MIAMI — My bosses had a great idea this week and that idea was to send me to the Super Bowl, and since I’m always completely on board with any idea that involves me traveling to a tropical location in the middle of winter, I obliged them. I know, I know guys, my life is rough.
The one thing about being in Miami is that it means I’ll be around if something crazy happens, and there’s a 90 percent chance something crazy will happen, because this is Miami. From a Super Bowl perspective, no city does crazy better than Miami.
After all, this is the city where Joe Namath made his guarantee before Super Bowl III. It’s the city that gave us the first ever Super Bowl game-winning field goal (Super Bowl V). And if that’s not crazy enough for you, it’s also the city where a player got suspended from playing in a Super Bowl because he went on a drug bender the night before the game in January 1989. Seriously, that actually happened, and you can read about it by clicking here. As if that’s not enough, Miami was also the host city in January 1999 when a player got arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute less than 18 hours before the kick off of Super Bowl XXXIII. I think what I’m trying to say here is that if you spend more than a week in Miami and don’t get arrested, you should consider that a moral victory.
Based on all the craziness that seems to happen in Miami when the city hosts a Super Bowl, I am fully expecting things to go completely off the rails on Sunday.
So what exactly is going to happen in the game?
Let’s get to the pick and find out.
Actually, before we get to the pick, here’s a quick reminder to check out the Super Bowl picks from all of our other CBS Sports NFL writers, which you can do by clicking here. If that’s not enough Super Bowl content for you, then I recommend clicking here and subscribing to the Pick Six Podcast. Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and I are spending the week in Miami together and we’ll be putting out new podcasts every day, which means you get more of me, which I have to think is a good thing.
We actually spent more than an hour recapping all the craziness of Super Bowl Opening Night (AKA Media Night) and you can listen to that below. I gave a piggy-back ride to a 49ers player. To find who that was, you’ll have to listen.
Also, since I’ll be in Miami this week, feel free to start following me on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or none of them. I won’t be offended, but if you do end up following, you’ll notice that I ask the important questions on social media that everyone else is afraid to ask, like: Is Jimmy Garoppolo too handsome for Instagram?
Could I sit here and share Jimmy Garoppolo photos with you all day? Probably, but I’m not going to, because we have a Super Bowl pick to get to, and the faster we get there, the faster I can make one of these fan bases hate me after I pick against their team.
The Pick Six Podcast featuring Will Brinson broke down the gambling angles for the Super Bowl on Friday’s blowout episode, with spread, total and prop picks from Pete Prisco and R.J. White, fun prop talk with Ryan Wilson and John Breech, plus DFS tips from Heath Cummings. Give it a listen below and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
San Francisco 49ers (15-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (14-4)
6:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Chiefs, -1 point
The last time we saw 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan in a Super Bowl came three years ago and things couldn’t have gone any worse: As the Falcons offensive coordinator, he misplaced his offensive game plan, he and his team blew a 28-3 lead. I mean, based on how his week went, it’s mildly surprising that his car didn’t get stolen.
The one thing that often gets overlooked in that game is that the reason the Falcons even had a 28-3 lead to blow is because Shanahan’s offense absolutely diced up the Patriots defense for two and a half quarters in Super Bowl LI. That happened because Shanahan is one of the most creative offensive minds in the game, and that’s something that could be trouble for the Chiefs defense. With Shanahan calling the shots, the 49ers offense had the second-most rushing yards, scored the third-most points and totaled the fourth-most yardage overall in the NFL this year.
That first thing on the list is what could end up being an issue for the Chiefs, and that’s because Kansas City gave up 4.9 yards per carry during the regular season, which was the fourth-worst in the NFL. Although the Chiefs defense has played much better in the postseason — THEY EVEN STOPPED DERRICK HENRY — I’m not completely sold on the fact that they’re going to be able to stop the 49ers rushing attack.
One thing the 49ers love to do on offense is to disguise almost all of their plays by using motion.
