The Kansas City Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl for the second straight season. This will be Patrick Mahomes' fourth appearance in the big game in his sixth season as the team's starting quarterback.
Mahomes is generating a lot of buzz and is critical for the team's success, but he could be secondary to the ground game in the Super Bowl. The Cold, Hard Football Facts have successfully predicted the outcome of NFL games and seasons for over 20 years.
Our proprietary stats give San Francisco the advantage, but the Chiefs can win in multiple areas. Their best chance of success is on the ground with Isiah Pacheco.
The Chiefs improved this season when Mahomes realized he didn't have to play outside himself to win. Even though Kansas City doesn't have the best team, Mahomes has some assets, and his most significant is the run game.
Pacheco had 935 yards with seven touchdowns this season. He has scored in every playoff game and has at least one 20+ yard carry in two of the three contests. Pacheco has helped the Chiefs break their opponents' backs, and we should see this again on Super Bowl Sunday.
San Francisco is stout on defense, but their weaknesses have been apparent in the playoffs. Aaron Jones, Jahmyr Gibbs, and David Montgomery have all ripped off big gains over the past two games, and Pacheco has the same capability.
San Francisco is 14th in Defensive Hog Index and 11th in Total Team Yards Allowed. They're also 13th in Defensive Rusher Rating, so look for Kansas City to focus on this area in their offensive game plan.