LAS VEGAS -- All eyes are on Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey, the San Francisco 49ers' two MVP candidates, going into Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs. But one of the biggest reasons for the team's offensive success comes not in the form of splashy plays or innovative designs. Instead, the 49ers will tell you that much of their true momentum stems from something simpler.


Left tackle Trent Williams headlines the trenches, but it's actually the dirty work of skill players like tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Jauan Jennings that serves as a catalyst for the kind of MVP-level production of McCaffrey and, by extension, Purdy. The numbers and film bear this out, with Kittle routinely grading as one of the NFL's best run blockers and Jennings frequenting highlight reels of downfield blocks, including this postseason against the Green Bay Packers.

But their mindset -- of proactively, not passively, engaging as blockers -- is relatively unusual for key starters on a title contender.

"I'm just trying to finish him; I'm trying to put him on his back," Jennings said of his approach this week. "That's football, man." He doubled down on the approach when asked if he'd rather make a game-winning block or catch in the Super Bowl: "That's either one. Fifty-fifty. Either one, as long as I'm winning."

Coach Kyle Shanahan said previously that Jennings takes the same mindset "every play out at practice," often provoking the 49ers defense to the point of potential on-field fights because "they (think) he's going above and beyond." Even so, defenders like Fred Warner respect Jennings because of his persistent physicality in this regard.

"He doesn't get all of the attention or the limelight but you know he's going to be there in the clutch situations when you need him," Warner said, per NBC Sports Bay Area. "He is Steady Eddie as it comes. Obviously, with the run game stuff and the pass game he is a complete player and I'm really happy he is on our side."

It goes the same with Kittle, who for years has thrived both paving lanes and catching passes, translating years of heavy run-blocking usage at Iowa to the NFL stage. With both he and Jennings, again, it's not just the willingness to block; it's the eagerness to block all the way through, pushing the limits in terms of driving opponents off the ball. Every team blocks; few execute it like San Francisco does, thanks in large part to these two veterans.

Couple their efforts with the naturally gifted McCaffrey, who pairs toughness with dynamism out of the backfield; and the sneakily elusive Purdy, who does his own part to extend plays as Shanahan's ball-control point guard; and you might have a recipe for the 49ers to take down the Chiefs on Sunday -- pound the rock, control the clock, and do it with premium blocks.