The clock is ticking away, now down to just five days before Super Bowl LIV. As the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers get ready to battle for the Lombardi Trophy, both teams are preparing themselves mentally and physically. Everyone knows that this is going to be a tight game, with the Chiefs currently only sitting on a very thin margin to take the win, but can they rely on Mahomes to do the job?
One of the key components of the game will be how the Chiefs manage their offense against the strong defense of the Niners. Looking at what could be coming, the battle for the NFL Championship is definitely going to be a blood-bath.
Chiefs Can’t Just Rely On Mahomes Arm
If the Chiefs want to win, they have to be able to do more than just rely on quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his throwing arm. The team’s offense has to pull together and create a running game that can attack the defense, as well. It’s even possible that KC leans heavily on a ground plan, and less on the long arm of Mahomes, to get the job done.
Part of the logic for concentrating on a running game stems from a desire to push the San Fran’s defensive line into exhaustion. KC is well aware of the power that’s coming from the line, and knows that it needs to mitigate this strength in order to gain an edge. If they can tire out the defensive line, the Chiefs would be in a better position later in the game to allow Mahomes to work his magic in the air.
Mahomes, in addition to his ability to thread the needle accurately on long passes, is also a decent runner. The Chiefs might decide to throw some new plays into the book this Sunday and give him more opportunities to run the ball. The 49ers don’t have a good track record when it comes to defending a toss run, and Mahomes’ size gives the Chiefs an advantage if they want to mix things up.
Provided the Chiefs can get into a position where it can allow Mahomes to throw the ball often, chances are good that they can rely on a lot of screen passes could be coming. As with the toss run, the Niners have not always had a good record defending against the screen pass, and the Chiefs will be looking to exploit every weakness they can, every chance they get.
As far as San Fran’s defensive capabilities go, despite a couple of areas that need improvement, the strength and solid talent are there. The team’s coaching staff will have almost certainly realized that Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is a hole that can be punched through, and will most likely have decided to put some extra pressure on that side.
In doing so, Mahomes will suddenly find himself at a disadvantage without protection to rely on. He will be exposed in a collapsed pocket and won’t be able to develop some of the running plays the Chiefs may be counting on. With defensive powerhouses like Nick Bosa and Dee Ford supporting the Niners line, it quickly becomes evident that San Fran is capable of shutting down any attempts to run the ball to the outside. Running up the middle is always a risky move and rarely produces the results teams want to see.
Based on the chatter circulating around the NFL already, this Super Bowl is shaping up to be one of the better games in recent championship history. Both teams have superior offenses and defenses, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see play after play shut down. The team that can pull a few extra tricks out of its bag is the one that will be able to claim victory.