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BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Chiefs’ explosive offense, Niners’ stingy defense makes for perfect Super Bowl clash

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Patrick Mahomes carved up the 49ers defense for 314 yards passing and three touchdowns in September 2018, the same Sunday in which QB Jimmy Garoppolo incurred a year-ending knee injury.

Take heart, Washington Redskins fans. You’re suddenly on track to make next year’s Super Bowl in Tampa.

That’s the weird rationale making the the rounds Sunday night, in lieu of the 49ers’ 37-20 rout of the Packers in the NFC title game.

With this decisive victory, highlighted by Raheem Mostert’s 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns, San Francisco joins the rare company of NFL franchises in history to have a top-2 pick in the draft one year … and then reach the Super Bowl that same season.

And even then, it’s a skewed stat. Yes, the 1977 Cowboys drafted Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett that spring … and then knocked off the Broncos in Super Bowl XII. But the Cowboys were also 11-3 the previous year (NFC East champs), and somehow fleeced the expansion-era Seattle Seahawks for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

So, how could the Niners be among the NFL’s worst teams one season, and then be Super Bowl bound the following year?

a) The Nick Bosa selection at No. 2 overall was a major coup, with the rookie collecting Pro Bowl honors and 11 sacks in Year 1.

b) The Niners’ 2018 season started with promise early on, but those hopes quickly vanquished with quarterback Jimmy Garopplo’s year-ending ACL tear in Week 3 — a gruesome injury which took place at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

Which brings us to the Niners’ opponent for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami …

It might be stretching things to label the Chiefs a team of destiny, since they were strong favorites to claim the AFC crown a few weeks ago. But they’re certainly prolific with tempting fate, after spotting the Titans a 17-7 lead in the first half … before rallying for the next four touchdowns.

(Last week, the charitable Chiefs surrendered 24 consecutive points to the Texans … before posting an incredible finishing kick of 51-7.)

For Sunday’s landmark victory, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes accounted for 294 yards passing and four TDs, including a tightrope-walking 27-yard scoring run just before halftime.

Prior to this watershed moment, Kansas City was seemingly positioning itself for a game-tying field goal, with just a few seconds left on the clock.

But all that changed on Mahomes’ sterling run, which allowed the Chiefs to start dreaming about their first Super Bowl berth in 50 years.

And it should be an epic matchup: Kansas City’s high-octane offense against San Francisco’s stingy defense.

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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