By Hamish Girvan
In Part I Scott MacLean talked up his 49ers side for Monday’s big game. Now I’ll tell you why my Chiefs will win.
The Chiefs were 4 inches offside from going to the Big Dance last season and were cruelly beaten by the New England Patriots in overtime.
This year after the first four games, even though unbeaten, their defence was still very average, however it got stronger and stronger throughout the season. Ending the season as second seed in the AFC (ironically due to a shock victory by the Miami Dolphins over the New England Patriots) they once again started with home advantage and ended up staying at home due the Baltimore Ravens faltering in their first playoff hurdle.
Ending the regular season with a 12-4 record and going 6 games unbeaten in the last third of the season Kansas City are ready to fight for their right to party (apologies to the Beastie Boys and Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce)
Why the Chiefs will win:
- The offence. Although the stats show different in the regular season the Chiefs offence is the most lethal in the NFL. Averaging 28 points scored a game (the 49ers scored an average of 30 points per game) the difference is the Chiefs score quickly. In one quarter they can blow an opposition team away – and they seem to have got better in the post season. Down 24-0 into the second quarter against the Houston Texans they then scored on 7 consecutive possessions racking up 51 points whilst Houston scored 7 in the corresponding time. Let your guard down and you won’t recover.
- Patrick Mahomes. The current MVP from last season is a phenom. When the Chiefs traded down in the 2017 draft to get him it was a surprise choice however in only his second season, he is one of the best in the NFL, even at this early stage of his career. The old adage of a one season wonders never happened and when he went down injured in week 7 the worst was feared, however after only two games out, he has come back stronger. He’s the leader and motivator of the team. And at a young age of 24 he’s already talking like a veteran.
- Destiny. The last time the Chiefs were in a Super Bowl was 1970 in only its 4th iteration of the biggest sporting event on the USA sports calendar. The AFC Championship trophy is named after the man who owned and brought the Chiefs to Kansas City in 1963 – Lamar Hunt. Winning the trophy for the first time means that Hunt’s legacy finally resides at the home of Chiefs. Arrowhead Stadium. The next step is getting the Lombardi trophy that Hunt was instrumental in inventing as a final.
What must The Chiefs stop the 49ers doing?
- Simple STOP THE RUN. The Chiefs deficiencies at stopping oppositions run game has been severely exposed this season however there is a small silver lining in the way they nullified NFL Rush leader Derek Henry in the AFC Championship game – still here they come up against a potential 3-4 head running monster in what the 49ers bring to the field.
What can’t the Chiefs let happen?
- Let coach Andy Reid fall into his old lack of game management habits. This is the second time Reid has taken a team to the Superbowl (albeit this team is more talented than the one took to Super Bowl in 2005 with the Philadelphia Eagles) Andy Reid “cannot be trusted in a big game” is a common call by the pundits however this season he has not needed to manage the clock too often mainly due to the explosive way the Chiefs can play. This is a different situation with lots of TV time outs and half-time distractions. The stakes are at their highest here and a gaffe on his behalf will add to an unwanted legacy.
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