This Super Bowl is giving me a serious case of deja vu:
We’re getting a rematch from four years ago
We have the same referee as four years ago (Bill Vinovich)
We have the same two head coaches, marking just the fourth time in NFL history that we’ve had a coaching rematch in the Super Bowl (The coach that lost the first game has never won the second game)
And Brock Purdy has a career record of 21-5, which is the same exact career record that Jimmy Garoppolo had in 26 starts with the 49ers going into Super Bowl LIV with the Chiefs
Since history always tends to repeat itself, I’ve decided I can’t pick against history here. If the Chiefs win, though, let’s just hope that history doesn’t keep repeating itself, because the last time they beat the 49ers, we got a global pandemic one month later.
SUPER BOWL LVIII PICK: Chiefs 31-20 over 49ers
6. Patrick Mahomes
Super Bowl MVP (LIV, LVIII)
Mahomes’ first three Super Bowls — and his performance in each of them — were memorable. Mahomes threw two touchdowns (including the game-winner) in the Chiefs’ win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. He tossed three touchdowns and had a huge run that set up the game-winning field goal against the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
He and the Chiefs fell well short of the mark in Super Bowl LV, but Mahomes’ performance against the Buccaneers is still memorable. Playing with an out-manned offensive line, Mahomes did his best Fran Tarkenton impression as he desperately tired to keep the Chiefs in the game.
Assuming he plays up to his normal level against the 49ers, the two-time league MVP will either
Super Bowl 58 best bet
Kansas City Chiefs moneyline (+110) vs. San Francisco 49ers
I could sit here and tell you that I’m taking the better quarterback in this game and it would be totally justified…kind of. My model makes this game close to a coin flip but does have the 49ers favored by less than a point. My question about that number is that the Chiefs offense has looked like a totally different unit than we saw during the regular season. Did the Chiefs go on auto-pilot during the regular season? Did Andy Reid save the good plays for the postseason?
I’m not sure, but if anything, I believe that my model underrates the Chiefs right now which I didn’t think would have been possible heading into the season. And am I really willing to bet against the triumvirate of Patrick Mahomes, the Kelce family and Taylor Swift? I’m not so sure.
Maybe Deebo Samuel, the dynamo receiver with so much swagger, can set the record straight about the condition of the practice fields the San Francisco 49ers are tasked to work on this week at UNLV.
After all, the reports have not been good on this ramp-up to Super Bowl 58.
“Go ask Kyle,” Samuel replied during the kickoff media session inside Allegiant Stadium on Monday night.
That would be Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers coach, who fielded a similar question at his podium several yards away.
“Go ask Deebo,” Shanahan said.
Geoff Schwartz: Chiefs 24, 49ers 20
Patrick Mahomes or Brock Purdy. It’s simple for me: I’m taking the better quarterback with a coach who has shown himself capable of winning these big games. The Chiefs are playing better football, having beaten the Bills and Ravens on the road, while the 49ers struggled at home to win both of their games on the path to Vegas. Geoff Schwartz: Chiefs 24, 49ers 20
Patrick Mahomes or Brock Purdy. It’s simple for me: I’m taking the better quarterback with a coach who has shown himself capable of winning these big games. The Chiefs are playing better football, having beaten the Bills and Ravens on the road, while the 49ers struggled at home to win both of their games on the path to Vegas.
The 49ers’ Offensive Scheme Question: Can Kansas City Account for All of San Francisco’s Looks?
Solak: Let’s discuss the simple, fundamental issue of the 49ers offense: It is too good to stop, so San Francisco will win, and the opposing team will lose.
Ruiz: Well … crap.
Solak: The 49ers probably have the best collection of offensive players in football. McCaffrey is the league’s best running back. George Kittle is one of the four or five best tight ends. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are both top-15 receivers, and I’d personally argue that Deebo belongs in the top 10. What other team has that level of premier talent at every position—even before Trent Williams is added to the equation? This year, with McCaffrey, Aiyuk, Deebo, Kittle, and Williams all on the field—491 of San Francisco’s 1,154 plays—the Niners are averaging 7.2 yards per play. They have a success rate of 51.7 percent and an expected points added per play of 0.21.
Tony Gonzalez was instrumental in modernizing tight end play and will always be remembered as one of the greatest to ever suit up at the position. He played 17 years in the NFL—the first 12 with the Kansas City Chiefs and the final five for the Atlanta Falcons—at the highest of levels, even earning the last of his 14 total Pro Bowl nods during his swan-song campaign.
Gonzalez broke down the door for tight ends to become the top pass-catching option in an offense, even leading the league in receptions during a historic 2004 season. He never caught fewer than 59 passes in a single season outside of his rookie year and had at least 80 catches on eight occasions.
Despite his immense talent, Gonzalez’s teams never found much success outside of the regular season. While he appeared in seven postseason games across six different playoff runs, his Kansas City squads never made it beyond the divisional round.
Gonzalez had slightly more luck in Atlanta during the final stages of his illustrious career—he won his lone playoff game following the 2012 campaign with the club—but ultimately fell short in the subsequent NFC Championship Game appearance when the Falcons blew a 10-point halftime lead against the San Francisco 49ers.
With 270 games under his belt, Gonzalez is one of the few players to reach that lofty mark without playing in a Super Bowl. He wrapped up his Hall of Fame career with 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns on 1,325 receptions across all those contests, stats that seem almost unfathomable for him to not have played in a Super Bowl.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Kris Jenkins DL
MICHIGAN • SR • 6’3” / 305 LBS
Chris Jones is a free agent at season’s end. Whether or not he returns, Kansas City needs to address the interior defensive line. It would be the third consecutive year the franchise has invested a first-round pick in the defensive front.
Around the NFL
Irsay also wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was “grateful for all the messages of love and support.”
The Colts announced on Jan. 9 that Irsay would not be able to perform with his band in Los Angeles that week due to illness and that he was “receiving excellent care.” No additional information was provided.
The 64-year-old Irsay began running the team’s day-to-day operations in 1995 after his father, Robert, suffered a stroke. When his father died in 1997, he won a legal battle with his stepmother to keep the franchise.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Then, the Chiefs entered the postseason and leaned on Kelce to rack up 262 yards and three touchdowns over three victories. The team is in Super Bowl LVIII, thanks in large part to the future Hall of Fame tight end, who hasn’t looked like a player on the verge of retirement in these playoffs.
During Opening Night on Monday, Kelce didn’t sound like a player in that phase of his career, either.
“I love coming into the building and playing this game more than anything,” Kelce told NFL Network’s 11-year old reporter Jeremiah Fennell. “I know I’m going to miss it when it’s over with, so I can’t put a time stamp on it, but I’m going to enjoy every single bit of it.”
The talk may have been sparked by the emotions of Jason Kelce — Travis’ brother — after the Philadelphia Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs this year. The speculation began then, but it ballooned when Jason attended the Chiefs’ Divisional round game against the Buffalo Bills.