Super Bowl LIV picks and analysis from 18 Pro Bowlers

NFL


The NFL’s best gather in Orlando, Florida, this week to play in Sunday’s Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium (ABC/ESPN, 3 p.m. ET). How do they see Super Bowl LIV playing out between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers?

We asked 18 Pro Bowlers and a Legends captain to weigh in on who’s going to win the big game. Not everyone went on record and chose a winner, but everyone offered a take. Here’s what they said:


PICKING THE 49ERS TO WIN

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker

“The Niners — but a really, really, really close game. It’s just so hard, like it’s hard, but I just think that [the 49ers’] defense is gonna limit [the Chiefs’] offense a little bit, and then if they do enough difficult stuff on offense of not being straightforward, then they’ll get enough points.”

What makes the Niners’ defense special?

“Mentality, everybody want to make that play, everybody hungry to make that play and you can see it [in] the way they play.”

Denver Broncos linebacker

“49ers. I can’t go with the Chiefs. I can’t go with the Chiefs.”

Denver Broncos wide receiver

“It’s going to be a good game. Being a Broncos fan I can’t cheer for the Chiefs. But it’s going to be a good game. I’m not going to pick winner or loser but it will be a good game, and I can’t pick the Chiefs so I guess that’s my answer right there without saying it.”

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle

“Honestly I’ve got to go with my guys the 49ers. I’m a Cali guy, one, and then my boy Arik Armstead is up there, so I’ve got to go with my guy.”

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0:22

Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey weighs in on the possibility of adding more regular-season games.

Steelers defensive end

“I’m going to say San Fran. I think they’ve got a really good front four and they can get after it.”

What about Patrick Mahomes?

“Mahomes is the X factor. I don’t know what he’s going to do but he’s been carrying that team. I think everyone wants to see Andy Reid get one, but it’s going to be tough versus that vaunted defense.”

PICKING THE CHIEFS TO WIN

Ravens offensive lineman

“I think it’s going to be a really good game, but if you make me choose I’m going to go with the Chiefs. I think the Chiefs had a really good defensive performance against Derrick Henry so I think if they can keep that up vs. San Francisco’s running game, that’ll be good, and then I just think that Mahomes is going to make his plays. So I’m going with Kansas City.”

Indianapolis Colts linebacker

“It’s hard. I’m going to stay with the AFC, though. I say Kansas City might get it because their offense is pretty nasty. They’ve got a lot of weapons there. They’ve got a lot of speed there. One of my former teammates from South Carolina State [defensive back Alex Brown] is playing there so hopefully he can get it his rookie year.”

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end

“Kansas City Chiefs because I feel like they’re playing really good defense right now and I think they’ll be able to handle San Francisco’s run game. But it’s going to be a good ballgame because the 49ers have a defense to slow down the Chiefs, too.”

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback

“I’m going to go with Kansas City. I’m just a Patrick Mahomes fan. I really love him. That offense is crazy and then their defense getting Tyrann Mathieu I think really, really helped them out. But I think their offense is just very, very powerful.”

Jaguars wide receiver

“I’m gonna have to go with the Chiefs. I think I have more former college teammates with the Chiefs. And shoutout to Tyreek Hill for going to the Super Bowl so I could come here, so I’m going with the Chiefs. They’re just explosive. But the 49ers are very good, too. It’s gonna be a good game. I just like the explosive offense from the Chiefs.”

Chicago Bears cornerback

“Kansas City. I think they’re pretty balanced, offense and defensive-wise, even special teams — I think they’re definitely a threat for sure with Patrick Mahomes and their receivers. I’m also a little bit biased. My brother [Kendall Fuller] is playing on their defense so … but yeah, I’m gonna go with Kansas City.”

On his brother, Kendall Fuller, playing in the Super Bowl

“It’s pretty cool. I’m looking forward to watching him.”

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0:51

Dan Graziano says the NFL expects plenty of touchdowns in the Pro Bowl which gives them a chance to test out their new alternatives for kickoffs.

HOW THE SUPER BOWL WILL UNFOLD

New Orleans Saints quarterback

“It’s gonna be a heck of a battle. I’m excited to see it. I know everybody else is. We’re talking about a super explosive offense — with all those weapons. [Chiefs quarterback Patrick] Mahomes’ ability just to make plays when there’s nothing there ….

“The challenge that the 49ers present is that they have an excellent front seven, and lots of subbing in that can play ball, too. And then their back end is very good. So there’s no weak link on that defense.

“On the flip side, the Niners’ offense is so good at controlling the ball, running the ball. They’ve got weapons — obviously their tight end and receiver position — Jimmy Garoppolo’s gonna have a terrific day. So it’s almost gonna be like a game of keep-away — just keep the ball away from Mahomes, because you know when he’s out there, something exciting is gonna happen.”

Baltimore Ravens safety

“That’s a hard question because me and [49ers cornerback Richard] Sherman are really good friends. Me and [Chiefs defensive lineman] Frank Clark are really good friends. It’s hard, man. It’s tough. It’s going to be a great game.”



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