Super Bowl LIV chooses and analysis from 18 Pro Bowlers – ESPN

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  • Michael DiRocco

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    ESPN Personnel Author

    • Covered University of Florida for 13 seasons for ESPN.com and Florida Times-Union
    • Graduate of Jacksonville University
    • Numerous APSE award winner
  • Jenna Laine

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    ESPN Staff Author

    • Covered the Buccaneers considering that 2009
    • Joined ESPN in 2016

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

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


PICKING THE 49 ERS TO WIN

Shaquil Barrett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker

” The Niners– but a really, actually, actually close game. It’s just so hard, like it’s tough, but I simply believe that [the 49ers’] defense is gon na limitation [the Chiefs’] offense a bit, and then if they do enough difficult stuff on offense of not being uncomplicated, then they’ll get enough points.”

What makes the Niners’ defense special?

” Mentality, everyone wish to make that play, everyone starving to make that play and you can see it [in] the method they play.”

Von Miller

Denver Broncos linebacker

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

Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos wide receiver

” It’s going to be an excellent game. Being a Broncos fan I can’t cheer for the Chiefs. However it’s going to be an excellent game. I’m not going to choose winner or loser but it will be a great video game, and I can’t select the Chiefs so I think that’s my answer right there without stating it.”

Jurrell Casey

Tennessee Titans protective deal with

” Honestly I have actually got to opt for my guys the 49 ers. I’m a Cali guy, one, and after that my boy Arik Armstead is up there, so I have actually got to choose my person.”

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

Cameron Heyward

Steelers defensive end

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

What about Patrick Mahomes?

” Mahomes is the X factor. I do not know what he’s going to do but he’s been bring that team. I believe everybody wants to see Andy Reid get one, however it’s going to be difficult versus that vaunted defense.”

CHOOSING THE CHIEFS TO WIN

Marshal Yanda

Ravens offending lineman

” I believe it’s going to be an actually excellent game, but if you make me pick I’m going to go with the Chiefs. I believe the Chiefs had a truly excellent protective performance against Derrick Henry so I think if they can keep that up vs. San Francisco’s running game, that’ll be good, and after that I just think that Mahomes is going to make his plays. So I’m going with Kansas City.”

Darius Leonard

Indianapolis Colts linebacker

” It’s hard. I’m going to stay with the AFC. I say Kansas City might get it since their offense is pretty nasty. They’ve got a lot of weapons there. They have actually got a great deal of speed there. One of my previous teammates from South Carolina State [defensive back Alex Brown] is playing there so ideally he can get it his novice year.”

Calais Campbell

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end

” Kansas City Chiefs due to the fact that I seem like they’re playing really great defense today and I think they’ll be able to deal with San Francisco’s run video game. However it’s going to be a great ballgame due to the fact that the 49 ers have a defense to decrease the Chiefs, too.”

Joe Haden

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback

” I’m going to choose Kansas City. I’m just a Patrick Mahomes fan. I actually love him. That offense is crazy and then their defense getting Tyrann Mathieu I believe truly, actually assisted them out. However I think their offense is simply very, really effective.”

D.J. Chark

Jaguars pass receiver

” I’m gon na have to go with the Chiefs. I believe I have more previous college colleagues with the Chiefs. And shoutout to Tyreek Hill for going to the Super Bowl so I could come here, so I’m opting for the Chiefs. They’re just explosive. But the 49 ers are great, too. It’s gon na be an excellent video game. I much like the explosive offense from the Chiefs.”

Kyle Fuller

Chicago Bears cornerback

” Kansas City. I think they’re pretty balanced, offense and defensive-wise, even unique teams– I think they’re definitely a hazard for sure with Patrick Mahomes and their receivers. I’m also a bit biased. My sibling [Kendall Fuller] is using their defense so … however yeah, I’m gon na opt for Kansas City.”

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

” It’s pretty cool. I’m anticipating enjoying him.”

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Dan Graziano says the NFL expects a lot of touchdowns in the Pro Bowl which gives them a possibility to check out their brand-new options for kickoffs.

