LAS VEGAS — Here are three matchups to watch when the 49ers face the Chiefs in Super Bowl 58 at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Allegiant Stadium:
49ers LB Fred Warner vs. Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco: Warner patrols the middle of the field and will be needed in the run game. Warner, a third-round draft pick out of Brigham Young in 2018, has had at least 118 tackles in each of his six seasons in the NFL. Pacheco, a hard-charging runner, has helped balance the Chiefs’ offense. He is averaging 4.0 yards per carry in the playoffs, as coach and game-caller Andy Reid has displayed patience with the run game.
49ers DE Chase Young vs. Chiefs LT Donovan Smith: Young was the second overall player taken in the 2020 draft, by Washington. The Commanders sent him to the 49ers at the trade deadline this season for a compensatory third-round pick. Young and Nick Bosa are expected to flop sides. Smith and right tackle Jawaan Taylor have been shaky in pass protection and could get some help from a back or a tight end.
49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk vs. Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed: “That’s going to be a fun one to watch,” CBS analyst Charles Davis said. “San Francisco lives on yardage after the catch. It’s built into their offense.” Aiyuk caught 75 of 105 targets (71.4%) for 1,342 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season. He has six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs. He’s caught six passes for first downs. Sneed is a rugged defender who specializes in man-to-man coverage.
The Bow Tie Chronicles