SUPER BOWL LVIII: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFSS

BY ADAM GREENE

You know, I’m feeling an onset of melancholy. This is it, our last weekend of NFL Football until the preseason kicks off in August. It’s Super Bowl LVIII and a national holiday and, frankly, I’m a little bummed out. Not at the matchup, it’s a phenomenal one, a rematch of Super Bowl LIV, between the top NFC seeded San Francisco 49ers and the third AFC seed Kansas City Chiefs.

For the Niners, it’s a chance to match the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots with a sixth Super Bowl Championship and secure Kyle Shanahan as one of the top three head coaches in all of professional football. For Kansas City, it’s the official coronation of a dynasty, a team that has defined and will continue to define the sport in the 2010s with two once-in-a-lifetime talents in Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce teaming up to create a legacy that could be unmatched.

Shanahan, of course, has some history in this game. His San Fran squad blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead in that aforementioned Super Bowl LIV. Not only that, he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in their humiliating collapse against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, where the dirty birds led, at one point, 28-3. Coming into the playoffs, Shanahan was 0-30 as a head coach when trailing at any time in the fourth quarter. Thanks to the NFC Divisional and Championship Games, he’s now 2-30.

Andy Reid is coaching in his fifth Super Bowl as a head coach. He’s won two and lost two, both to teams quarterbacked by Tom Brady. In fact, only Joe Burrow and Brady have ever bested the Reid-Mahomes led Chiefs in any postseason game.

This will be the 16th all-time meeting between the franchises with the Chiefs holding an 8-7 lead in the matchup. Kansas City has won the last three, all since Mahomes took over at QB, including the aforementioned Super Bowl. They last squared up on Oct. 23, 2022 with KC taking it 44-23.

Patrick Mahomes was 25 of 34 passing for 423 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the win. Isiah Pacheco rushed eight times for 43 yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster (now with the New England Patriots) caught seven passes or 124 yards and a score. Travis Kelce had six receptions for 98 yards.

In the loss, Jimmy Garopplo (now kind of with the Las Vegas Raiders) was 25 of 37 for 303 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. Brock Purdy came off the bench to go 4 of 9 for 66 yards and an interception. Jefferey Wilson (now with the Miami Dolphins) had seven carries for 54 yards. George Kittle hauled in six passes for 98 yards and a score. Brandon Aiyuk had seven catches for 82 yards.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (+2, O/U: 47.5)

Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.

Broadcast: CBS

Kickoff: Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14-5)

For just the second time in his entire head coaching career, Kyle Shanahan led his team to a come from behind victory in the NFC Championship, defeating the Detroit Lions 34-31 thanks in large part to multiple stupid Dan Campbell coaching calls. Brock Purdy and Jared Goff basically played out the Spider-Man pointing at his clone meme on the football field. Purdy finished 20 of 31 for 27 yards, one touchdown, one interception and one ball that should have been intercepted that a Lions’ safety decided to headbutt into Brandon Aiyuk’s waiting hands. He was sacked twice. Aiyuk caught two other balls for 68 yards and a score. Deebo Samuel hauled in eight passes for 89 yards and rushed for seven yards. Christian McCaffrey rushed 20 times for 90 yards and two TDs and added four receptions for 42 yards. The defense sacked Goff twice and forced a fumble.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (14-6)

Kansas City’s defense held the Baltimore Ravens, led by sure-fire NFL MVP Lamar Jackson to a total of three points in the second half to hold on to a 17-10 victory in the AFC Championship two weeks ago. Patrick Mahomes was 30 of 39 passing for 241 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He scrambled for 15 yards and was sacked twice. Isiah Pacheco had 24 carries for 69 yards and a score. Trais Kelce hauled in 11 passes for 116 yards and a TD. The defense held the Ravens’ rushing attack, the best in the league, to just 81 yards total, picked off Jackson once and sacked him four times.

SUPER BOWL MVP ODDS

Quarterback -250

Any other position +170

Offensive -2000

Defensive +700

Kicker/Punter +3300

Quarterback -250

Tight end

Wide receiver +500

Running back

Any Defensive Position +1600

Kicker

Patrick Mahomes +140

Brock Purdy +250

Christian McCaffrey +450

Travis Kelce +700

Deebo Samuel +2200

Isaih Pacheco +2500

Field (any other player) +3300

Rashee Rice +5000

George Kittle +6600

Brandon Aiyuk

Chris Jones +7500

Fred Warner +7500

Nick Bosa +8000

George Karlaftis +15000

L’Jarius Sneed +15000

Willie Gay +20000

Marquez Valdez-Scantling +20000

Mike Edwards +25000

Dre Greenlaw +250000

Chase Young +30000

Javon Hargrave +30000

Justin Watson +30000

Harrison Butker +30000

Jake Moody +30000

Kadarius Toney +50000

THE PICK

The Niners have looked like the NFC Super Bowl representative since Week 1. The Chiefs, well, I’ve picked against them in the AFC Divisional and Championship rounds and I was not alone. All they’ve done is win when the lights are brightest. If you bet the moneyline in every single Patrick Mahomes playoff appearance, you’d be 15-3. The only quarterbacks to beat Mahomes head-to-head in the postseason are Joe Burrow once and Tom Brady twice. As Pat McAfee has been saying for two weeks, “the Chiefs is the Chiefs” and I’ll have to see them lose a game like this to believe it. And as underdogs, for the third straight week? Come on. Chiefs 31, 49ers 24

MVP

I’m going with Patrick Mahomes, but a monster game from Travis Kelce, with the universe of Swifties pulling for him, wouldn’t surprise me at all. Chris Jones or L’Jarius Sneed on defense are a solid possibility considering the defense might be the reason KC wins it.

Last week

Straight up: 1-1

Against the spread: 2-0

Season

Straight up: 194-90

Against the spread: 179-105

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan and Threads at @Adam.Greene

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