After 16 regular-season games and three playoff rounds, only the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs remain in the hunt for football's top prize.
And in less than two weeks, one will be basking in the glow of championship bliss.
It's the proverbial matchup of the immovable object and the unstoppable force, which means only one thing: football fans are the biggest winners of this season. This could be a championship collision for the ages, and we'll break down all the particulars below.
Super Bowl 2020 Schedule, TV Listing
Who: San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Compelling Super Bowl Storylines
How Will 49ers Handle Patrick Mahomes?
Maybe the better question is can anyone handle the reigning MVP? Based on what we've seen of late, the answer appears a resounding no.
Mahomes has been magical in the postseason. While the Chiefs fell behind early in each contest, the quarterback deftly handled the pressure placed upon him and responded with two game-breaking performances. Over the two contests—each of which he finished with identical 23-of-35 passing lines—he totaled 615 passing yards, 106 rushing yards, nine touchdowns and zero turnovers.
As potent as Mahomes' rocket arm is, his rushing ability might be what really haunts this defense. Mobile quarterbacks can neutralize this pass rush, and as Bay Area News Group's Jon Becker observed, that's where this team has struggled the most:
"If there's an Achilles heel to the 49ers' second-ranked defense, it's been trying to deal with dual-threat quarterbacks. In the five games against Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson, the 49ers have allowed 23.8 points, 67.5 completion percentage, 99.0 passer rating and 284 rushing yards (56.8 per game). Those aren't positive signs for a defense that limited offenses to just 166.6 passing yards and only 16.5 points when not facing Wilson, Murray or Jackson.
San Francisco, which has gone 15-3 overall this season, has two of those losses to Wilson and Jackson."
If the Niners can pressure Mahomes without bringing extra blitzers, that could be their key to success. But if they keep a spy on Mahomes to mitigate his running, that will be one less player to either rush the quarterback or drop back in coverage.
How Will Chiefs Handle 49ers' Ground Game?
If the Niners take any comfort into their matchup with Mahomes, it's that no defense fared better against the pass this season. The same can't be said of a Chiefs' rushing defense that just watched San Francisco pile up an incredible 471 rushing yards over the last two weeks.
Kansas City had this season's seventh-worst rushing defense. The six squads that finished behind it didn't make the playoffs.
That said, the Chiefs just stared down the barrel of a blistering-hot running back in Derrick Henry and held him to just 69 yards in the AFC Championship—his first time with fewer than 182 yards in four games.
"They just had a great game plan, man," Henry told reporters afterward. "They were coming off the ball, those guys were being physical."
San Francisco, though, poses a different kind of challenge.
If Tevin Coleman's shoulder doesn't keep him off the field, this rushing group can come at the opposition in waves. Raheem Mostert starred in the NFC Championship (41 carries for 278 yards and four touchdowns), but Coleman was the high man a week ago (22 for 105 and two). And while Matt Brieda has fallen behind in the pecking order (nine playoff carries), he had a pair of 100-yard efforts earlier this season.
Who Wins the Tight End Battle?
The NFL's best tight end is playing in this matchup, but good luck figuring out which one it is.
Kansas City's Travis Kelce and San Francisco's George Kittle are both nightmare matchups for any defense. Kelce had the better receiving season, but he also played on the more pass-happy offense. Kittle can be an elite receiver, too, but his blocking is also a big reason why this running game is so effective.
"That's what's really cool about George and the best part about him," offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "He takes more pride in how he's doing in the run game than he does in the pass game, even though he's the best at both."
Each will be the focal point in his club's game plan. Each will also be a focus of the opposing defense.
If it's possible for an NFL game to be decided by which tight end shines brightest, this might be the one.