17 regular season weeks in, three playoff weeks in, and the 49ers are one win away from being Super Bowl champions for the first time in 25 years.
Who would’ve thought? After years of torture, the 49ers are kings of the NFC once again.
Coming into this game, the offense has been riding high off of back to back dominant rushing performances. Between Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert, these two men have had dominating games throughout the playoffs.
First, Tevin Coleman. Before suffering a nasty shoulder injury, Coleman was coming off of a monster divisional game against the Vikings, in which he ran for 105 yards on 22 carries, while scoring 2 TDs.
Run game lookin' 🔥
Tevin Coleman with his second rushing TD of the day!
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 11, 2020
— Cold Blooded Convos (@ColdBloodedChat) January 11, 2020
A solid RB, Coleman’s comeback after a rough stretch of games was key to a solid victory over the Vikings. However, an ugly shoulder dislocation against the Packers opened the door for speedster Raheem Mostert to quickly take the game into his own hands.
Against the Packers, Mostert ran for 220 yards on 29 carries, accounting for all 4 of the 49ers’ touchdowns for the game (all rushing).
Overall, Mostert had the single most dominant rushing performance in playoff history, as he was the first to rush for over 200 yards and score 4 TDs in a single game.
Needless to say, the run game has been dominant, and will likely be successful going up against the Chiefs. However, will it be enough to win the game?
When facing a high-octane offense like the Chiefs, it is reasonable to wonder if the run game will be enough. In my opinion, I don’t think it will be.
Now hear me out, I’m not saying the rush offense won’t single-handedly take over this game, because quite frankly, it’s proven to be readily capable of doing so. However, I do believe that the passing game will need to step up in order to pace the Chiefs, even if the defense can contain Patrick Mahomes.
Nothing beats beating an opposing defense by keeping them honest. I fully expect Kyle Shanahan to unleash Jimmy Garoppolo and the entire pass-catching unit to their fullest extent (i.e. vs. Saints). Let’s take a look at what that may consist of…
— Peter Panacy (@PeterPanacy) December 8, 2019
49ers/Saints total closed at 45.5 👀
We have 34 points with 14 minutes left in the second quarter
— B/R Betting (@br_betting) December 8, 2019
— Chris Wilson (@cgawilson) December 8, 2019
Pretty filthy, right? These are just few of the many plays that Shanahan has to offer. One major advantage that Shanahan actually has is that he’s hardly had to use any of his signature plays in the playoffs. Because the 49ers have run the ball so much, Kyle has hardly needed to dig into his playbook to keep the 49ers in the game.
With the Chiefs coming up, the amount of firepower they have to offer will surely keep the 49ers on their toes. If the defense cannot hold and this game becomes a shootout, I fully expect Shanahan and Garoppolo to have one hell of a game together.
The 49ers haven’t had to rely on Garoppolo’s arm in the playoffs. The run game has been able to carry the load. However, even if the run game is dominating, I fully expect Shanahan to dial up some play action and deep shots to test the KC defense.
Media analysts have been ripping on Garoppolo for not throwing the ball, although he clearly has been able to throughout the season. When his name is called upon on the biggest stage of his life, I truly believe he has what it takes to bring a ‘chip back to SF.