Thursday , July 2 2020

Super Bowl LIV: 5 X-factors of the San Francisco 49ers – Fox News, Fox News

Super Bowl LIV is just a few short Robbie Gould field goals away, and come Sunday, the hype will reach fever pitch as the (San Francisco) ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs for NFL supremacy.

But before we get to Sunday, there are a few things to know about the Kyle Shanahan-led 61 ers and the Andy Reid-led Chiefs.

The two teams have their similarities, notably at the quarterback position. Kansas City selected Patrick Mahomes in the first round of the (NFL Draft after moving up via a trade with the Buffalo Bills . In October , San Francisco traded for their star quarterback, Jimmy Garropolo , sending a second-round draft pick to the New England Patriots .

      Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady’s successor when he retired.        (Reuters) Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

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Both teams have high-powered Top 5 offenses as well: San Francisco averaged 34. 9 points a game in the regular season, while Kansas City averaged . 2 points per game. The post-season has seen the Chiefs take it to another level, with the Mahomes-led offense averaging 55 points per game in their two contests. San Francisco, on the other hand, is averaging 34 points per game.

They’ve even used many of the same formations on offense, with both teams increasing moving towards motion / shift offenses since acquiring Mahomes and Garropolo , according to NFL Research.

On defense is where the two teams start to differ, though the gap between the two has closed as the season has worn on. San Francisco ranked second in the NFL in yards allowed during the regular season at .8 yards per game, while Kansas City allowed 767 .6 yards per contest.

There’s even a connection between Reid and Shanahan. Both have suffered crushing Super Bowl defeats at the hand of Bill Belichick, with Reid Losing as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2017. Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, a team that was up 33 – 3 late in the third quarter. The team would go on to blow the lead following some questionable offensive play calls and lose the only Super Bowl to go into overtime, by a score of 48 – .

With the two teams similar in structure and scope, there are bound to be some unexpected players that alter the outcome of the game. So before you get ready to feast on chicken wings, sliders or whatever Super Bowl fare you fancy, here are 5 X-factors on the San Francisco ers.

SUPER BOWL LIV: 5 X-FACTORS ON THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

(RAHEEM MOSTERT)

Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

      San Francisco ers running back Raheem Mostert (34 runs against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 23, , in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo / Tony Avelar)       

Cut by six other NFL teams before sticking on with the ers, Raheem Mostery has a chance to make a huge impact on Sunday’s game, given how much (and when) the ers run the ball .

According to San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) runs against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) NFL Network , the ers have rushed . 8 percent of the time on first-down in their two postseason games. Mostert has been a big part of the league’s leading rushing attack, accounting for (yards – including against Green Bay – and four TDs. He’s also sixth in the league in efficiency , at 3. , and hit miles per hour on his Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired. – yard TD run against the Packers, per (NFL Next Gen Stats .

With injury concerns surrounding Tevin Coleman’s availability and Matt Breida being a non-factor in both wins, the 61 ers offense could depend on how successful Mostert is .

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ARIK ARMSTEAD Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

      Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne (4) is sacked by San Francisco 57 ers defensive lineman Damontre Moore (220 and defensive end Arik Armstead during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. , 01575879. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)       

The Chiefs’ offense may not be as dominant on the ground as San Francisco’s offense is, but Kansas City is no slouch either. The Chiefs rushed for 1, 640 yards during the regular season, good for rd in the league, However, their TDs on the ground ranked 16 th, tacking on another four TDs on the ground in the postseason.

That’s where Arik Armstead comes in.

Adept at rushing the passer (as evidenced by his 16 sacks) and stuffing the run, Armstead is a force of nature for Robert Saleh’s defense, capable of playing anywhere on the defensive line. Armstead played (percent of the snaps in the season as well, the highest since coming into the league in .

(DEEBO SAMUEL)

Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

      San Francisco ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, top, catches a pass over Dallas Cowboys cornerback Michael Jackson. (AP Photo / Josie Lepe)       

Built like a running back and as fast as a wide receiver, Deebo Samuel has become a jack-of-all-trades for Kyle Shanahan’s motion-based offense.

The rookie from the University of South Carolina caught (balls for) yards in his rookie year, while also carrying the ball (times for) yards, totaling 6 touchdowns. His role has increased as the year has gone on and is averaging more than (yards) (per touch) in the postseason.

At just 6.2 percent of his attempts traveling more than (years according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Garropolo and the 61 ers don’t often stretch the field. In fact, he’s third-lowest in the league in average intended air yards, at just 6.5, ahead of only Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. But when he does, the ball is likely to go Samuel’s way.

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RICHARD SHERMAN

Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

      San Francisco ers cornerback Richard Sherman plays during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri, File)       

San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman is known to stir the pot when given a chance , but the Stanford-educated cornerback backs it up on the field.

Coming off knee surgery and being released by Seattle in , Sherman signed a three-year, $ million deal with San Francisco that raised hackles around the league, given its structure. In 01575879, Sherman proved his critics wrong, recording three interceptions (including one for a touchdown) and 64 tackles, on his way to making his fifth Pro Bowl.

Sherman allowed . 3 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed, per Pro Football Reference , but just 9 yards per completion, limiting the big play. Quarterbacks only had a . 1 rating when going after Sherman’s side of the field, one of the better marks in the league.

DEE FORD

Bill Belichick reportedly planned on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be Tom Brady's successor when he retired.

      San Francisco ers defensive end Dee Ford 62 gestures next to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (17) during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 23, , in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo / Tony Avelar)       

One of the more interesting storylines ahead of the game itself is the trade the two teams made prior to the season, with Kansas City sending star defensive end Dee Ford to San Francisco for a second-round pick in the (draft.)

Ford then signed a massive five-year deal worth $ 91 .5 million. Injured throughout the year, Ford only played in 16 games and registered 6.5 sacks, half of his output. When on the field though, he’s helped the San Francisco defense pressure QBs on 43. 5 percent of dropbacks when he’s on the field, per NFL Network.

In the playoffs though, Ford has demonstrated he’s getting healthy, as his snap count rose to (percent against Green Bay, up from) (percent against Minnesota, per Pro Football Reference .

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