Much has been made of the Kansas City Chiefs lethal passing offense and the San Francisco 49ers potent rushing attack. However, as we approach Super Bowl LIV, don't overlook the Chiefs ground game and the 49ers passing offense.
The heart of the San Francisco offense is their rushing attack, which averaged 144.1 yards per game, good for second in the league behind the Baltimore Ravens. By comparison, their passing offense was 13th in the league, averaging 237 yards a contest.
In the postseason, the 49ers have torn apart the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers for 471 yards on the ground in two games, good for an average of 235.5 yards a contest. By contrast, the 49ers have only attempted 27 passes combined in the playoffs, leaning heavily on their rushing attack.
Players to watch
Undrafted rookie Raheem Mostert was San Francisco's leader in rushing yards (778) and touchdowns (8). He torched the Packers in the NFC Championship Game for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the 49ers 37-20 win. Tevin Coleman chipped in with 544 yards and six touchdowns.
Tight end George Kittle was by far the best receiving threat the NFC champions had, hauling in 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns, emerging as one of the league's breakout stars, his 2,980 yards through his first three seasons the second-most in NFL history. Deebo Samuel is a dual threat, totalling 961 yards from scrimmage and six total TD's.
Quarterback Jimmy Garappolo is at the helm of it all, throwing for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 102.0. He joins Joe Montana, Steve Young and Colin Kaepernick as quarterbacks to lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs
The AFC champions have one of the most devastating offenses in all of football. Sixth in the league in total yards (379.2) and fifth in passing yards (281.1) a game, the Chiefs have weapons all over the field that can beat you at a moment's notice.
Evidence of this can be found in both of the Chiefs' playoff games. Trailing 24-0 against the Houston Texans in the second quarter of the AFC Divisional playoffs, Kansas City scored seven consecutive touchdowns en route to 51 points. In the AFC Championship Game against the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City scored 35 of the game's final 49 points to clinch their spot in the Super Bowl.
Players to watch
The Chiefs offense revolves around Patrick Mahomes. The best player in football, the second-year quarterback has already thrown 86 touchdowns in 35 career games, including the playoffs. Passing for 4,031 yards and completing nearly 66 percent of his passes, Mahomes has thrown eight in two playoff games without an interception.
Tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill form a tough, explosive, reliable duo for Mahomes to target. Kelce caught 97 passes for 1,229 yards and five touchdowns while Hill, perhaps the fastest receiver in football, snagged 58 of Mahomes' passes for 860 yards and seven scores. Mecole Hardman has only caught 26 passes, but six have been for touchdowns.
The Chiefs running game was ranked just 23rd in the regular season with 89.1 yards per game. Mahomes ran for 218 yards in the regular season and leads the team in the playoffs with 106 yards. Damien Williams led the team in the regular season with 498 yards and has contributed an additional 92 in the playoffs.