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Super Bowl LVIII Preview

Sage Levy ’24

The stage is set for Super Bowl LVIII (58). The San Francisco 49ers will face off against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Las Vegas on February 11, 2024. The game will include a highly anticipated rematch of Super Bowl LIV (54) where the Chiefs took the victory. 

Although the teams have changed quite a bit, there are still some familiar faces that competed in Super Bowl LIV. 

Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of the remaining players on the Super Bowl LIV-winning Chiefs, while his QB counterpart, Brock Purdy, is a new face on the 49ers. 

The Chiefs had an underwhelming season going 11-6, their worst record of the Mahomes era. The season was riddled with poor wide receiver play and underperforming superstars. Star tight end Travis Kelce had one of the worst stretches of his career in 2023, failing to reach 100 receiving yards in 11 straight games. 

On top of this, the Chiefs led the NFL in dropped passes with 42. Unfortunately for the rest of the AFC, Mahomes’ magic is undefeated. Despite their season-long offensive struggles, it seems as if they’re finally pulling it together when it matters most, making an unexpected return to the Super Bowl. 

Unlike Kansas City, San Francisco is exactly where many fans and analysts expected them to be. The 49ers emerged as clear NFC favorites following their week nine bye, having a 9-2 record since. 

Their success has been highlighted by their overwhelming star power and well-rounded roster. Head Coach Kyle Shannahan’s squad has been elite on both sides of the ball, ranking top five in most major offensive and defensive statistics. San Francisco’s star-studded offense features the likes of Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, and Trent Williams, all of whom were All-Pro selections. 

The 49ers’ defense is no different when it comes to star power, including reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa and All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner. The Niners finished the season with a record of 12-5, having clinched the NFC’s first seed in week seventeen. 

Despite their regular season outcomes, they’ve also had a vastly different postseason run. San Francisco won the NFC and received a first-round bye with ease, but they’ve struggled mightily at times this postseason. 

They hosted the 7th-seeded Green Bay Packers for the Divisional Round. Many expected San Francisco to win convincingly against Green Bay, but they looked rusty coming off their bye, barely edging out a 24-21 win after a late missed field goal by the Packers. Green Bay played well, but the Niners got the best of them. 

San Francisco looked even worse during the first half of the NFC Championship game, facing a 24-7 deficit at halftime against the Detroit Lions. However, the Niners took charge in the second half, forcing three turnovers, including a forced fumble, and two turnovers on downs. 

San Francisco went on to outscore Detroit 27-7 en route to a 34-31 victory, and their second trip to the Super Bowl in four years. 

Even though Kansas City struggled through the regular season, they found their groove come playoff time. They faced off against the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Round, a familiar foe they had beaten in week nine. 

The game time temperature was a brisk -4 degrees, but with windchill, it felt like -37. Nonetheless, Mahomes and the Chiefs were unfazed, defeating the Dolphins 26-7. His great passing game catapulted momentum for the struggling Chiefs offense.

The Chiefs then headed to Buffalo to face Josh Allen and the Bills in what would be Patrick Mahomes’s first-ever road playoff game. The contest remained close throughout, with neither team holding a lead greater than seven. 

The Bills had momentum going into the 4th quarter, leading 24-20 and having possession. But after a Chiefs touchdown and a failed fake punt, the Bills nailed their coffin shut, missing the game-tying-field goal late in the fourth. 

Kansas City won 27-24, punching a ticket to their 6th consecutive AFC Championship game. 

 The AFC Championship was dominated by the Chiefs’ defense. They totaled four sacks, and three turnovers, and surrendered only 10 points to a high-powered Ravens offense. 

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s MVP campaign came to a screeching halt as the Chiefs earned a spot in Super Bowl LVIII, winning 17-10. With Kansas City’s unconvincing regular season, many believed Jackson and the Ravens would finally take down Mahomes’ Chiefs. 

This game should’ve proven why nobody should ever count out Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Super Bowl LVIII is bound to be one for the ages. Patrick Mahomes has already cemented himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He’ll look to continue his legacy by adding a third Super Bowl ring to his resume while bringing the Chiefs their third championship in his sixth year as a starter. 

Kansas City will try to make even more history; they’re looking to win consecutive championships for the first time since the Patriots did it from 2003-04. 

For San Francisco and Brock Purdy, “Mr. Irrelevant” will be nothing more than a nickname. He’ll make his Super Bowl debut, becoming the first-ever 7th-round quarterback to start and potentially win the Lombardi Trophy. With a win, San Francisco would bring home their sixth Super Bowl, tying them for first place all-time with two other teams. 

Alejandro’s Predictions

Many would believe that the overwhelming star talent on San Francisco’s roster will lead to their 6th Super Bowl win in franchise history. 

The loaded defense and the explosive offense may be extravagant for the defending champs to deal with, but I disagree with this assumption. The Chiefs will win the big game once again to prove to the world that they are the top dogs, and are never to be doubted. 

Betting against Patrick Mahomes is never a good idea, but the league seems to have not recognized that fact. Kansas City under Patrick Mahomes has been the model of consistency, and San Francisco’s defense has been unpredictable.

This is not a favorable matchup for San Francisco. Especially when 49ers QB Brock Purdy has not proven yet that he can play well consistently in the postseason against big teams. They are playing a Chiefs team hungry to become champions once again and prove their dominance to the world. I predict the Super Bowl will end in a 31-27 Chiefs win where Mahomes gets a game-winning touchdown in the 4th quarter, solidifying himself in NFL history.

Daniel’s Predictions

Super Bowl LVIII will showcase two of the NFL’s best defenses, and I expect both of them to play with eagerness. 

However, although I wouldn’t be opposed to it, I do not expect a high-scoring game. I think both offensive teams will be sluggish, with neither scoring more than 24 points. 

Mahomes will do everything he can to put up points, but the Niners’ defense won’t break. I predict that Brock Purdy will do just enough to secure San Fransisco a 24-17 win while showing off his elite decision and play-making abilities.

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