MIAMI, Fla. -- NFL history is heavily populated with explosive offenses that couldn’t win a title. All that scoring eventually ran into a stout defense with the right stuff to break down a scoring machine.
The 1999 St. Louis Rams bucked that trend. Then the 2009 New Orleans Saints turned a great offense into a Lombardi Trophy.
The Kansas City Chiefs will try to follow suit on Sunday against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. This matchup offers a contrast in styles, with Kansas City’s high-octane offense versus a potent 49ers defense with an unreal front lead by rookie Nick Bosa and former Chief Dee Ford.
You can look at raw numbers, however, and see the 49ers run better and scored more this regular season than Kansas City, but let’s not forget Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes missed two games with a knee injury and took some time to get revved up again.
Make no mistake. The Chiefs are stacked. The reigning MVP is behind the center. They have unreal speed on the outside and a bully tight end. While they struggled some earlier in the year, the Chiefs put 51 points on Houston in the divisional round and 35 on Tennessee in the AFC title game.
Even if this year’s stats don’t show it, last year’s do. The Chiefs averaged 35.3 points and 425 yards per game in 2018, a year that ended with a playoff loss to New England.
Receiver Tyreek Hill believes this year’s attack is more talented than that one. Kansas City added Sammy Watkins in free agency and Mecole Hardman through the draft, giving them more speed and explosiveness this time around.
They have so much, that Hill thinks this offense might be the most talented collection to reach the Super Bowl. That includes the Greatest Show on Turf.
“We have a 4x100 team on the field,” Hill said. “We have a relay team, man. No disrespect to Tory Holt and Isaac Bruce. They only have a few guys. We have five guys who can run a 4.3. Come on, man. We’re fast.”
And good scoring fast and in several different ways. Hardman wasn’t ready to dub this attack the most talented to reach the Super Bowl, but he has great confidence in what K.C. can do after finding their rhythm.
“There have been a lot of great offenses over the years, with explosive players like Randy Moss [on the Patriots]. What about the Greatest Show on Turf? Those guys were awesome,” Hardman said. “I will say that we have a great combination of speed on the outside, Travis Kelce in the middle and a truly great quarterback like Pat Mahomes. You put all that together and we’re definitely in the conversation, but it won’t matter if we don’t finish the season outright. We think we’re great. Now we have to show everybody why we think that.”
Head coach/offensive mastermind Andy Reid plays a role in all this as well. His creative play designs capitalize on Mahomes’ unique ability and the raw talent at the skill positions.
“His knowledge of offense and this game is off the charts,” Hardman said. “Looking at the playbook and how thick it was, and when you get into it, he’s running concepts I had never seen before. The routes he comes with, especially when he and Pat get to brainstorming, is stuff I had never heard of. It’s so smart and innovative. When you combine his mind with what we’ve got on the field, we can do some crazy things.”