February 11, 2024
During the 2021 playoffs, Deebo Samuel showcased his versatility with an average of nine carries per game. Although his rushing attempts dipped to 4.33 in 2022, Samuel still managed three carries in the recent conference championship game. Despite recovering from a late-week injury, Samuel demonstrated his explosive playstyle, evading two tackles on his rushes. With ample rest, he appears set to perform at full capacity, unfettered by any limitations.
The Kansas City Chiefs have struggled against rushes outside the tackles all season, ranking last in EPA per rush allowed and 30th in success rate. Therefore, there’s anticipation for Samuel to capitalize on this vulnerability, potentially exceeding his performance against Detroit with closer to five carries and a substantial explosive play.
Kansas City’s defensive strategy, characterized by a high blitz rate, might be intensified following the loss of edge defender Charles Omenihu. However, both Brock Purdy and Deebo Samuel have shown proficiency against blitz-heavy defenses, suggesting Samuel could exploit the Chiefs’ defensive approach.
The San Francisco 49ers have demonstrated a penchant for controlling the clock, leading the league with a 73.1% snap rate with under 10 seconds remaining. Conversely, the Chiefs rank 26th with only 46.4% of snaps occurring in similar circumstances.
The odds for this bet likely stem from anticipated game flow, despite the 49ers being slight favorites across sportsbooks. Even when trailing, the 49ers maintain a deliberate pace, with one of the lowest average time remaining on the game clock. Their tendency for explosive plays may limit the number of plays per drive.
On the other hand, the Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes, are known for methodically advancing down the field, regardless of the game situation. Their ability to maintain possession and execute drives efficiently positions them well to lead in total plays, particularly if they find themselves playing from behind.