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Bucs’ Shaq Barrett reveals why he’s picking the 49ers to beat Chiefs

Shaq Barrett, Buccaneers, Chiefs, 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowler Shaq Barrett is a menace of a defensive player, and he helped anchor a Bucs’ defense ranked fifth in the NFL in terms of defensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders.

Naturally, Barrett looks at the San Francisco 49ers’ defense as the determinant in their Super Bowl matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (via Jenna Laine of ESPN).

Bucs linebacker Shaq Barrett believes the Super Bowl will be really close but gives the 49ers the edge because of their defense. “[Their] mentality, everybody want to make that play, everybody hungry to make that play and can see it [in] the way they play.”

Barrett knows a thing or two about wanting to make a play. The sixth-year man out of Colorado State led the NFL with 19.5 sacks this season, including three games in which he had three or more sacks.

The Bucs actually played the 49ers in the regular season opener, which San Francisco took 31-17 as they forced four turnovers–including a Richard Sherman pick-six–and racked up three sacks.

Kansas City is more than capable of scoring points in bunches. They have proven so time and again in their first two playoff games, and Patrick Mahomes is practically unstoppable when he has time to deliver the football to any one of his playmakers.

In that regard, “hunger” is a very appropriate word to use. The matchup will most likely be won or lost in the trenches, and the 49ers will rely heavily on their pass rush to get to Mahomes and make him uncomfortable.