Sports staff predicts Super Bowl LIV

By Northern Star Sports Staff

DeKALB — The sports staff give their predictions for Super Bowl LIV ahead of kickoff Sunday at 5:30 p.m. The game can be watched on FOX.

Jarrett Huff | Sports Editor: Chiefs win 28-24

With the New England Patriots finally giving up the throne to the AFC, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and company are finally where they belong — in the Super Bowl.

Expect Super Bowl LIV to contrast greatly with its predecessor, with the help of Kansas City’s electrifying offense which finished fifth in points per game this season. However, San Francisco’s defense is nothing to scoff at. 

The Niners will keep things interesting for Mahomes as the team will force him to make daring plays. Luckily for the Chiefs, Mahomes was meant for the big stage, with the diverse offensive weapons of wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, among others, at his disposal. 

Quarterback play will be the determining factor of this game, and Mahomes will not disappoint. Expect the Chiefs to take home the Lombardi and Mahomes the MVP.

Matt Boecker | Assistant Sports Editor: Chiefs win 27-21

The Kansas City Chiefs finished fifth in the regular season in passing yards per game, with a subpar ground attack. 

The San Francisco 49ers provide the second best rushing attack and an above average pass game.

Defensively, this matchup could be troublesome for the Chiefs, having finished the regular season 26th in rushing yards allowed per game. However, the team did an excellent job holding Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry to 69 yards in the AFC Championship. 

With this being the 49ers first playoff run with this cast and the Chiefs’ second in two years, Kansas City’s postseason experience paired with veteran Head Coach Andy Reid’s will push the team over the top and grant a 27-21 victory.

James Krause | Reporter: Chiefs win 39-34

The Kansas City Chiefs may be the most entertaining team in football, with an offense that can generate points in quick fashion. 

Whether quarterback Patrick Mahomes is choosing the speed of wide receiver Tyreek Hill or the size of tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs have been able to dig themselves out of holes fast in their first two playoff games. 

The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, have a true three-headed monster in running backs Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. When those three haven’t been beating down defenses, defensive end Nick Bosa and cornerback Richard Sherman are among an all-star ensemble making life difficult for offenses.

It’s practically 50-50 on paper. I’ll give the edge to Chiefs for their improved defense, which hasn’t allowed an opposing 100-yard rusher since week 14.

Justin Kelley | Reporter: 49ers win 21-17 

Super Bowl LIV should be an interesting match between one of the NFL’s most efficient offenses and one of its most efficient defenses. The Kansas City Chiefs ranked third in the NFL for offensive efficiency, and the San Francisco 49ers ranked second in defensive efficiency.  

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes played a huge role in that figure, throwing for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns with five interceptions this season. Mahomes is not the only playmaker on the Chiefs, as tight end Travis Kelce ranks fourth in receiving yards with 1,229 yards on 97 receptions.

While Mahomes and Kelce were key for the Chiefs’ offense, the 49ers had its own tandem of players that anchored its defense. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman and rookie defensive end Nick Bosa are those anchors. 

Sherman had three interceptions and 63 tackles in a bounce back year.

Bosa had a monster rookie year, recording nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss. It would be wise for the Chiefs to run to the opposite side Bosa is lined up on.

All this being said, I think it will be a close game, but Bosa and the 49ers’ defense will be too much for Mahomes and company to handle. 

Jemea Green | Contributor: Chiefs win 35-31

Kansas City’s electric offense, led by an elite passer in Patrick Mahomes, will be tough to beat. 

Mahomes is accompanied by dangerous offensive weapons including wide receiver “Cheetah” Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.

The San Francisco 49ers have a top-tier defense with players like defensive end Nick Bosa and cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Richard Sherman, who have all played stellar football this season. This defense has shut many teams down, but anything can happen on the big stage.

If they do not get to Mahomes, there is no other outcome than a Kansas City win.

I am going to give Kansas City a 4-point advantage over San Francisco.