Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


49ers vs. Chiefs: PFF Position Grades for Super Bowl Showdown

Gilbert Brink
Jan 29, 2020 at 12:38 PM


PFF is one of the most highly, if not the highest, regarded sources for NFL player grading. It dives deep into many facets of the game that you can't find in a box score or catch with the naked eye on television. With the Super Bowl a mere four days away, everybody has an opinion on who is going to come out victorious and hoist the Lombardi Trophy on February 2nd. Let's take a look at all 22 49ers/Chiefs starters and see how each team graded out during the 2019 regular season.


Position San Francisco 49ers Kansas City Chiefs Edge
QB Jimmy Garoppolo - 78.2 Patrick Mahomes - 84.2 Chiefs
RB Raheem Mostert - 75.5 Damien Williams - 65.7 49ers
FB Kyle Juszczyk - 73.3 Anthony Sherman - 70.6 49ers
WR 1 Emmanuel Sanders - 78.4 Tyreek Hill - 85.4 Chiefs
WR 2 Deebo Samuel - 74.5 Sammy Watkins - 66.5 49ers
TE George Kittle - 95.0 Travis Kelce - 85.0 49ers
LT Joe Staley - 72.7 Eric Fisher - 64.3 49ers
LG Laken Tomlinson - 64.7 Andrew Wylie - 67.4 Chiefs
C Ben Garland - 59.1 Austin Reiter - 63.0 Chiefs
RG Mike Person- 61.8 Laurent Duverny Tardif - 57.2 49ers
RT Mike McGlinchey - 67.5 Mitchell Schwartz - 84.0 Chiefs
LDE Dee Foed - 84.5 Tanoh Kpassagnon - 57.2 49ers
RDT Arik Armstead - 88.9 Chris Jones - 84.9 49ers
LDT DeForest Buckner - 78.8 Derrick Nnandi - 65.4 49ers
LDE Nick Bosa - 86.7 Frank Clark 63.0 49ers
LB Fred Warner - 66.9 Damien Wilson 55.3 49ers
LB Dre Greenlaw - 63.9 Anthony Hitchens 49.0 49ers
LCB Richard Sherman - 88.9 Charvarius Ward - 65.9 49ers
RCB Emmanuel Mosely - 70.0 Bashaud Breeland - 48.3 49ers
NB K`Wuan Williams - 77.4 Kendell Fuller - 61.4 49ers
FS Jimmie Ward - 84.2 Daniel Sorenson - 61.0 49ers
SS Jaquiski Tartt - 66.4 Tyrann Mathieu - 75.3 Chiefs

According to the PFF grades, offensively these teams are a pretty tight match with the 49ers getting the edge in 6 offensive categories compared to the Chiefs' 5. When looking at the defensive side of the ball, there is no comparison at all. The 49ers dominate, having the edge at 10/11 positions on defense. SS Tryann Mathieu is the only player on the Chiefs ranked higher than his 49ers counterpart.

The highest graded starter for the 49ers is TE George Kittle at 95.0. Not only was he the highest graded 49er, his 95.0 rating earned him the highest grade of any player in the entire league in 2019. Speedster WR Tyreek Hill was the highest graded Chief coming in at 85.4 on the year. The 49ers' lowest graded player was replacement turned starting C Ben Garland. He graded out at 59.1. The Chiefs' lowest graded starter was RCB Bashaud Breeland, grading out at 48.3

When you crunch the numbers even further you see that on average the 49ers' offensive starter grade comes in at 73.9, while the Chiefs' average offensive starter grade is 71.6. The 49ers hold a slight margin in this area. On the defensive side of the ball the margin is much wider. The average defensive starter for San Francisco grades out at 79.7. The average defensive starter for Kansas City grades out and 61.7, a full 18 points lower. Combining all the numbers together and you have the average 49ers starter grading out at 75.3 and the average Chiefs starter grading out at 67.2.

While games are not played on paper with math equations, PFF's highly respected player analysis does reflect what many can see with their own eyes. The 49ers seem to be the better all-around team, and the numbers back this up.

All grades thanks to PFF
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


1 Comment

  • Michael Kenney
    These grades confirm what the eye and game film clearly show ie. the 49 ers are the better team. That doesn't mean they'll win because the Chiefs are superior at the paramount position, and maybe by a lot more than this analysis predicts. On the other hand, I think Garoppolo is better than this analysis, or any Analysis for that matter, predicts. Plainly, no one knows in this one, but the 49ers and points seems like a mismatch
    Jan 30, 2020 at 10:04 AM
    0
    Response: I feel the same way. Any team can win this game, but before the research I felt the 49ers were better overall team, and the research confirms that. Like you said though, each game is it's own animal, so you can't decide whose going to win by numbers.

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