Chiefs, 49ers Take Different Paths to Super Bowl 54
The ticket for the biggest spectacle in American sports is set...
San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs.
Both team made their reservations for the 54th Super Bowl in vastly differing fashion on Sunday.
For the Chiefs, they had to face the Tennessee Titans, who since benching Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill in week six have been on an absolute tear, snuck into the playoffs, and in consecutive weeks ran over the Texans, Patriots, and Ravens.
At the heart of their unconventional power game was running back Derrick Henry, who over the three major victories over playoff teams, became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 180 yards in three straight games.
However the Cheifs have an explosive offense of their own. Patrick Mahomes is back to his best following some injury woes in midseason. The team also possess straight up unfair speed on the outside in Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman.
Throw in possibly the league's best tight end in Travic Kelce, and you get an absolute powder keg of an offense, as evidenced by the Chiefs' HUGE comeback win last week over the Texans
The game started off well enough for the Titans, getting off to an early lead on the legs of Derrick Henry and efficient passing of Tannehill.
However, after falling to a 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter, the Chiefs turned it on, scoring 28 unanswered points, including an absolutely ridiculous touchdown run just before the half by Patrick Mahomes, who led Kansas City in passing and rushing yards.
A big, yet unsung reason for the comeback was the Chiefs defense. The Titans simply could not pick up yards at all from when they went up 17-7 until the latter half of the fourth quarter.
Derrick Henry also finished the game with 69 rushing yards and a touchdown, which is by no means a horrible statline, but with most of the Titans' success coming from getting a lead and running the ball, Henry was ineffective for most of the game.
The Chiefs won the game 35-24 and will now head back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, when they beat the Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
While the AFC Championship was won through the air, the NFC Championship was won on the ground, and it was not even close.
49ers running back Raheem Mostert had a game for the ages. He was the main catalyst for the San Francicso offense that went into halftime up 27-0 over the Green Bay Packers.
In the first half alone, Mostert had 160 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He continued his ground dominance in the second half to finish the game with 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The Packers on the other hand were absolutely dreadful. First of all the swiss cheese defense allowed Mostert to get all those yards, but the offense was just as much to blame.
Yes, the 49ers have a great defense, but Aaron Rodgers was a pitiful shell of the legend we've seen the past few years. Yes he had a pretty good statline, but that's empty calories, since most of those yards came in the second half, when the Packers were playing catch up.
In the first half, Aaron Rodgers was 9 of 12 on his passes, which on the surface seems okay, but those passes only went for 64 yards, an average of just 7.1 yards per completion. Add in a pick and two fumbles in the first half, and it's safe to say that it was over at half time.
The game ended 37-20 to the 49ers, but it felt like a much bigger blowout than that.
The 49ers will now try to notch their sixth Super Bowl victory, which would tie the Patriots and Steelers for most all-time.
The Super Bowl will take place on February 6 on Fox.