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Clutching the Numbers: Super Bowl LIV

By Keegan Ohta

Welcome to the biggest game in football. Welcome to the Super Bowl that will break a drought for one of two teams.

But more importantly, welcome to the game that will see more fans in the stands than any Miami Dolphins home game this past season.

Like I said before, this game will end one of two droughts for the Lombardi trophy. The 49ers haven’t won it since 1995 which was 25 years ago. Take it back 50 years ago in 1970 and that’s where you’ll find the Kansas City Chiefs’ last Super Bowl victory.

Now these two teams will meet in Super Bowl 54 in Miami. Some will say this will be a great Super Bowl while others say, “why aren’t the Patriots in the Super Bowl?”

There is a lot to talk about so let’s get things started.

First off, let’s talk about the coaches. These two coaches have a history in the Super Bowl. Andy Reid coached the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 39 and Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016 for Super Bowl 51.

Anybody want to take a guess what these two had in common in their Super Bowl appearances?

Correct! They both lost to the Patriots!

However, Kyle Shanahan only appeared in one Super Bowl. Turns out Andy Reid did get a Super Bowl win as an offensive line and tight ends coach with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 31.

Let’s also talk about the history of the teams. In history, these two teams have met 13 times with San Francisco leading the series 7-6.

In almost every sense on paper and statistics, it looks like the 49ers could win the Super Bowl. In the regular season, the 49ers were the second-best rushing team in the league, and the Chiefs have the 6th worst rush defense.

The Chiefs have the eighth best passing game in the league, but the 49ers have the best passing defense in the league.

The 49ers have more points and average yards per game than the Chiefs.

The big question is what do the Chiefs have to try to beat the almighty team of San Francisco?

The answer: Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes is one of the best when it comes to statistics that most don’t look at when comparing teams.

Let’s take for example deep ball completion percentage. If Mahomes were to throw the deep ball, you have a 48.5% chance of seeing a receiver catch it, which happens to be 3rd best in the league.

The 49ers defense in both postseason games have accumulated nine sacks, meaning they bring the pressure. But it is Mahomes that can shine in pressure. Under pressure, his completion percentage is 44.7%, which is 5th best in the league during the regular season.

Do what you can to 2018 MVP and Madden 20 cover athlete, he will find a way to get out of the grasp of the defense and make a play out of it.

So the 49ers have a tougher job at hand than we first realize. And against a mobile quarterback, it will be an uphill climb.

The three mobile quarterbacks the 49ers have faced this season — Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson and Lamar Jackson — combined for a QBR of 71 … All other QBs combined for a 28 QBR

So in reality, while the numbers all favor the 49ers, the Chiefs may only need the 2018 MVP to win their first Super Bowl in 50 years.

If San Francisco can contain one of the best mobile QBs in the league, the sixth trophy will be placed in 49er history.

On Sunday, history will be made. One team’s name will be etched in history with the other etched in as just short.

But we do know one thing…

It’ll be the last time for a while that Miami sees the Lombardi trophy.