For the 4th time in the last 5 years, the Kansas City Chiefs have made the Super Bowl. The Chiefs will face off against the same team they began this run with the San Francisco 49ers. These teams last faced off in Super Bowl 54 with Kansas City winning 31-20. While these teams are different, many of the mainstay pieces remain the same 4 years later.
For San Francisco, their defensive stalwarts including Nick Bosa and Fred Warner still lead the 49ers. The offence looks a lot different with pieces like Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey joining mainstays George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Kansas City is led by the still dynamic duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. Defensively their pieces might have changed, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has built one of the best defenses in football this season.
Super Bowl History
Until the win over San Francisco, Kansas City had not won a Super Bowl since 1969. That win also marked the final game before the AFL and NFL merged. The Chiefs followed that win with another Super Bowl appearance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49ers will look to copy the Bucs gameplay as they held the Chiefs to just 9 points despite big numbers from both Mahomes and Kelce. After a Conference Championship loss to the Bengals in 2022, Kansas City made their return to the Big Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Dubbed the Kelce Bowl, the Chiefs took down the Eagles in a thriller 38-35. There is no lack of experience on either side but the Chiefs have sported a 2-1 record over those appearances.
Much of if not all of the Kansas City Chiefs’ success comes back to Patrick Mahomes. The Texas Tech product has only seen the AFC Championship and more since becoming a starter in 2018. Aside from a loss to Joe Burrow and a pair to Tom Brady, Mahomes is undefeated in the playoffs. Even with presumably less talent around him, the 2017 10th overall pick has still been able to make it work this year. Mahomes has made back-to-back Super Bowls since the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill. While there is no direct replacement Mahomes has made it work. With a win in this Super Bowl, he could reach an immeasurable excellence similar to Brady.
Concerns and Questions
Even with another Super Bowl appearance the Chiefs still have to answer many questions about their team. This year could be the weakest team that the Mahomes and Andy Reid era has brought to the Big Game. The biggest question mark is the Chiefs receiving core outside of Travis Kelce. Rashee Rice has had a successful rookie season but no other receiver has separated themselves. Marquez Valdez-Scantling made the game-clinching catch last week after a string of game-deciding plays did not work out his way. The other main concern against the 49ers specifically are offensive tackles, Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith. They will look to slow down the likes of Bosa, Chase Young, and whoever else San Francisco might rush off the edge. Taylor specifically was called for 17 penalties for 115 yards over the season.
To beat the Chiefs in the Super Bowl is no simple task to as the 49ers. The magical connection of Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and Travis Kelce is something similar to the New England Patriots. The Chiefs sit at the edge of being considered a true dynasty in the NFL. But what faces them on the other side might be their hardest test in this era. The 49ers are no joke and this Super Bowl could be a historic opportunity both on the field and the strip of Las Vegas.
Make sure you check out our article on the 49ers heading into the Super Bowl as well, Click here!