Similar to the quarterback situation, there are two high-quality candidates going head to head, but there is a clear winner. Both Isiah Pacheco and Christian McCaffrey are bell-cows and do not rely on a backup running back to spell them. They both finished in the top six in overall rating for PFF, but McCaffrey has widely been known as arguably the best running back in the league for several seasons.
McCaffrey has not shown any signs of slowing down, either. In Carolina, he could not seem to stay healthy but in San Francisco, he has been dominant in both the running and the passing game. The Stanford product also has a knack for the endzone.
If you include the postseason, McCaffrey has suited up for the 49ers 32 times and has tallied 38 touchdowns. If he gets 25 touches in the Super Bowl and finds the endzone a couple of times, the Chiefs could be in trouble because that means it is working. McCaffrey finding success will force the Chiefs to play very clean and efficient football on offense. Oh, and he caught 67 balls and went for over 500 yards through the air as well.
Pacheco is no slouch himself. He has completely flipped the dynamic and attitude of the Chiefs offense on its head. He rushed for nearly 1,000 yards while playing in just 14 games.
In the playoffs, it has been even better though, as the Chiefs may have found the perfect formula. To go along with one touchdown rush in each of the three playoff games, Pacheco has averaged 21 carries per game after averaging just over 14 throughout the regular season.
With the receiving core the Chiefs have, you do not want to force Mahomes to throw the ball more than he needs to because it opens the door up to forcing things and making mistakes. Pacheco has not broken the 100-yard barrier yet in his postseason career but he is averaging over 75 yards per game through his first six playoff games. Just because the 49ers have the advantage here, it does not mean Pacheco is not a monumental key to the Chiefs having success.