Funny thing happened on the way to Super Bowl glory for the 49ers. In a bit of a surprise, the dominant team of the AFC, namely Baltimore and Lamar Jackson, stumbled on their way to a rematch of the week 10 tilt. Balt repeated their one-and-done crash and burn just like last year. Tenn and Houston faded badly, and Kansas City somehow emerged from the fray as AFC champs. As such, suddenly Patrick Mahomes is the anointed one. All season, all we heard was that Jackson and the Ravens were the team no one wanted to face in the AFC.
Now it is the Chiefs that are unstoppable. Patrick Mahomes will run roughshod over our flummoxed defense, and fling pinpoint passes to his speedy receivers and crush us like bugs in the Super Bowl. Thing is, we’ve heard this all year. Many pundits said the team would be anywhere from 3-13 to 9-7. Even me, a fairly optimistic guy, had us as 6-2 at the mid-way point, but faltering under a withering schedule. I had us at 10-6 with a WC spot. After that I was unsure.
But the narrative coming out of the NFC of course was how the Rams were going to storm into the playoffs and get back to their ascendant spot in the NFC. How Aaron Rodgers would will the Packers to the top. How the resurgent Vikings would storm into the playoffs. How the high-flying Falcons would reclaim the top spot in the NFC South. How the Saints would cast off their recent playoff debacles and take the conference.
No one gave the Niners a shot. We all saw it. We all know how it came to be. How this team has won through the air, on the ground, won shootouts, won grinder games, won close battles, and stomped the shot out of some teams.
Yet, much like the 1985 49ers, this team is an afterthought. The narrative was that 1981 was a fluke, and that Dan Marino, with his rocket arm and superior firepower would lay the 49er defense to waste. How Jimmy G is yet another version of Alex Smith. A game manager who throws more picks. How our defense will be 11 deer in the headlights as bombs fly overhead for touchdowns.
And that’s the way I like it. Now, KC’s defense isn’t terrible, but like I said to my friends back in 1985, the Niner offense practices against a better defense than KC brings. I don’t think they can show us anything different or better than we haven’t seen from the best division in the NFL.
Play the humble “gee, we’re just glad to be here” card and stomp the shit out of KC on game day. KC is notorious for slow starts, and if we can get on top of them, I like our chances of not letting them back in the game.