3 key matchups: 49ers vs. Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) flexes during practice at the team's NFL football training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. The 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (54) flexes during practice at the team's NFL football training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. The 49ers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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

About the Author