Look, this should be easy, right?
You don’t bet against Patrick Mahomes, right?
What Crystal Ball in its right mind would offer a dissenting opinion?
My fearless Crystal Ball.
Henceforth referred to as CB.
Which defiantly pushes back today on the notion that it has shown signs of cognitive decline this season.
CB starts with the premise that even though it may seem as if Mahomes is the only quarterback in the NFL who puts his pants on two legs at a time …
He did lose Super Bowl LII to Tom Brady.
He would have a difficult time winning Super Bowl MVP honors for the second straight time if he finds himself spending more time than he likes on the sideline watching Christian McCaffrey mimicking Ottis Anderson in Super Bowl XXV.
CB has embraced the implementation of AI into its wiring that has allowed it to examine some important psychological factors the so-called experts have largely overlooked.
The 49ers have been stuck on five Super Bowl championships since 1995. This is their next chance to tie the Patriots and Steelers with a sixth.
The 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV in the fourth quarter to the Chiefs. Their running backs that night were Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. Their running back now is the best in the league. Their quarterback that night was Jimmy Garoppolo. Their quarterback now, Brock Purdy, is better, and he ain’t play scared.
The 49ers have every reason to be hungrier and more desperate to return to the top of Mount Montana than the Chiefs, who are looking to become the first team to repeat since the 2004-05 Patriots and continue their dynasty talk at their expense.
The 49ers are a proud organization. CB postulates that they just might be sick and tired of hearing about Taylor Swift rallying her Swifties to the Chiefs’ side. Not to mention all those Mahomes-Andy Reid-Travis Kelce commercials that have been running all season.
You want more evidence of added motivation? Purdy is The Other Quarterback in this game. The so-called, quote-unquote game manager. George Kittle is The Other Tight End in this game. Steve Wilks is The Other Defensive Coordinator in this game.
Kyle Shanahan was largely responsible for blowing that 28-3 lead to Brady as Falcons offensive coordinator, and then couldn’t finish against Mahomes and the Chiefs four years ago as Niners head coach. CB is flashing that the third time is the charm for him.
There is no way that Kelce will repeat his 11-116-1 TD domination of the Ravens, not with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw lurking around him (pan to Ms. Swift for reaction). Wilks had two weeks to fix a reeling run defense so Warner (132 regular-season tackles) and Javon Hargrove — a Super Bowl loser last year with the Eagles — won’t let raging bull Isiah Pacheco run wild. No disrespect intended to LG Nick Allegretti, but he’s no Joe Thuney (pectoral).
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been all but carried around the Strip on his players’ shoulders this week, and deservedly so, and yea, the Chiefs have infused quality fresh blood into their defense, but it is not lost on CB that Jalen Hurts and the Eagles put up 35 points against him in Super Bowl LIV.
Mahomes will make plays with his legs as always, but he will miss Tyreek Hill in this one as Chiefs receivers led the league with 44 drops. Mahomes and Warner will be playing grandmaster chess. Mahomes, as great as he is, has thrown four interceptions in three Super Bowls, and CB is flashing that the 49ers led the league with 22 INTs.
Purdy won’t be hesitant to take off and run, but he must feel like a kid in a candy store with McCaffrey, Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk as passing-game options.
CB sees Nick Bosa as most likely defender to wreck the game, especially when lined up opposite RT Jawaan Taylor.
CB likes the resolve and resilience the 49ers displayed coming back against the Packers and Lions in their two playoff games. FWIW, that’s one fewer than the Chiefs were forced to play. “The guys have a hunger to ’em,” 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek said Thursday.
49ers 24, Chiefs 21.