Posted on January 20, 2020, by Travis Pulver
The ultimate matchup for the Super Bowl would have been the run game of the Ravens going up against the 49ers defense. But the Tennessee Titans put an end to that last weekend. So fans will have to be satisfied with the high-powered offense of the Chiefs taking on the no-nonsense defense of the 49ers.
Both teams were expected to survive the weekend, so it comes as no surprise that they will be facing off in Super Bowl LIV.
AFC Championship—Chiefs 35 Titans 24
While the oddsmakers still favored the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the AFC Championship game Sunday, many believed that the run game of the Tennessee Titans could take them down. After all, Derrick Henry took down the Patriots and Ravens, both teams with better run defenses than the Chiefs.
Surely Henry will do the same to them, right?
As it turns out, the answer is no. Henry ended up carrying the ball 19 times for just 69 yards and a touchdown. Tannehill had his best day of the postseason with 209 yards and two touchdowns. But it was the run game of the Chiefs that stole the show.
Between Patrick Mahomes, Damien Williams, Tyreek Hill, and Darwin Thompson, the Chiefs ran the ball 27 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Mahomes talked about his touchdown run after the game, via ESPN:
“They were doubling all these guys. I just ran it and got some good blocking at the end and found a way to get in the end zone.”
The defense deserves a lot of credit for holding Henry to just seven yards in the second half. But they were aided by the Titans needing to throw more as they fell behind and had to play catch-up.
NFC Championship—49ers 37 Packers 20
Green Bay Packers fans were hoping for something different than their regular-season matchup with the 49ers—but didn’t get it. San Francisco’s defense shut down the Packers offense once again. The offense helped out along the way by taking advantage of two Green Bay turnovers to take a 27-0 lead at half time.
While the Packers were able to close the gap a little in the second half, their inability to slow down Raheem Mostert (29 carries for 220 yards and four touchdowns) sealed their fate.
“The lanes that we saw and the way he was running we just wanted to keep feeding him,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game, via ESPN. “I know he was feeling it. That wasn’t too hard to see.”
A touchdown pass to rookie tight end Jace Sternberger brought the Packers within 14-points with 8:13 left to play. But the game was never really that close as the 49ers dominated the Packers in every facet of the game.
Super Bowl LIV
Now comes the hard part for football fans—waiting two weeks for the final game of the NFL season to take place. Yes, there is the Pro Bowl in the interim, but the dodge ball game during the NFL skills challenge is more competitive than it.
So for the next two weeks, fans will have to sit idly by as every sports media outlet in existence dredges up every, absolute human interest remotely related to someone playing in or coaching in the big game.
At least the game itself should be a good one. Caesars opened with the Chiefs favored by just 1.5 points.