Can the 49ers slow down Patrick Mahomes?

BetAmerica Staff

January 21st, 2020

Every week we sit down with BetAmerica Extra columnists Ashley AndersonJames Scully and Scott Shapiro to discuss the latest news from around the NFL. This week they weigh in on the 49ers defense, Raheem Mostert's emergence, and the Packers' Super Bowl window.

The 49ers have had difficulty with mobile quarterbacks this season. What can they do to contain Patrick Mahomes?

Ashley: Good luck finding that answer. The Chiefs lost just four times this season, and in those losses Mahomes either sat on the sideline or played through injury. When the Chiefs QB has been 100%, he’s been nearly unstoppable. San Francisco’s top-rated pass defense may find success if they can get to Mahomes in the pocket and apply pressure, but they also need to eliminate potential holes for him to break free. The Titans opened up too many lanes by playing double-coverage and rushing three men at Mahomes. San Francisco can’t do the same and expect to win the title.
James: Pressure him. San Francisco has the league’s best defensive front, and they face the ultimate challenge against Mahomes, who has been a human highlight reel in the postseason. After recording three sacks and three turnovers against Green Bay, the Niners will try to keep Mahomes off balance with a relentless pass rush.

Scott: If San Francisco wants to prevent the 2018 NFL Most Valuable Player from going off on Feb. 2 they need to do so with relentless pressure from their front four. The good news is the Niners have the league’s best defensive line led by the likes of Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner, and Arik Armstead. This group will need to play one of their best games of the season if they want to contain the best passing offense in the league.

49ers RB Raheem Mostert ran for 220 yards against the Packers. What can bettors expect from him in the Super Bowl?

Ashley: The Chiefs managed to find a formula for stopping Derrick Henry in the AFC championship, and I expect them to game-plan accordingly for Mostert ahead of the Super Bowl. With Tevin Coleman questionable for the title game, I think the 49ers will rotate between Mostert and Matt Breida (or Coleman some if he’s healthy enough to play) to see which back is most effective. Mostert will probably come back down to earth and tally around 60 rushing yards in the Super Bowl, but I’m pulling for him to lead the Niners to a win.

James: I expect Mostert to be an emphasis. San Francisco has versatility, with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing for 349 yards and four touchdowns in a high-scoring road win over New Orleans, but their ground game has been unstoppable in the postseason. We should see a heavy dose of Mostert in the Super Bowl.

Scott: Mostert became the only player in NFL history with at least 200 rushing yards and at least four rushing touchdowns in a playoff game in San Francisco’s dominating victory against Green Bay. He should be poised for another strong game in Super Bowl LIV when the Niners take on a Chiefs’ rush defense that yielded 128.2 yards a game and 4.9 yards per carry in the regular season. However, Kansas City’s group did hold their own against the Titans’ Derrick Henry in the AFC title game and is certain to bring more resistance than the non-existent Packers defense did last Sunday.

True or false: Aaron Rodgers believes the Packers’ Super Bowl window is still open.

Ashley: True. The Packers showed a lot of promise in 2019, but they’re missing a few pieces. If Green Bay can pick up another solid receiving option and continue to build up the defense, the Packers could get right back to the NFC Championship Game, and beyond, in 2020.

James: True. The window is closing for the 36-year-old quarterback, but Rodgers knows Green Bay is close following a 14-4 campaign. They have weapons in Davante Adams and Aaron Jones, and the Packers should look to add a quality downfield receiver, along with a couple of pieces defensively, to take the next step.

Scott: True. The Packers are far from one of the favorites heading into next season, but it is probably premature to say their Super Bowl window is closed. They have a lot of young talent on defense, a pair of game-changing playmakers in Davante Adams and Aaron Jones, and a quarterback that is on the decline but is still one of the best to ever play the game. If they can bolster the interior of their offensive line, add a second WR and a tight end to complement Adams, and a cornerback they could make a run again in 2020.

Learn how to wager on football's biggest day with BetAmerica's Super Bowl Betting Guide.