Super Bowl Vet Versus “Mr. Irrelevant”

Chiefs Battle 49ers in the Eighth Rematch of Super Bowl History

Trevor Phipps

Patrick Mahomes and the Bronco-rival Kansas Chiefs team is back once again in the big game.

In fact, the Chiefs have been to the AFC Championship Game for six consecutive yeares, and they have been to the Super Bowl in four of the last five seasons.

They won last year, and they will be looking to take home rings two years in a row. But there is one little thing in their way in the form of QB Brock “Mr. Irrelevant” Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers just missed a chance at the big game last year when Purdy was hurt during the NFC Championship game. But this year, many have been calling the 49ers the best team in the league.

The Niners started and ended their regular season with big winning streaks. But during the three games in a row they lost, the team did not look very promising.

And then during the playoffs, the 49ers have struggled and have been forced to come up with comebacks to barely earn both of their postseason wins.

The Chiefs also do not seem like they are the team they were last year. Besides, they actually lost to the Broncos this season for the first time since the Peyton Manning era.

The Chiefs also have not impressed me with their postseason play. Their offense has struggled to put up big numbers during the postseason and the Chiefs have been relying heavily on their defense.

But the truth of the matter is both of these teams know how to stay in the game until the bitter end and pick up a victory. Due to this fact, I think this game could possibly be one of the closest and most entertaining Super Bowls to watch in recent years.

Another interesting fact about this year’s big game is that it is a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl where the Chiefs dominated 31-20. And actually, it only marks the eighth time in Super Bowl history where two teams have had a rematch in the big game. But I think the new and improved 49ers team will make things a bit interesting this time around.

If you compare the Kansas Chiefs team this season to their 2019 team that went to the 2020 Super Bowl, they are basically the same. The team does have some new players and arguably a better defense, but Mahomes and Head Coach Andy Reid are the two main reasons the team is back battling in February.

The 49ers, on the other hand, have done nothing but improve upon their 2019 team. The Niners are now led by second-year quarterback Brock Purdy who has shown that he can keep up with the best in the league.

The 49ers have also added Colorado native all-star running back Christian McCaffrey (son of former Bronco Ed McCaffrey) to their lineup. McCaffrey has showed his brutal strength busting through defenders as he fought his way to being the best running back during the 2023 regular season.

But just to make it this far out of 32 professional teams definitely says something in itself. And with Las Vegas favoring the 49ers by a mere two points, it’s evident that this game could go either way.


Reasons Why the 49ers May Get Revenge

Purdy was drafted in last place in the 2022 Draft earning him the nickname “Mr. Irrelevant.” But then when he was thrown into the lead position last year as two of the Niners’ starting quarterbacks got hurt, he impressed the world.

He returned this year after an elbow injury in last year’s championship game and he has not ceased to impress. Purdy was selected for the Pro Bowl this year and he led the NFL with the highest touchdown rate (7.0%), passer rating (113.0), and QBR (72.8).

Purdy was also in the top five in the league in passing yards (4,280), passing touchdowns (31), and completion rate (69.4%) this season. He does an excellent job of utilizing his dangerous offensive weapons like Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle, helping him set an NFL record for the most average yards per pass attempt at 9.6 yards.

And even though it is a little beat up at this point in the season, the 49ers have also sported a stellar defense for most of 2023. Defensive stars like Nick Bosa, Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner make it extremely hard for offenses to get past them to score.


Reasons Why the Chiefs Could Win

The Vegas spread is only two points because these teams are pretty evenly split. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes always leads a good offense and knows how to score when it counts, but the team also has other strengths worth mentioning this year.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive back L’Jarius Sneed help put together quite the defense that impressed during the regular season. The Chiefs finished second in the league in defense with only giving up an average of 17.3 points per game.

Kansas City is also the only NFL team since 2011 to have allowed fewer than 28 points in each game, including the playoffs. The Chiefs’ defense also allowed less than 290 yards per game on average and an average of around 27 yards per drive.

The Chiefs also ranked in the top eight of the league in red zone efficiency allowed, passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed, yards allowed per pass attempt, sacks, and rushing touchdowns allowed.

Overall, this year’s Super Bowl should be a good game with stellar defenses going up against the best offenses in the league.