Stephen Nover's Super Bowl Smasher - 63% NFL!
San Francisco vs. Kansas City,
02/02/2020 18:30 EDT,
Score: 20 - 31
Money Line: -120 Kansas City
San Francisco has the superior defense. Kansas City has the superior quarterback. So, which way to go in this Super Bowl?
The choice is simple for me: Patrick Mahomes. There's no reason to wait. I'm firing on the Chiefs because of Mahomes, the 49ers' lack of a passing attack and KC's vastly improved defense.
Mahomes' numbers the past two seasons spanning 34 regular season and playoff games is mind boggling - 10,316 passing yards, an 84-to-17 touchdown-to-interception ratio and five rushing TD's. These numbers include a 3-1 postseason mark with nine TD's and no interceptions. Kansas City is averaging 37 points in four playoff games the past two seasons.
Kansas City has won eight games in a row - all by seven points or more. The Chiefs' average margin of victory during their last eight games is 16.1 points.
I respect San Francisco's defense especially now that it is fully healthy again. But in this day and age where rules are out-of-whack skewed to favor offenses - particularly passing offenses - a once-in-a-generation quarterback trumps a strong defense.
The best quarterbacks the 49ers have seen this season were Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson. I don't include Aaron Rodgers, who had a down year and appears past his prime. In those games, the Saints produced 46 points, the Falcons scored 29 in pulling an upset and the Seahawks came within inches of sweeping the 49ers.
I would take the Chiefs' offense ahead of those offenses. It's not just Mahomes versus Jimmy Garoppolo, a game-manager type who is far less crafty and commits more turnovers than Mahomes. Kansas City also has a huge wide receiving edge with speedsters Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman. I would take Hill and Watkins over any of the 49ers' wideouts. Travis Kelce is just as good if not better than George Kittle, who is Garoppolo's major receiving weapon and security blanket. Kittle is great. But so is Kelce.
No defense has been able to stop Mahomes and Co. The reason for this is because it's impossible. Mahomes is too talented, has too many weapons, gets solid pass protection and the rules are in his favor. An added bonus is Andy Reid off a bye. His record is tremendous in this spot.
I don't see the 49ers keep pacing. Kansas City's defense is much improved from last year and the beginning of this season. The Chiefs held their last six regular-season foes to fewer than 12 points a game. KC's run defense would have ranked in the top-10 if based on just the last six games of the season. Just once in their last eight games have the Chiefs allowed an opposing running back to rush for more than 70 yards. They held Derrick Henry to 69 yards and a 3.6 yard average in the AFC title game. Raheem Mostert is a great success story, but he's no Derrick Henry.
The Chiefs' pass rush is better, too, with Chris Jones returning from injury and veteran Terrell Suggs coming on board. Suggs is in the top 10 in all-time sacks.
The worst case scenario for the Chiefs is falling behind by double-digits. They did that in both of their playoff games this season. It didn't make a difference. The Chiefs still beat the Texans and Titans by 20 and 11 points, respectively. But if the 49ers fall behind by double-digits they are dead because Garoppolo doesn't have the skill set, nor receiving weapons to come back.