The NFL should get down on its proverbial knees and thank the 49ers and Chiefs. The league was bound and determined to ruin the biggest sporting event of the year. First, they put it on Fox in all the Joe Buck glory alongside the block of wood known as Troy Aikman. I suppose we can all be thankful that America is not going to collectively #GetBoogered!!!!! Then, for some reason they’ll continue the grand tradition of a predictably terrible half time show by featuring Shakira and … <checks notes>… Jennifer Lopez? Really? I mean we all expect the halftime show to be a joke at this point, but this is getting out of hand.
This is also shaping up to be the worst year for commercials in a while. It’ll be the Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg show. Speaking of dead campaigns, for some reason I’m supposed to be sad that a peanut I forgot existed died but only I’m not allowed to be sad because a megastar in another sport tragically passed away and also some people got candles or something? I don’t know… I’m honestly lost already and I never cared to begin with.
Fortunately, the actual professional football organizations under the tyrannical rule of the third-grade cool kids’ lunch table (The NFL) bailed us out by producing what are arguably the two strongest teams to play this game in a few years. The Kansas City Chiefs are so good that you see it coming. Patrick Mahomes is terrifying, electrifying, mesmerizing, and high-flying (WOOOOOO!!!!). He leads an explosive offense that can literally score from anywhere on the field any time they feel like it with any number of tools and methods at their disposal. There have been good offenses in this passing/offense-first era of the NFL but to my eye, few have looked as complete, professional, and polished as the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs.
But hold on, we’re not done. Coming into the year the San Francisco 49ers were an afterthought. They won 4 games last year behind the leadership of whatever buffet busboy they picked off the street to throw the ball. They couldn’t get anything done on either side of the ball. However, if you watched closely (or played fantasy football) you could see some pieces coming together. George Kittle had a brilliant “out of nowhere” year and, surprisingly, they produced some spark among their core of receivers. They needed to continue to improve, they needed Jimmy G back, but if things fell right this year was shaping up for a nice 9-7 record and maybe one and done in the playoffs.
Instead, they finished 13-3, the top seed in the stronger conference, and have cruised through the playoffs looking, at times, bored. Suddenly they have a running game—thanks to a great o-line (close your eyes and imagine this team with Todd Gurley or Ezekial Elliot as their early down back… wow). Their pass game didn’t just improve, it made great leaps and bounds. And that defense is so stunning it makes you forget your name and wander the streets for half an hour. NO ONE wants to face this kind of team in a game like this.
It’s shaping up to be a good one! How good? Well I asked my blog mates to tell me what they think is going to happen and here is what they came up with:
Who will win?
I believed the Chiefs were the AFC champions since before the playoffs started and it’s hard to pick against them now. But, I think they’re great on one side of the ball and kinda good… I guess… on the other side. They belong in this game but San Fransisco is a complete team. I say they get their 6th Super Bowl victory here in a close one. Allen and Justin agree with me. Justin says “The Niners will win in the trenches, control time of possession, and the Mahomes will throw a game-clinching INT.” Tim and Michael see it going the other way. Must be an Ohio thing.
What will the final score be?
The score will be 34-28. There, I have spoken. But hey, those other guys I blog with have some thoughts too. No doubt they aren’t as good, but let’s give them a chance to speak anyway. All of us have a high scoring game but none higher than Mike at 36-27 Chiefs. Allen sees a close one at 27-26 49ers. Justin has the 9ers in a close one 24-21, and Tim thinks the Chiefs put it away easily in a 2 score game at 31-21.
Who will win MVP?
I have no idea. Whoever wins this game is going to do it as a team. It’s probably a year where they give it to the QB because of course they do. That’s exactly what the Ohio twins (Tim and Mike) say too. They have Mahomes winning the award. Justin thinks the latest craze in mediocre football players, Raheem Mostert, will take home the hardware. Allen on the other hand is going with Nick Bosa “maybe”. Decisiveness is not an important trait in SBC pastors, apparently.
Is this Andy Reid’s last best chance?
No, the Chiefs will be back and he’ll have a better defense. The Chiefs are going to be a factor for a few years and I think Reid appears in at least one more Super Bowl. He’s this generation’s Bill Cowher. A really good coach that just wants to win a Super Bowl and retire. The guys all seem to agree with me and the reasons all revolve around Mahomes. “He (Reid) has the most complete QB the NFL has ever seen”, Justin tells us. Mike is predicting “back to back” Super Bowl MVPs for the guy. “Mahomes is here to stay”, says Allen.
