View of Allegiant Stadium before Super Bowl LVIII. Las Vegas, NV (Getty Images)
View of Allegiant Stadium before Super Bowl LVIII. Las Vegas, NV (Getty Images)

The Big Game: Super Bowl LVIII (58) Preview

This year’s Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, and it’s our San Francisco 49ers facing off the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs. I look forward to this matchup, although I know many NFL fans aren’t, because many consider it a lose-lose scenario, where the 5-time Super Bowl Champ 49ers get their 6th ring, or the Chiefs get their third ring in only four years, very likely cementing themselves as this generation’s dynasty. Before we dive into the matchup, the predictions, some history, and the stakes of this game allow me to make it clear that I cannot guarantee I will be impartial throughout this preview.

The defending Super Bowl Champions were on the verge of scrutiny and on the way to figuring things out in the off-season, but Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes proved to the world that you can never count them out,  and the 49ers are not taking this Kansas City Chiefs team lightly. Patrick Mahomes had a down year in the off-season and the usually electric Chief’s offense was anything but superb. Them missing a true WR1 showed its effects and it was as if the Chiefs WRs had been rubbing butter on their gloves, as they lost many games to their own mistakes from drops (They lead the NFL with 44 drops and a 6.9 drop %).

However, they’re a different team in the playoffs and have formed a new identity through their Elite defense, led by Steve Spagnuolo. That Chiefs team is stacked with Chris Jones, L’Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie, Nick Bolton, Justin Reid, and George Karlaftis (just to name a few) leading that defense. This team had 2 All-Pros on defense and were elite all across the board as a defense in the regular season. The Chiefs Defense was 2nd in sacks (57), 2nd in points allowed per game (17.3), 2nd in yards allowed per game (289.8), and fourth in pass yards allowed per game (176.5). I could name even more categories, but this just goes to show how all-around and how much of a force this defense is. A team with an experienced winning coach like Andy Reid, a 2x MVP leading their offense in Patrick Mahomes with his favorite target Travis Kelce, AND that defense?! This KC Chiefs team is in the Super Bowl for a reason, and should be taken seriously.

The thing is, the 49ers have a chip on their shoulder and are determined to get revenge for their SB loss to the Chiefs in 2020, as George Kittle said while mic’d up during the loss, “I will be back here, and I will be back with a vengeance.” In my opinion, this roster is so much more versatile and threatening than that 2019-2020 team. For starters, the 49er’s offense is led by Brock Purdy instead of Jimmy G, and hopefully, the Anna Frey and Taylor Swift edits on Tik Tok don’t backfire and he can give them the edge to beat the Chiefs. The 49ers didn’t have 6 All-Pros and 9 voted Pro-Bowlers (led the league) for no reason, and were the first team to have a 4000+ yd Qb, 1000+ yd Rb, 2 1000+ scrimmage yard Wrs, and a 1000+ yd Te in NFL History.

I mean, it’s a star-studded offense with Brock leading the air, the OPOY Christian McCaffrey, ALL-Pros Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, and Trent Williams. Steve Wilks has also adjusted and done a good job with the defense. In my opinion, it could be better, but they have played well when it matters and are still one of the best defenses to back up with. Our DBs have started to step up following the loss of Talanoa Hufanga, the rookie Ji’ayir Brown has played incredibly showing star potential with 2 Int and 4 PD in just 5 starts, and Charvarius Ward finally got recognition with an All-Pro nod following a breakout season. Of course, the 49ers also have an established LB Duo of Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw with a great DL led by Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave as well. I know it seems like I’m just naming the whole roster, but that’s really how much talent this team has.

The stats back both sides of the ball too, on offense, the 49ers were 2nd in points scored per game (28.9) and total yards per game (398.4), third in rush yards per game (140.5), and T-1st in total touchdowns with 61. On defense, the 49ers were 1st in interceptions (22), 3rd in points allowed per game (17.5, right behind the Chiefs) 3rd in rush yards allowed per game (89.7 per game) and 2nd in TDs allowed per game (1.8).

I won’t go too far into predictions but I will just throw something out there about what I realistically think could happen (these are just predictions they could be very wrong). It will be a relatively slow first half from both sides and most of the work will be done on the ground by Christian McCaffrey and Isiah Pacheco putting up points for their teams.  Both Brock Purdy and Patrick Mahomes may struggle to establish the passing game in the first half, and the half may end with a score around 10-13 or so. However out half-time, the 49ers and Chiefs will go into a shootout putting up points, making it a game depending on who makes the first mistake, it will stay close up into the late third to early fourth but Patrick Mahomes may slip up and get a turnover in this period and the 49ers will just barely pull away from the Chiefs with a final score of 27-34. With that out there, I do genuinely believe it will be a close game and it will just depend on who beats themselves and who wins the turnover battle.

This game means everything to the 49ers fanbase as we have had 7 NFC Championship appearances since 2012 and not a single Super Bowl win to show for it. If they get this win, I think Brock Purdy will silence the haters for good and earn respect as a Top 8 Quarterback minimum, and Trent Williams can walk away from football either this offseason or in one of the following offseasons as a Super Bowl Champion. If the Chiefs win, as I said previously, the Chiefs cement themselves as this generation’s dynasty, Patrick Mahomes is on his way toward Tom Brady and Andy Reid may be getting mentioned as one of the best coaches ever. Anyways, I think it will be an incredible game regardless, and I look forward to seeing the Usher half-time show, the commercials, and how a Super Bowl in Las Vegas turns out.

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