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49ers or Chiefs? Area coaches make their picks

Jeff Birchfield and Kevin Mays • Jan 27, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Some of the region’s high school football coaches are continuing the Super Bowl week tradition of predicting the outcome of the big game.

This year’s matchup features the explosive offense of the Kansas City Chiefs and the rock-solid defense of the San Francisco 49ers.

So what do you say, coach?

Garrett Amburgey, Abingdon

“The Niners’ run game is impressive and their defense is tough. However, I think the speed of the Chiefs is too much. Mahomes will be the best player on the field.” ... CHIEFS, 31-28

Cody Baugh, Cherokee

“It is so cliché in our profession, but I honestly feel that whoever takes care of the football best will win the game. The Chiefs are very explosive, but the 49ers can choke you out with a great defense and a sound running game. That’s why I’m going with the 49ers.” ... 49ERS, 28-24.

Jeremy Jenkins, Daniel Boone

“I’m going with the 49ers because I think they have the best overall team. I think that Kansas City has the best player in Mahomes, but if anybody can take him away, it’s San Francisco with its front. I think they can pressure him into a couple of mistakes they can turn into points. They can shorten the game, too, and keep the ball away from Kansas City.” ... 49ERS, 28-24.

Hayden Chandley, David Crockett

“It’s hard to dislike what the Chiefs are doing. Mahomes is playing as well as any quarterback this year since he came back from his injury. San Francisco’s defense is able to get pressure with four guys and the defensive coordinator does a good job with those guys. I really like the firepower of Kansas City. They throw it all over the place like we’ve done the last two years. I like Mahomes and the guys, and I’d like to see Andy Reid get one.” ... CHIEFS, 31-27.

Joey Christian, Dobyns-Bennett

“I’m going to say the 49ers. No matter what level of football, the team that controls the line of scrimmage normally wins. I think the 49ers will control the line of scrimmage enough to offset the explosive plays of the Chiefs.” ... 49ERS, 24-21.

Mike Rhodes, Eastside

“I’m going with the Chiefs. Both have playmakers on defense, but I think Mahomes tips things in KC’s favor.” ... CHIEFS

Shawn Witten, Elizabethton

“The 49ers have been the most complete team in the NFL all season. They do it all well on offense and they have the best defense in the National Football League. That’s why I give them the upper hand.” … 49ERS, 31-21.

Michael Lunsford, Hampton (noted Chiefs fan)

“I’ve been waiting for this game my whole life. The Chiefs’ offense is so explosive and they can score anytime where no lead is safe against them. The defense is playing well, and I think the key to beating the 49ers is to make Jimmy Garoppolo beat you at quarterback. What worries me with the 49ers is their defense is so good. They get a pass rush without blitzing anybody, but I have to say GO CHIEFS!” ... CHIEFS, 38-31.

Jason Jarrett, Happy Valley

“What I’ve seen, the Chiefs have so many offensive playmakers, especially with Mahomes at the quarterback position. Garoppolo obviously does a good job and is a really good quarterback, but he seems more of a game-manager type where Mahomes can tuck it and run it and do everything. I see the Chiefs with more explosive playmakers.” ... CHIEFS, 26-23.

Jacob Caudill, J.I. Burton

“I think San Francisco will win the Super Bowl. They have the defensive backs to lock down receivers and a crazy-good pass rush on their defense. I’m a Packers fan. So, after what they did to the Packers on the ground, I think they will do the same to the Chiefs. Perfect ingredients for championship teams — the ability to run the football and play good defense. San Francisco is capable of both.” ... 49ERS

Stacy Carter, Science Hill

“I think Kansas City’s quarterback is the best I’ve ever seen and it was amazing how Kansas City held (Derrick) Henry and the Titans’ running game. On the flip side, San Francisco threw the ball eight times and ran it down Green Bay’s throat. It’s an unbelievable matchup. I’m taking Kansas City.” ... CHIEFS, 35-27.

Justin Hilton, Sullivan South

“I’m going with the 49ers because I like their defense and how they run the ball. They’re going to have to control the clock and find a way to stop Mahomes. He’s been unreal, but the 49ers’ down linemen are so good, they can get a good pass rush. Watching them against Green Bay, they controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides.” ... 49ERS, 31-24.

Cheyenne Osborne, Rye Cove

“Shew, I feel like San Francisco has the upper hand, but at this point who can pick against Mahomes? Hopefully, it’ll come down to the wire.” ... PICK ’EM

Nick Johnson, Thomas Walker

“I just think the 49ers front four is so good and the Chiefs won’t be able to sit and pick them apart like they have been doing. Best defense vs. best offense.” ... 49ERS, 24-17

Drew Rice, Unicoi County

“I think the Chiefs have the best quarterback in the NFL and all kinds of weapons to go with him. Tyreek Hill can score anytime he touches it, too. I think they are the better team, but it will be interesting to see how they match up with the 49ers’ stout defense.” ... CHIEFS, 34-27.

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