Super Bowl LIV is more than a week away, and already the 49ers are in trouble.
So says Bleacher Report‘s Mike Freeman, who canvassed NFL insiders to gauge which way the wind is blowing.
He has compiled a thoughtful, entertaining 10-point list that suggests the 49ers ought to batten down the hatches.
1. The Chiefs are unstoppable. Freeman: “What has surprised me — actually stunned me — is how many (insiders) are confident the Chiefs will blow out the 49ers.
2. A factor in the 49ers’ favor: Mayhem. “The 49ers could do something to slow the Chiefs, and that is hit them, and hit them again, and again, and again.”
3. “The Chiefs are fast. Like, the speed of sound fast.
4. A factor in the fans’ favor: Star power, including Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and two righteous tight ends in Travis Kelce and George Kittle.
5. A factor in favor of advertisers: This game could take a run at the record 114 million viewers who watched Super Bowl XILX.
6. Mahomes’ lethal combination of running (refer to his scarcely believable 27-yard TD run in the AFC Championship game, and his NFL-leading 22 TD passes on the run since 2018).
7. The Chiefs’ offensive line, which provided Mahomes a pressure-free zone on 30 of the team’s 37 pass plays against Tennessee.
8. This is an offshoot of No. 3. The 49ers’ Raheem Mostert hit 21.87 mph on his 36-yard touchdown against the Packers last weekend, the fastest an NFL ball carrier has gone in the postseason.
9. This, too, is an offshoot of No. 3. The Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill has hit 20 mph 59 times since 2018. My old Datsun 210 hatchback wasn’t that explosive.
10. Finally, overlooked (to the casual fan) disruptive Chris Jones. When The Chiefs’ defensive tackle doesn’t blow up a play, he’s likely making it possible for a teammate to blow up the play.
Freeman gets the final words. His headline tells the story:
“NFL Insiders Think SB LIV Is the Chiefs’ to Lose.”