Matt Maiocco’s brain and instincts are telling him different things.
The Chiefs have the offense that, until now at least, has proven unstoppable. Houston jumped off to a 24-0 and held them scoreless in the first quarter — before Kansas City exploded for 51 points. For a while it seemed as if Tennessee could slow them, too, in the AFC Championship, until the Chiefs threw off the donut from their bat and unleashed a 35-point outburst.
The 49ers have dominated, too, in a more defense- and run-oriented fashion through the playoffs. They also have a feeling about them, which can be convincing.
“I think just on face value, if we were looking at this objectively, if we were in a vacuum, I think we would probably think that the Chiefs would win this game,” Maiocco, of NBC Sports Bay Area, told “Murph & Mac” on Thursday. “But we’ve been around this team, and there’s something special with this team. I don’t say that every year certainly. Now maybe Kansas City, they’re saying the same thing about their team. But I’m not around those guys and I can’t speak to what they have going on over there.
“What I can speak to is just how impressed I’ve been just up and down the organization but mostly with the coaching staff and the locker room. To me that kind of trumps what I’m feeling about maybe the matchup and just how dynamic the Chiefs are and how the Chiefs can roll out on the divisional weekend and spot the opponent 24 points and still take the lead before halftime. They’re a high-powered outfit.”
They certainly are, led by Patrick Mahomes, who really has not had a bad game in the NFL. The 49ers have the ingredients that typically prove star quarterbacks are human — that vaunted front four — but even if Nick Bosa & Co. get penetration, they would still have to bring Mahomes’ quick legs down.
The Feb. 2 matchup in Miami will be fascinating, examples of an older-school roster building and the new-era speed and passing game going head to head.
“I think offensively, [the Chiefs] kind of remind me of that 49ers team that won the Super Bowl 29 years ago,” Maiocco said. “To me, when I look at it, my brain says the Chiefs are probably the team that’s primed to win this, but just my instincts and just what I know about this 49ers team tells me that I think it’s setting up for those guys.”