Before we hop into this, I’ve heard from multiple friends and websites that purple Gatorade will be rampant on the sidelines to “honor” Kobe. My gut’s telling me that they will have a better way to honor Kobe besides a sugary sports drink that represents his team’s colors. But that’s just me. If you lay down $100, you can win $1K on that bet. I might save my $100.
This game is difficult to predict. I think with the Super Bowl having a week off, people start to dissect small details of the game. I can understand this. If I send a text and don’t get a response in 20 minutes, my mind starts assuming you’re playing a chess game. But I digress. The truth of this one is that it’s already really hard to predict without having this extra time to overthink.
To break this down, the biggest keys to the game are both squad’s defenses. We know who the Chiefs are on the offensive side of the ball: the best quarterback in the league with 4 incredible weapons at his disposal, 3 of which could be #1 options on other teams.
So how is this San Francisco defense going to handle this? I really like to look at how teams have handled similar situations. The Chiefs playing the Patriots is an excellent example (granted Mahomes was hobbling on that ankle a bit more than he is now). The approach Belichick took in this one was great, and the Pats were in striking distance to win this one with a pretty terrible offense. I really like how they Chiefs were held to 23 in this game, 23 by the Broncos the next week and 26 by the Bears following.
Now to the Chiefs defense. We know what the 49ers are going to do: run the damn ball. Kansas City’s defense did improve from last season but they’re still not great on that side of the ball: ranked 25th with a pretty terrible strength of schedule in terms of offenses played. I truly believe the 9ers will move the ball at will. Jimmy G is also very capable of passing the ball out of play action. Control the clock, keep the ball away from Mahomes and don’t settle for field goals.
I’m taking the 49ers to win this one 30-21.