Radio Row

How Bengals' Chase believes 49ers receivers can thrive in Super Bowl

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The battle between the prolific 49ers' offense and the stingy Kansas City Chiefs' defense will be a key matchup during Super Bowl LVIII, and there could be a path for the 49ers to gain the advantage.

Speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Laura Britt on Thursday at Radio Row in Las Vegas, Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins pointed out how the 49ers' receiving corps can exploit the Chiefs' defense.

“The biggest thing for the receivers and the 49ers, I think Christian McCaffrey is going have to start it off, getting the run game going, getting those guys to come down upfield, then they hit him with the play-action, and get those downfield routes,” Chase said. “They got great weapons all over the field, [George] Kittle, Deebo [Samuel] and [Brandon] Aiyuk, so, they’ve got a lot of different weapons right now.”

Higgins echoed Chase’s assessment, pointing out how critical it will be for San Francisco to win the one-on-one matchups with Kansas City’s secondary.  

“They have to win the 1-on-1s when they get those opportunities, and they take advantage of those 1-on-1s, and the defense gets stops [for them to be successful],” Higgins told Britt.

Later in the interview, both Bengals receivers were asked what they thought of the 49ers' receiving group, particularly players such as Samuel and Aiyuk, who both have become standouts for San Francisco this season.

“They all are playmakers; you know what I'm saying?” Chase said. “They all can make something happen with the ball, after the catch, their YAC [yards after catch] is, is all good, you know, going from Kittle to even McCaffrey, get McCaffrey in space, on a little hitch route or option route out the back, they all could do YAC when they get the ball in their hands and that's why, the 49ers are so good.”

While the 49ers have one of the best offenses in the league, the Chiefs have put together an excellent season on defense, with veteran defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo shutting down elite offenses such as the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs. The matchup between Kyle Shanahan and Spagnuolo is one of the critical coaching battles in what features to be an electrifying Super Bowl rematch.

There are plenty of things on the line in Super Bowl LVIII as Shanahan will look to finally get over the hump after multiple losses in the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are looking to win their third Vince Lombardi Trophy in five seasons and become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 20 years.

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