Are the 49ers at the dawn of a new dynasty?
Allen also thinks there’s a good chance of repeating this Super Bowl because the 49ers are embarking on a new dynasty. The rest of the guys are skeptical. Mike thinks they get worse next year and Justin just doesn’t believe in Jimmy G. To my eye, they look really good. Analytically, they have some regression coming. I think they remain a solid team for a number of years but they have a few too many long term issues to pull off something like what they did in the 80s.
What does each team do in the offseason?
“The Chiefs get linebackers and the 49ers get wide receivers” Tim tells us. Justin agrees the Chiefs get a linebacker, but he thinks the 49ers go on vacation for a year and disappoint next year. Mike is clueless on this one. Allen, however, has a LOT of thoughts and at the top of his mind is Patrick Mahomes who Allen thinks will become the highest paid QB ever. The 49ers, on the other hand, will build through the draft mostly on the offensive side of the ball but they’ll also get their Richard Sherman replacement.
As for me, it’s pretty clear to me that the Chiefs need to go out and get a star on defense and continue to build depth in the trenches. A solid pass rush and a Minkah Fitzpatrick type playmaker in the secondary would put their defense on the map. As for the 49ers, Mostert isn’t what everyone thinks he is and they know it. They’ve played cute little games with their RB position all year. It’s time to go get a solid guy and make him a permanent part of the offense. It’s also time to start thinking about a Richard Sherman replacement.
What happens to the NFL this offseason?
I don’t think the XFL has an impact, but I do think labor unrest is going to get worse. The union is spoiling for a strike and they’ll start making moves to create one. I also think the NFL forces ESPN to replace Booger McFarland and possibly the rest of the Monday Night Crew. Mostly they’ll keep on pretending they’re the coolest kids in school and we’re all lucky to be in their line of sight. Allen agrees with me about the labor unrest and also doesn’t think it becomes a full on strike or lock out. The guys seem to think a major push is coming for a 17th game. I think that’s a good call. An equally good call is Mike’s prediction that the NFL will continue its virtue signaling with #MeToo and constant talk about player safety.
Who gets better and who gets worse next year?
OK reader, here’s your chance to participate in the fun Tell us in the comments who you think made the following “better or worse” predictions.
-The entire AFC North, including the Ravens. The Steelers make the most improvement. Pittsburgh is a piece or two away from making a serious run. The Bengals won’t regret Joe Burrow, and the Browns have too many good players to not be better.
-The Seahawks running backs
-Every team with a new coach
-Matt Patricia, but not necessarily the Lions
-The AFC North “gets interesting”
-Rams win NFC West
-The Patriots in general and Tom Brady specifically. They honestly feel like a team without a plan right now.
-The Titans. They’re going to make the mistake of signing Tannehill like he’s the next Steve Young. They’ll remember he’s actually Ryan Tannehill by week 7. Derrick Henry is good… but not THAT good, but they’ll re-sign him like he is.
-Ravens get worse because the league will start to figure out Lamar Jackson
-The Giants. Eli Manning was done 2 years ago and he did the right thing by retiring, but this team still doesn’t have a leader in his absence. They feel like a rudderless ship.
-The Packers. They’re not that good. Aaron Rodgers is slipping and will continue to slip. Fortunately for him, he’s a Rob Bell disciple so he can reject my reality and substitute his own! It won’t make a lick of difference, but it’ll feel smart — and that’s the important thing.
Predict NEXT YEAR’s Super Bowl (participants and score)
Mike: Chiefs 45 Bears 20
Jason: Saints over Ravens 31-7 in Drew Bress’ last game.
Allen: Cowboys over Steelers 33-28 (haha, Allen)
Justin: Chiefs 35 Ravens 21. Yep, he actually predicted that. We had a good laugh. You should have a good laugh. Go here and laugh at… errr, with…. laugh with him. His real prediction is Chiefs over Seattle 35-21.
Tim: Chiefs beat the Vikings 35-20
Bring on the chips and dip (but not the planters peanuts, evidently) and let’s finish this season with a bang!