Column: Super Bowl brings best offenses, defenses head-to-head

Alek Para, Staff Reporter

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A question: do dual-threat quarterbacks win Super Bowls?

The answer is yes and a no, but rarely.

The last dual-threat quarterback to win the Super Bowl MVP was Steve Young in Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.  Pocket passer quarterbacks have been more consistent at winning the big game, though. That was proven on one Saturday in January when the Baltimore Ravens, who went 14-2 with their modern-day Michael Vick at the helm in Lamar Jackson, who in 2019 passed for 3,127 yards while rushing the ball for 1,206.

But the Ravens, the fan-favorites at one point to win the Super Bowl —  were overwhelmed by an actual running back — or more accurately, a freight train — named Derrick Henry from the Tennessee Titans.

But now the Super Bowl is just around the corner. Here’s a rundown of the two teams facing off: the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

First up, the Kansas City Chiefs from the AFC West.

This year’s playoffs have actually been unique for once. Yes, it’s mostly because the Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans in the first round. That loss ultimately came down to one play: Tom Brady attempted to get the ball to Mohamed Sanu (who wasn’t even in New England at the start of the season), but former teammate Logan Ryan intercepted the pass.

A sad day in Boston as now raises questions the Patriots never had to ask in years finally come up such as, “Should Tom Brady retire?” But all around America, everyone rejoiced because we’ll finally get something unique in the Super Bowl. Now the Chiefs actually have a legit path to the Super Bowl instead of running into the Patriots.

The Chiefs’ AFC semi-final game was a classic, not only because the Texans choked and exposed Texans head coach Bill O’Brien to the public for the 17th time (OK, I’m exaggerating) after blowing a 24-0 lead, but because the Chiefs scored on eight consecutive drives including seven straight touchdowns and a field goal.

Not much went wrong for the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes last year, except for the fact that the Chiefs couldn’t win in big moments. Better play calling and spreading the ball deserve the credit.

In the AFC Championship game against the Titans, the Chiefs overcame an early 17-7 deficit from the Titans to win the game and qualify for the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Henry, the human form of a semi-truck, was stopped in Kansas City after a three-game stretch of 180-plus yards rushing per game. He was held to 69 yards.

Think about that though: The Chiefs are back for the first time in 50 years. The Beatles were still together. Gas was 36 cents a gallon. Watergate has yet to happen. The last time the Chiefs were in the Super Bowl, their quarterback Len Dawson smoked a cigarette at halftime and was able to lead his team to a 23-7 victory. Most EG teachers weren’t even around then.

And from the NFC West: the San Francisco 49ers.

This was a shock to me. I didn’t think the 49ers were going to go as far as they did. But then I remembered, the 49ers had Rolling Meadows High School alum Jimmy Garappolo, who they didn’t have last year after tearing his ACL in Week Three against the Chiefs.

The Niners got the first seed by a matter of inches in Week 17 when James Hollister of the Seattle Seahawks was stopped on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line.

Recent Seahawk history will tell you this isn’t the first time something was ruined by a decision on the 1-yard line.

The 49ers just demolished the Minnesota Vikings 27-10, because everything that’s supposed to protect quarterback Kirk Cousins didn’t protect him as he got sacked six times compared to Garoppolo getting sacked only twice. The Niner defense was the key this year for a renaissance in the Bay Area.

The 49ers would later also demolish the Green Bay Packers 37-20 via a late interception from Richard Sherman, one of the few individuals who can talk smack about opponents and still win. Jimmy Garoppolo is 2-0 in playoff starts, and the team can finally say they reached the promised land after five years in the dark.

The verdict: I’m taking Chiefs over the 49ers. The Chiefs’ offense has been on fire and Garoppolo’s way of Game Manager QB won’t work against Patrick Mahomes ‘ explosivity. Also, it’ll end the drought that cursed Chiefs football for half a century.