We are the home run team,” Watkins said. “We can throw deep. We’ve got all these track runners, all these thoroughbreds. ... We can possibly be unstoppable.”
“I feel like I’m at that point in my career now where I’ve seen a lot of football and I’m pretty ball aware,” Mathieu said to a few members of the media at the team hotel Wednesday morning. “And then it kind of messes with the coaches, right?! If they draw up a certain play and I like come out of nowhere and bat the ball down and look at their sideline, I would hope that that does something to the offensive coordinator.”
What is the message he’s sending?
”That I’m too smart,” Mathieu said. “Way too smart.”
So while Mahomes probably can’t announce his retirement during Sunday night’s trophy presentation and find his way into Canton with just 31 regular-season starts on his record, he could spend another decade on autopilot and would still be part of NFL lore with his front-loaded resume.
In that respect, his NFL biography would, to an extent, resemble that of Kurt Warner, who in his first three seasons as a starter was a two-time regular-season MVP, a Super Bowl MVP and a three-time Pro Bowler. Warner made just one Pro Bowl the rest of his career but is a Hall of Famer nonetheless.
I think the pass rush on Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be just as important to the Chiefs’ success on defense as it will be for the 49ers’ defense to get pressure on Patrick Mahomes. While I believe that 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey is probably their most vulnerable offensive lineman when it comes to pass protection, I wouldn’t necessarily want to move Frank Clark over there on early downs to match up with him. Not because I don’t think Clark could work McGlinchey over, but rather because the Chiefs’ defense would be better with Tanoh Kpassagnon rushing McGlinchey, while Clark stays on the right and gives 49ers left tackle Joe Staley the business.
Add it all up, and it’s tough game to pick. That’s why the line is as close as it is. The teams are so even, but in the end I think it always comes down to quarterback play, and Mahomes is the elite player in this game.
Run, run, pass will lose out to pass, pass, run.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, 49ers 27
Picks: Chiefs -1.5, Over 54.5
Eric Bieniemy, Offensive Coordinator:
2018, we were playing against the Denver Borncos. I think it was a fourth down play, he’s rolling to his left – first of all, he drops back and Von Miller is coming off one edge and he’s chasing him down. He rolls to his left, Von grabs him, (Mahomes) puts the ball in his left hand and throws it with his left hand. I looked and it didn’t register. So coach was giving me the next play and I’m sitting there about to call it in and give Pat the play and I was like, ‘Damn, did he just throw that ball with his left hand!?’ Coach was like ‘EB, get the play in! Get the play in!’ But that was an unbelievable play. It was one of those plays that you make on a schoolyard. It’s been fun watching him evolve as a player but also, too, he helps keep us old guys young because of all of the little things he does it makes you go, ‘Wow, you know what? Not everyone is as blessed to do everything that he can do.’”
1. Kansas City Chiefs Left Tackle Eric Fisher and Right Tackle Mitchell Schwartz
If Patrick Mahomes is the most important player in Super Bowl LIV, then Fisher and Schwartz are the second- and third-most important people in the game. The 49ers will try to get their two best pass rushers, defensive ends Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, into one-on-one matchups with Fisher and Schwartz in passing situations, especially on third down. Schwartz is no slouch. Of the 32 offensive tackles who played at least 900 snaps this season, he tied for the third fewest allowed pressures (20) and was the only tackle not credited with allowing a sack in the regular season or first three rounds of the playoffs.
Terrell Lewis EDGE
Lewis is tall, very physical, and has counter moves to the inside and outside. He was finally healthy in 2019 at Alabama and was a game-wrecker.
Around the NFL
“The first thing always is to think about the well-being of Antonio, to understand what Antonio is going through,” Goodell said in his state of the league press conference Wednesday. “We don’t talk about the wellness of our players publicly, but I can tell you that you can be sure that the NFL and NFLPA have tremendous amount of resources available to all players. They are going to be made available to Antonio.”
The NFL will return to play regular-season games in Mexico City in 2020 and 2021, commissioner Roger Goodell announced at his Super Bowl news conference on Wednesday.
The date and time for this year’s game will be announced with the release of the league’s schedule in the spring.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“It was the people,” said Mahomes. “The people are what really drew me to Kansas City and I hope I get to play there the rest of my career now. I mean — just the people and how they accept you, how they care about you more as a person than they do as a player and how much passion they have for the Kansas City Chiefs — it’s special, and it’s somewhere I want to be for the rest of my career.”
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