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Wide receiver matchup statistics to consider for Super Bowl 54

We take a look at the defensive statistics vs. WR for the Chiefs and 49ers in preparation for their Super Bowl matchup.

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs onto the field prior to the start of the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Chiefs and 49ers go head to head in Super Bowl LIV in what could be a shootout. The Chiefs have the better passing game, and statistically their wide receivers have 181 receptions for 2,699 yards and 21 touchdowns to the 49ers 152 receptions for 2,132 yards and 15 receptions. Of course, these teams have much different offenses and the 49ers put up slightly more points on the season.

The 54 point total and the 1.5 point spread at DraftKings Sportsbook likely means wide receivers from both teams will need to step up to help their teams out. We know what Tyreek Hill can do but the 49ers’ wide receivers have been more of a group project this season, with Deebo Samuel leading the way of late.

Defensively, the Chiefs have held wide receiver statistics down better than the 49ers.

Wide Receiver Stats Allowed Season/Last 6 games

(Season) Rank DKP/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
(Season) Rank DKP/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
49ers 13 33.1 211 2434 18 346 7.03 61
Chiefs 2 28.1 184 2401 12 325 7.39 56.6
* * * * * * * * *
(Last 6) Rank DKP/G REC YDS TD TAR YPT Catch %
49ers 29 45.3 92 1103 9 133 8.29 69.2
Chiefs 12 31.1 72 924 3 137 6.74 52.6

On the season, both teams played well against wide receivers, with the Chiefs holding the position down to the second-fewest DraftKings points and the 49ers ranking 13th in the same category. Over the last six games, the 49ers have faltered against wide receivers, allowing nine touchdowns to the Chiefs three, along with 8.3 yards per target to the Chiefs 6.74 yards per target.

Football Outsiders gives us their DVOA for team defenses against WR1, WR2, and Other WR. Their rankings look like this:

Chiefs vs. WR1 - 3rd, WR2 - 7th, WR other - 21st
49ers vs. WR1 - 10th, WR2 - 14th, WR other - 7th

Kansas City does their best work against outside wide receivers, while they can be beaten by slot receivers, which seems to go with these rankings. The 49ers have Richard Sherman as one of the best PFF graded cornerbacks in the league, but he doesn’t shadow No. 1 receivers, which allows teams to avoid him with their top receivers. The same can be said for the Chiefs, as their opponent can send their best receivers into the slot to help give them an advantage.

Kyle Shanahan and Andy Reid are offensive juggernauts and both get two weeks to scheme their receivers open. That should put both pass defenses in a precarious situation.

Notable wide receiver performances against each defense:

vs. Chiefs

Week 1: D.J. Chark — 4 rec, 146 yards, 1 TD
Week 1: Chris Conley — 6 rec, 97 yards, 1 TD
Week 2: Tyrell Williams — 5 rec, 46 yards, 1 TD
Week 4: Kenny Golladay — 5 rec, 67 yards, 2 TDs
Week 11: Keenan Allen — 8 rec, 71 yards, 1 TD
Week 14: Julian Edelman — 8 rec, 95 yards, 1 TD
Week 17: Keenan Allen — 9 rec, 82 yards, 1 TD
Divisional Rd: DeAndre Hopkins — 9 rec, 118 yards 0 TD

Through 18 games, the Chiefs have given up two games over 100 yards receiving to wide receivers and have nine games where they gave up no receiving touchdowns to the position. Only twice has a team’s receivers topped 191 yards and 13 times they’ve held them under 150 total yards.

vs. 49ers

Week 1: Chris Godwin — 3 rec, 53 yards, 1 TD
Week 2: John Ross — 4 rec, 112 yards, 1 TD
Week 2: Tyler Boyd — 10 rec, 122 yards, 0 TD
Week 3: JuJu Smith-Schuster — 3 rec, 81 yards, 1 TD
Week 4: Diontae Johnson — 3 rec, 52 yards, 1 TD
Week 9: Andy Isabella - 1 rec, 88 yards, 1 TD
Week 12: Davante Adams: 7 rec, 43 yards, 1 TD
Week 14: Michael Thomas: 11 rec, 134 yards, 1 TD
Week 15: Julio Jones: 13 rec, 134 yards, 2 TDs
Week 16: Robert Woods: 8 rec, 117 yards, 0 TD
Week 17: D.K. Metcalf — 6 rec, 81 yards, 1 TD
Week 17: Tyler Lockett — 6 rec, 51 yards, 1 TD
Divisional Rd: Stefon Diggs: 2 rec, 57 yards, 1 TD
NFC Champ: Davante Adams: 9 rec, 138 yards, 0 TD

Through 18 games, the 49ers have given up six games over 100 yards receiving to wide receivers and have seven games where they gave up no receiving touchdowns to the position. A team’s receivers topped 205 yards four times and 10 times they’ve held them under 150 total yards. Over their last six games, they’ve allowed three teams to top 205 yards and four to catch two touchdowns.

The 49ers have a more than capable pass defense, but they are weakest against wide receivers.

Advantage

The Chiefs have the advantage offensively and defensively when it comes to wide receivers.