Commanding a good offense
Without Googling the answer, can you name the Chiefs’ starting linebackers? Kudos if you can, but if most people were asked to name any Chiefs’ defensive players prior to the playoffs common answers would have likely included a quick defensive end and an outspoken safety. The Chiefs didn’t have to rely on star power to make Garoppolo feel helpless. Instead they focused on wearing down Garoppolo.
From the beginning of the game Garoppolo made a point to get away from the action after he let go of the ball. The Chiefs took notice and made a point to get after him every single time, and when they did he fudged. This mentality came back to hurt him in the last two minutes.
Meanwhile Mahomes put the 49ers on their heels every single time he had the ball in his hands. The 49ers did a good job of collapsing the pocket most of the time, but when crunch time came around Mahomes either stood his ground or made the run you wanted to see. His line didn’t do too shabby either.
The parabolic increase in effort reflected how the Chiefs asserted their way to victory. Now it’s a new year and the next set of rings is anyone’s for the taking. With an offensive genius, the erstwhile leader of a Super Bowl offense, and a solid corps of proven playmakers at hand the next offensive powerhouse could be in Charlotte.