The Kansas City Chiefs will try to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in two decades when they take on the San Francisco 49ers today in Las Vegas.
is a rematch of Super Bowl LIV in 2020, when the Chiefs and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes beat the Niners 31-20 to give Kansas City its first Super Bowl in half a century.
The two head coaches who patrolled the sidelines four years ago are still in charge, but their teams enter Sunday with very different narratives. Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 3-0 against the Niners’ Kyle Shanahan – who has earned a reputation as a quality coach in the regular season who struggles to manage the game in the postseason.
If Shanahan wants to finally defeat Reid, he’ll have to find a way to slow down Mahomes and his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce, who both made history in the AFC title game.two weeks ago by connecting on their 16th playoff passing touchdown, the most playoff touchdowns ever by a quarterback-receiver duo.
A victory Sunday would give the Chiefs their third Super Bowl in five years, propelling them to NFL dynasty status and putting Mahomes in rarefied air as one of only three quarterbacks to win three Super Bowls under age 30 years old, the other two being Tom. Brady and Troy Aikman.
Asked last week whether he would ever match or surpass Brady’s seven Super Bowl wins, Mahomes, 28, flip-flopped, saying he was “still a long way off.”
“I mean, I’m not even close to halfway there, so I haven’t thought about it much,” Mahomes said. “I mean, your goal is to be the best player you can be. I know I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot of great players around me. And so, right now, I’m doing everything I can to beat a great 49ers.”
The Niners, whose quarterback Brock Purdy was the famous Mr. Irrelevant of 2022 – the last pick of this draft – hope to finally end their 29-year Super Bowl drought and win their first title since 1995.
“I know a few guys who were drafted before me,” Purdy told reporters in Las Vegas. “But I never had any hard feelings or anything. I believe God has a plan for everyone, and I fell last for a reason.”
The Chiefs reached the Super Bowl the hard way, with back-to-back road playoff victories against the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round and then against the Ravens in the conference championship – the first time in his career Mahomes has was forced to play the playoffs on the road. Games.
The Chiefs and Niners both have top-five defenses, according to Pro Football Reference. While outside of Kelce, Mahomes’ supporting cast has been weak, Purdy boasts one of the most talented and explosive skill groups in recent memory with running back Christian McCaffrey, receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle.
But while the Niners earned the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage, they struggled mightily against seemingly inferior NFC competition in the playoffs despite their talent, barely eking out victories against the Green Bay Packers during the divisional round, then against the Detroit Lions. in the.
But perhaps the hype around football’s most famous couple, Kelce and pop superstar Taylor Swift, will be even bigger than the conversation around what’s happening on the field on Sunday.
Swift, who last weekendwith his fourth Grammy-winning album of the year, performed Saturday evening in Tokyo as part of his Eras tour, and his fans whether she would return to the United States in time to attend Sunday’s game.
Thanks to a 17-hour time difference between Tokyo and Vegas, she returned to the United States with plenty of time on her hands,Saturday afternoon by private jet.
With private jet parking spaces at Vegas area airportsA few months before Super Bowl weekend, Swift would likely be driven from Los Angeles to Vegas for the big game.
Super Bowl LVIII will broadcast on CBS and Nickelodeon and stream on Paramount+ on February 11 from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET.