The 49ers haven't faced a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes yet this season. He can launch the ball nearly the length of the field with ease, and his eyes can be deceiving as he throws befuddling no-look passes.
But the Kansas City Chiefs also haven't faced a defense like the relentless 49ers. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and his crew will try to wreak havoc on Mahomes in Super Bowl LIV, and it all starts with San Francisco's devastating D-line.
Led by Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford, the 49ers finished the regular season tied for fifth in the NFL with 48 sacks. In just two postseason games, they lead all playoff teams with nine more sacks. And that historically bodes well for their hopes of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
As NFL Media's James Palmer pointed out Saturday, all six teams who entered the Super Bowl with at least 55 sacks in the last 15 seasons -- including the playoffs -- won it all.
Teams with More Than 55 Sacks Entering Super Bowl
Last 15 Seasons
Won Super Bowl
2019 49ers ???
2015 Broncos Yes
2011 Giants Yes
2010 Packers Yes
2008 Steelers Yes
2007 Giants Yes
2005 Steelers Yes
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 25, 2020
Could the 49ers become the seventh? They now have 57 total sacks entering their 19th game of the season.
San Francisco sacked Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins six times in the divisional round, and then took down Aaron Rodgers three more times in their 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. But getting Mahomes to the ground could be quite the tall task.
Mahomes was sacked only 17 times in 14 regular-season games. The Chiefs have only given up two sacks to their star in two playoff games.
Sunday won't be easy for the 49ers' defense, but history is on their side.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of "49ers Central" all week (8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 p.m. Tuesday and 3 p.m. Saturday).
Also tune in at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for a two-hour special of "49ers Pregame Live" with Laura Britt, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Ian Williams, Kelli Johnson, Greg Papa and Grant Liffmann. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting immediately after the game.
Why 49ers' sack total historically bodes well for them in Super Bowl 54 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area