Collegian sports section Super Bowl predictions

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2. The Butler Collegian sports staff gives their predictions of who will lift the Lombardi Trophy. 

Keelen Barlow: Chiefs 28, 49ers 21

The 49ers defense will do its best to slow down Patrick Mahomes and it will work, for the most part. Pat will lead an epic Lombardi-clinching drive in the fourth quarter to win the game because, well, he’s Pat Mahomes and he just does that sort of thing. The Chiefs’ defense did pretty well against a strong Tennessee Titans rushing attack in the AFC Championship; it will do the same in the big game. 

Jaren Kawada: Chiefs 40, 49ers 31

The top storyline of Super Bowl LIV is the matchup between the Chiefs’ high-powered offense and the 49ers’ stout defense. Patrick Mahomes is the reigning league MVP, and it still seems that most people are yet to realize how good this Chiefs offense really is. Despite San Francisco boasting one of the NFL’s top pass defenses, nobody on that secondary has the speed to match up with Tyreek Hill, who has a shot at a big day in Miami. Both teams will take turns finding the end zone in what should be a shootout, but in the end Mahomes and Hill lead Kansas City to the promise land and possibly begin a decade dominated by the Chiefs.

Devin Abell: Chiefs 31, 49ers 24

The 49ers are built for playoff football — a stallworth defense supplemented by a strong run game. However, I believe they’ve met their match against Patrick Mahomes and their lightning-fast offense. The Niners may have early success containing their offense and controlling the time of possession, although come the second half, the Chiefs will be able to maneuver around the Achilles heel of the Niners — their secondary — allowing the Chiefs’ offense to take control of the game. The Chiefs’ defense will fair far better than the Packers did in slowing down the run game — as the Chiefs were able to adjust last game to Derrick Henry. Chiefs come out on top and Andy Ried gets his first Super Bowl.

Drew Sandifer: Chiefs 30, 49ers 19

All year, the 49ers have been lauded for their innovative running attack with their stout front seven. The only problem is, that may not match up well with the Chiefs. Kansas City relies on its passing game, so San Francisco’s defense will be best if it can get to Patrick Mahomes. Look for Andy Reid to call plays to allow Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to get out in space in short routes. Contrary to their last few games, I think the Chiefs jump out to an early lead, forcing Jimmy Garoppolo to make plays through the passing game. I just don’t trust him enough to make enough plays to win on football’s biggest stage.

Josh Mullenix: Chiefs 35, 49ers 24

The question everyone is asking is if the 49ers will be able to stop Patrick Mahomes. The more interesting question is whether or not the Chiefs — who gave up the seventh most rushing yards this season — can stop the 49ers running game that produced 2,305 yards this season — second in the NFL. After watching the Chiefs defense hold Derrick Henry to just 69 yards, I think the answer is yes. Mahomes and the offense will get off to a quick start and force Jimmy Garappolo to throw the football, and I don’t have enough faith in his ability to keep up with the Chiefs through the air. Raheem Mostert will be good and the game will be competitive, but ultimately Mahomes and and the Kansas City offense will be too much. 

Chris Brown: Chiefs 41, 49ers 37

While much attention is being paid to limiting Patrick Mahomes, there’s plenty of firepower behind him that will make things difficult for the 49ers. While San Francisco has one of the most formidable defenses in the league, the likes of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins will simply prove too much to contain. There are plenty of factors at play here, but in the end, if one aspect decides this game, I think it will be experience. With the head coach sixth in NFL history in wins pitted against one with just 50 games under his belt, I’ll side with the coach who’s used to making the big decisions in the biggest games.

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