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Observer Roundtable: Super Bowl Edition

, , , , and | Thursday, January 30, 2020

At long last, we’re down to just one game separating us from the kickoff of the XFL regular season. I know I speak for most of us when I say that’s really the season we’re all excited for. However, for now, we’re stuck with a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, a potent offense against a great defense, one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in recent NFL history, two explosive and emotional tight ends, a running back with an underdog story for the ages, just to name a few storylines. Sigh. I guess that’ll have to do as our XFL placeholder. With that being our only option, the Observer Roundtable takes one more swing at football season, and also one more shot at dethroning David Kramer from the top of the standings. We even added some prop bets to try and throw the man off. Here are the standings followed by our game and MVP predictions, over/under stats bets and, of course, the ever-important prop bets. See you all next week for our official basketball season picks tipoff.

Current standings

  • David: 102 points
  • Patrick: 91 points
  • Liam: 90 points
  • Dominic: 89 points
  • Nate: 87 points
  • Aidan: 82 points

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) — over/under: 54.5

Two points for result, two points for the spread, two points for the over/under, and six points for predicting the exact score. 

David: The Chiefs looked like a fresh team in January. Their run defense stood its ground against two of the most lethal backs in the game, and the invigorated arsenal of linemen pressured the quarterback in ways that I liken to the 49ers. Two defensive forces collide this Sunday, a true test that boils down to the respective dominance at quarterback. Mahomes feels born for this global stage, and the role-playing Jimmy G. will prove just as irrelevant as his matchup against the Packers. Give me Kansas City, 38-30. 

Patrick: Super Bowl LIV could represent the beginning of a new era in football. While Tom Brady, Drew Brees and other traditional talents are approaching the twilight of their careers, a new generation of quarterbacks has burst onto the scene. Patrick Mahomes may be the most dominant player in this young group, and, since he is the first of these players to become an MVP, it is only fitting that he is the quarterback that formally ushers in the end of the old guard by winning the Super Bowl. The Chiefs’ offense will best a stout 49ers defense 26-21 en route to their first championship since 1970.

Liam: The Chiefs offense is explosive, will prove simply too quick for the 49ers defense to contain all game. They’ll contain them at times, but Mahomes and the offense will score enough points to get the win. I doubted the Chiefs defense, but after seeing the way they contained Derrick Henry by forcing the Titans to throw in the AFC championship game, I believe in that unit now. Raheem Mostert is no Derrick Henry, and the Chiefs will shut down the 49ers offense to win 31-14. 

Dominic: The 49ers have been one of the biggest surprises for me week after week. I often thought they were an overrated team but looking at them now, I think I was mistaken. While Mahomes and the chiefs will put up points, I think the Niners defense, led by their dominant defensive line, will hold them just enough to give Jimmy G. and George Kittle some breathing room. I think that if Garoppolo has an average game, he will put his team in good position to win. The key for them is to get the run game established. 49ers win 31-24.

Nate: I am taking the 49ers. I doubted them throughout the first half of the season and at the beginning of the playoffs, and they just keep proving me wrong. I think they are the better overall team for sure, and the game will come down to how well the 49ers defense can limit Mahomes’ offensive production. I think they will do enough, and I expect the 49ers offense to move the ball against a mediocre Chiefs defense to take home the ring. 49ers win by a score of 34-31.

Aidan: This game reminds me a lot of the AFC championship. The 49ers will want to lean on the run, but, if this goes anything like the Titans game, the Chiefs will not let them do that. The 49ers have been dominant defensively in the playoffs, but their dominance has caused many to forget they have struggled against mobile quarterbacks. Mahomes will beat the 49ers with his legs and his arm, and the Chiefs defense will make a few key red zone stops. Chiefs win 31-23. 

The MVP (4 points)

David: After an abysmal offensive showing last year, America deserves an explosive display commanded by the game’s best passer. Patrick Mahomes enters Super Bowl LIV with over 600 passing yards and eight touchdowns in spite of a nearly impenetrable Packers defense. I see no reason for his MVP-caliber playoff performance to falter in Miami.

Patrick: With an average of around 300 passing yards per game, Patrick Mahomes has been the most impressive player this postseason. I expect another spectacular performance out of Mahomes, as he will likely record at least two touchdowns. The last couple of winning quarterbacks to do this, Tom Brady and Nick Foles, both earned MVP honors, and Mahomes will continue this trend.      

Liam: More often than not, the Super Bowl MVP is not a quarterback. While Mahomes is undoubtedly the best player on the field, he won’t win MVP because Chiefs go up early and run the ball. I already predicted the Chiefs defense would have a big game, so I’ll double down and take Tyrann Mathieu as my MVP. 

Dominic: The key to winning this game for the 49ers is establishing their run game and with Raheem Mostert finding his groove at the right time, he is bound to have another stellar game on the biggest stage. For Mostert to win the MVP here would be an incredible story as well, after being cut by six other teams before finally emerging.

Nate: The Chiefs have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, so I’ll take red-hot Raheem Mostert as the Super Bowl MVP. The 49ers have put up a whopping 186 yards and 285 yards in their respective playoff games, and I don’t anticipate that changing Sunday. Tevin Coleman will also likely not be 100%, meaning Mostert should see high production.

Aidan: Tom Brady may yet have a season or two left in him, but the new generation of AFC quarterbacks has arrived, led by Mahomes. If the Chiefs win on Sunday, it’ll likely because of his dynamic play; Mahomes passes for two touchdowns and rushes for another and claims the MVP honors in Miami. 

Stat Over/Unders (2pts per)

Mahomes 300 pass yds

Over: David, Patrick, Dominic, Nate, Aidan

Under: Liam

Williams 50 rushing yards

Over: Liam, Dominic, Nate, Aidan

Under: David, Patrick

Kelce 85 receiving yds

Over: David, Patrick

Under: Liam Dominic, Nate, Aidan

Jimmy G. 245 pass yds

Over: Liam, Aidan

Under: David, Patrick, Dominic, Nate

Mostert 75 rushing yds

Over: Liam, Dominic, Nate, Patrick

Under: Aidan

Kittle 80 receiving yds

Over: Liam, Dominic, Aidan

Under: David, Patrick, Nate

Prop Bets (1pt per)

Heads Or Tails Coin Toss?

Heads: Patrick, Liam, Aidan

Tails: David, Dominic, Nate

Color of victory Gatorade shower?

Orange: David

Red: Patrick, Dominic, Nate

Blue: Liam

Green: Aidan

Doritos or Snickers — which commercial airs first?

Doritos: Patrick, Liam, Nate

Snickers: Aidan, Dominic, David

Demi’s anthem — over/under two minutes?

Over: Patrick, Liam, Dominic

Under: David, Nate Aidan

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Aidan Thomas

A senior marketing and ACMS major at Notre Dame, I've countered the success I've enjoyed as a New England sports fan with the painful existence of a Notre Dame football fan.

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About David Kramer

David Kramer is a senior double majoring in Business Analytics and ACMS. You might find him DJ'ing at WVFI Radio, convincing a friend that Minnesota is the best state in the Midwest, or searching for America's best Reuben sandwich.

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About Liam Coolican

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About Patrick Gallagher

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About Dominic Gibson

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

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