Super Bowl LVIII Preview

Written by: William Petersen

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Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada

The impossible has become a reality as Super Bowl LVIII is going to be the first Super Bowl to be held in none other than Las Vegas, Nevada. Allegiant Stadium, home to the Raiders, will be the location for the NFL’s 58th installment of the grand finale of the NFL season. The two teams that will be representing their respective conferences should be of no surprise on the NFC side as the San Francisco 49ers have been the best team in their conference all season. The team that will be representing the AFC is one of major polarization as the Kansas City Chiefs will try to cement themselves as a true dynasty after being the best team in the AFC for the second straight season. Both teams took different paths to get to Sin City, as the Niners secured the number one seed in the NFC and have only had to play two games in the playoffs thanks to that first round bye. The Chiefs started off their Super Bowl defense shaky as they led the league in dropped passes with 44 and looked to be experiencing major issues with their underdeveloped receiving core as star tight end Travis Kelce finally showed his age throughout the majority of the regular season. The regular season storylines that were curated throughout the season are now nearly null and void as these two teams have shown why they are the best two options to represent the NFL in Super Bowl LVIII.

Both teams are led by quarterbacks that have been cut from much different cloths. Patrick Mahomes, a two-time MVP and Super Bowl MVP will be up against the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Mr. Irrelevant, in Brock Purdy who has led a Niners team full of All-Pro players with little notion that he almost was an undrafted free agent. Brock Purdy has been the epicenter for hate and doubt around the idea that the two year NFL quarterback is simply a “game manager” and not a “game changer”. I personally feel that Purdy is much more aligned with the former as he is surrounded by the best roster in the NFL, offensive player of the year Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle as his offensive weapons while also having a defense with Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Dre Greenlaw, and many more. Purdy has done what the Niners have asked all season and it is unfair to purely say it is because of the players around him due to the fact that Purdy brought the Niners back from 17 down in the NFC Championship just two weeks prior. In this year's playoff run, Purdy’s first Super Bowl appearance has been somewhat pedestrian on paper; 68 % completion rate, 718 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception, as the young signal caller has continued to run Kyle Shanahan’s offense efficiently and productively when he does not turn the ball over. This game has many of the NFL’s best with many X-factor type players but the Iowa State alum will need to play a near perfect game to beat this stellar Chiefs defense who ranked second in sacks and overall in the regular season. The 49ers offense ran high powered all season as they finished second overall, third in rushing, and fourth in passing behind workhorse back Christian McCaffrey who had 37 carries for 188 yards and 4 touchdowns in this Super Bowl run. The Niners will need to continue to pound the rock against a Chiefs front four that has been dominant against the run all season.

The grand finale for the 2023/24 NFL season should be nothing short of spectacular as the Chiefs and Niners will try to etch their names in football immortality. If the Kansas City Chiefs can win Super Bowl LVIII there is no question that they are now in the dynasty conversation as Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, Travis Kelce, and company would have three championships in seven seasons. If Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers can find a way to cap off a season that has looked like destiny since the first kick-off, then it will be interesting to see how long the Niners can keep their championship window open while Andy Reid could possibly step down if Sunday does not go as planned. For the record at the beginning of the season, I picked the San Francisco 49ers to win the Super Bowl citing their stacked roster and coaching staff. This prediction has nearly rung true and I would love to stay loyal but this was long before I knew who they would be playing in the big game. Patrick Mahomes has never let me down in the Super Bowl when I put my hard earned cash on him and I will continue to die on this hill until he fails me. The 49ers have the better overall team but Patrick Mahomes continues to show flashes of the old G.O.A.T. Tom Brady as Mahomes continues to find his way to the Super Bowl. The major factor besides Purdy’s ability to play mistake free football is that Mahomes and this Chiefs squad has been here before while Purdy is stepping into an unfamiliar environment. If Purdy holds up his end of the bargain and the Niners defense can keep Mahomes off the field, then San Francisco will be champions for the first time since 1994. No matter which team wins tomorrow history will be made and either a dynasty will be formed in Kansas City or the Bay Area will be celebrating their first Super Bowl in thirty years.