The reason motion helps is because the defense has no idea whether a play is going to be a run or a pass, and even if a defense somehow knows a run is coming, they have no idea which way it’s going to go. Here’s how motion can help an offense on something like a simple counter play.
Basically, trying to figure out the 49ers offense is like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube, only this Rubik’s cube has 19 sides and you have to wear a blind fold that’s been set on fire while you’re trying to figure it out. I can’t even finish a normal six-sided Rubik’s cube without a blindfold, so I wouldn’t have a prayer if you added 13 sides and a blindfold.
Of course, even if the 49ers can move the ball on offense, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to win. If this game turns into a shootout, there’s no team in the NFL better equipped to win in a shootout than the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only are the Chiefs averaging 43 POINTS PER GAME in the playoffs, but Patrick Mahomes is on pace to have possibly the best postseason of any quarterback in NFL history, and ironically enough, that honor currently belongs to a 49ers quarterback. Back in 1989, Joe Montana threw 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions during a postseason where he led the 49ers to a win in Super Bowl XXIV. Through two games, Mahomes has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions, which means he could tie or pass Montana with a big game in Super Bowl LIV.
Speaking of Montana, I’m still not sure who he’s cheering for in this game.
PICK A TEAM, JOE.
I’m guessing he’s cheering for Mahomes not to break his record for most playoff touchdown passes without an interception. Although Mahomes has been nearly unstoppable this season, the 49ers defense is one of the few in the NFL that actually has the talent to slow him down. For one, they gave up the fewest passing yards in the NFL this year. The easiest way to shut down a quarterback is to constantly hit them, and no one is better at that than the 49ers. Including the playoffs, the 49ers have racked up 57 sacks this year, which is the most of any team in the NFL.
By the end of Super Bowl LIV, we should finally know for sure whether or not defenses actually win championships, and the good news for the 49ers is that that’s pretty much the only football cliche I believe in.
Super Bowl LIV pick: 49ers 34-27 over Chiefs
Record picking 49ers games this season: 10-8 (including 2-0 in playoffs)
Record picking Chiefs games this season: 13-5 (including 1-1 in playoffs)
Best pick: Two weeks ago, I Packers would be able to beat the 49ers in the NFC title game, and I think we can all agree there was no way the Packers were going to win. If those two teams had played 220 times, I”m fully convinced that the the 49ers would have won all 220 games and Raheem Mostert probably would have rushed for at 220 yards in every single one of those games. The Packers defense looked absolutely lost on the field trying to stop San Francisco’s offense.the
Also not helping the Packers was the fact that Kyle Shanahan was basically pointing out penalties before they even happened, and when a coach starts doing that, you know there’s no way that coach is going to lose.
The Chiefs might want to watch that clip a few times this week, because they were flagged for more holding penalties than any other team in the NFL this year.
Worst pick: In the AFC title game, I picked Tennessee to beat Kansas City, but I only did that because I didn’t think there was any way that the Titans could possibly forget that they had Derrick Henry on their team, yet somehow, I think that actually happened. During the second half of the Chiefs’ 35-24 win, Henry was given exactly three carries. It’s almost like Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith accidentally threw away the team’s offensive game plan at halftime, which we can’t rule out. I mean, Kyle Shanahan almost lost his game plan at Super Bowl LI, so let’s be real, anything is possible, even challenging your wife to a trial by combat in Iowa.
Alright everyone, that’s it for this year.
If you come back for my picks next season, I’m going to warn you now that there will likely be slightly more diaper jokes, and that’s mainly due to the fact that my wife and I have a baby due this offseason, which means there’s a 77 percent chance that I’ll only be getting a total of nine hours of sleep over the next six months. I promise not to be cranky, though, and I might even let the baby make picks.
Straight up in championship round: 1-1
SU overall in playoffs: 7-3
Against the spread in championship round: 1-1
ATS overall in playoffs: 5-5
Final 2019 regular-season record
Straight-up: 163-92-1 (Ranked first overall at CBSSports.com)
Against the spread: 120-130-6 (Did not rank first overall)