After a long regular season and playoffs, Super Bowl LVIII will begin in just a few days. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will face off in Las Vegas – the first time the big game has been held there – with the Lombardi Trophy on the line. Kansas City put its regular season offensive struggles behind it and even won two playoff games on the road as underdogs against the No. 1 seed Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens. As for San Francisco, number 1 seed in the NFC, snatched by the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions to return to the big match.
Super Bowl LVIII will be a rematch of Super Bowl LIV four years ago, when Patrick Mahomes defeated Jimmy Garoppolo for his first Super Bowl victory. Brock Purdy is under center for the 49ers these days, and as the former “Mr. Irrelevant”, he will become the lowest drafted quarterback to ever start a Super Bowl. What does this confrontation have in store for us? Will he have a lot of points or more defense? Who will win the Super Bowl MVP? Let’s break down five early predictions for our final game of the 2023 NFL season.
Last week, Mahomes became the first quarterback to not be sacked and turn the ball over in three straight playoff games since last year’s Super Bowl, but he was beaten twice against the Ravens. Putting pressure on the quarterback will be an important point for Steve Wilks’ unit.
The 49ers defense has struggled in the playoffs, allowing an average of 386 total yards per game, which ranks 6th among the eight teams that have played at least two playoff games this year. Bosa will take it upon himself to change the situation. In 11 playoff games, Bosa recorded 10 sacks. It happened to Mahomes once during their last Super Bowl meeting. This time he hits the quarterback twice.
The game comes down to a crucial fourth quarter drive
In the last Super Bowl game between these two teams, the Chiefs were down 10 points early in the fourth quarter. However, Mahomes’ offense scored 21 unanswered points to win by 11. We won’t see as much scoring in the final stanza this time around, but the ball will be in Purdy’s hands with a chance to win the game late.
Trailing 24-20 with two minutes left in the game, the 49ers offense entered the field following a touchback from Tommy Townsend. Purdy begins to catch big plays through the air, first on a Christian McCaffrey screen that catches for 12 yards, followed by a 10-yard pickup from George Kittle, then a 20-yard catch and run by Brandon Aiyuk. It looks like San Francisco is going to make it happen. After all, Purdy had no game-winning drives in the regular season and two game-winning drives in two playoff games. However, this is not aimed at 49ers fans, as Purdy and Deebo Samuel are not on the same page when it comes to timing, leading to a Nick Bolton interception.
Chiefs win while Under strike
The 49ers emerged as slight favorites against the Chiefs, but the line immediately began to shift in Kansas City’s direction. People realize that getting Mahomes with more money is an automatic gamble, just like it was in last year’s Super Bowl. It will be interesting to see how the line develops over the next two weeks, but the underdogs are 3-0 ATS in the last three Super Bowls. The favorites are 29-26-2 all-time.
Mahomes is 10-1-1 ATS in his career as an underdog, and 9-3 in a row. He’s also 3-0 as an underdog in his playoff career, with two of those wins coming in the last two weeks.
The Chiefs led for 2:05:36 this playoffs. This is the fourth record for a team entering the Super Bowl since 2000. As for the 49ers, they led for 27:30. This is the fewest times a team has been to the Super Bowl since 2000. The Chiefs also have the best defense in the Andy Reid era with 17.3 points per game allowed in the regular season and 13.7 points per game awarded in three playoff games. . The Chiefs are not going to waste the best defense Mahomes has ever had and will cement this team as a dynasty.
This is also why I offer this game in Under. The Under is 14-6 in Chiefs games this year and 9-9-1 in 49ers games. The Chiefs didn’t need an offensive explosion to defeat the Ravens, while the 49ers needed to create an offensive explosion in the second half just to have a chance against Detroit.
Mahomes wins Super Bowl MVP
In total, 12 of the last 17 Super Bowl MVPs have been the winning team’s quarterbacks. In fact, when Kansas City beat San Francisco in 2020, I thought it was Damien Williams who should have won the Super Bowl MVP, not Mahomes. Mahomes turned the ball over twice while Williams averaged 6.1 yards per carry on 17 carries and scored once on the ground and once through the air. But MVP is a quarterback award, whether in the regular season or the Super Bowl.
I predict Mahomes will become the first player to win three Super Bowl MVP awards in five years. Another Super Bowl MVP would make him just the third player in NFL history to win three Super Bowl MVPs, joining Joe Montana (3) and Tom Brady (5).
Travis Kelce Retirement Speculation Intensifies
Kelce is already a Pro Football Hall of Famer and also an NFL playoff legend. He currently ranks second in playoff receiving yards (1,810), first in playoff receptions (156), and second in playoff receiving touchdowns (19).
After his third Super Bowl victory in which he scores a touchdown, with Taylor Swift at his side as confetti falls from the sky, Kelce makes a scary comment about his future, saying he’s going to take some time to think following. This accelerated retirement speculation, and Kelce ended up walking away this offseason, just like his brother.
Super Bowl LVIII is scheduled for February 11 on CBS. The game will also air on Nickelodeon and stream on Paramount+.