HOW THE SUPER BOWL WILL UNFOLD

Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints quarterback

” It’s gon na be a heck of a battle. I’m delighted to see it. I understand everyone else is. We’re speaking about an incredibly explosive offense– with all those weapons. [Chiefs quarterback Patrick] Mahomes’ capability simply to make plays when there’s absolutely nothing there …

” The difficulty that the 49 ers present is that they have an excellent front 7, and great deals of subbing in that can play ball, too. And then their back end is great. There’s no weak link on that defense.

” On the other hand, the Niners’ offense is so proficient at controlling the ball, running the ball. They have actually got weapons– obviously their tight end and receiver position– Jimmy Garoppolo’s gon na have a fantastic day. So it’s nearly gon na be like a video game of keep-away– simply keep the ball far from Mahomes, because you know when he’s out there, something interesting is gon na occur.”

Earl Thomas

Baltimore Ravens security

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

Jared Cook

Saints tight end

” Both offenses really use and actually find out a method to get their tight end involved. [Chiefs coach] Andy Reid truly creates plays with Travis Kelce and the same with [49ers tight end] George Kittle Big people that run well, run well after the catch, run well after the first contact. That’s gon na be difficult because both of them are type in their offending production. I’m unsure[who will win] That’s gon na be a hard one.

” San Fran’s defense is great. I feel like there’s a blueprint out, and I feel like there’s a way to beat ’em. I’m more excited about the offense. I seem like it might be a high-scoring video game. Maybe one for the record books.”

Mark Ingram

Ravens running back

” Male, I don’t even care, male. Genuine, male. I know it’s two good teams. Mahomes is a monster. The Chiefs, they’re hot. San Fran, tough defense, I like the way they run the football. It’s just going to be an excellent game, man. I’m anticipating it. I mean, I dislike it, male. I dislike it. … I’m going to watch. I’m a fan of football. No matter how bad it harms or stings I’m a fan of the game. I enjoy watching the game so I’m always going to be tuned in.”

Matthew Slater

New England Patriots special-teamer

” I don’t really make Super Bowl picks. Two terrific teams. Clearly they have actually shown to be the two best teams over the course of the season. I think it’ll be a really fantastic game. Fantastic quarterback play, fantastic defense, excellent gamers all over the field. I don’t make forecasts. I just hope everyone’s healthy and everyone plays a video game that they can be proud of and we’ll see how it goes.”

Josh Allen

Jaguars defensive end

” For me, I don’t got a group. I think it’s going to be an actually excellent video game. You have probably the very best offense in the NFL versus the best defense in the NFL. The protective line for the 49 ers are playing at an unbelievable level today and you have Kansas City’s offense that’s installing points that people don’t do regularly. I seem like it’s going to be an excellent battle. It’s going to be a terrific fight. I think the battle is going to be won with 49 ers offense and Kansas City’s defense. It’s going to be an excellent video game.”

As a defensive person, do you lean toward the best defensive group?

” I wish to opt for the very best defense however I want to choose the best gamer. Patrick Mahomes, he’s a generational gamer. You can’t wager against a generational skill like that.”

Budda Baker

Arizona Cardinals security

” I see a high, prolific offense [with the Chiefs] versus a gritty defense that gets after the quarterback that gets their hands on the football[with the 49ers] I’m simply really delighted to see that matchup. Very same thing with the opposite of the ball– the Chiefs are doing a lot better getting turnovers. I know Tyrann [Mathieu] assisted a lot with that. I’m just delighted to see the defense really.”

Bruce Smith

AFC Legends captain

” At this moment I just do not [have a pick] right now. These groups are outstanding. They are both very talented. What I think it’s going to boil down to, though, is the 49 ers’ defensive line versus Patrick Mahomes and all the weapons that he has on offense.

” If they’re able to put pressure on Patrick Mahomes and make him toss under pressure, [that] doesn’t allow him to extend the play. They are most explosive when he extends the play and runs around and finds that open receiver way downfield. Or he takes off. I believe that might be the figuring out factor of the game, but right now I’m keeping my powder dry for another few days until I see the injury report.”

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