The Kansas City Chiefs will look to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champion in two decades when they take on the San Francisco 49ers today in Las Vegas.
It’s a rematch of 2020 Super Bowl LIV, when the Chiefs and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes beat the Niners 31-20 to bring Kansas City its first Super Bowl in a half-century.
The two head coaches who patrolled the sidelines four years ago are still in charge, but their teams enter Sunday with very different narratives. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has a 3-0 record against the Niners’ Kyle Shanahan, who has earned a reputation as a quality coach in the regular season who struggles with game management in the playoffs.
If Shanahan is ultimately going to beat Reid, he’ll need to find a way to stop Mahomes and his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce, who made history in the AFC title game.two weeks ago by connecting on his 16th postseason touchdown pass, the most playoff touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver duo.
A win on Sunday would give the Chiefs their third Super Bowl in five years, turning them into an NFL dynasty and putting Mahomes in rarefied air as one of three quarterbacks to win three Super Bowls before age 30. , the other two were Tom. Brady and Troy Aikman.
When asked last week about the possibility of one day matching or surpassing Brady’s seven Super Bowl wins, Mahomes, 28, deflected and said it’s “still a long way off.”
“I mean, I’m not even close to halfway there, so I haven’t thought about it much,” Mahomes said. “I mean, your goal is to be the best player you can be. I know I’m blessed to be surrounded by great players around me. And so, right now, I’m doing everything I can to beat some great 49ers. team and try to get that third ring. And then if you ask me that question in 15 years, I’ll see if I can get closer to seven.”
The Niners, whose quarterback Brock Purdy was the famous 2022 Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in that draft, hope to finally end their 29-year Super Bowl drought and win their first title since 1995.
“I know a couple of guys who were drafted before me,” Purdy, 24, told reporters in Las Vegas. “But I’ve never held a grudge or anything like that. I believe God has a plan for everyone, and I was the last one to fall for a reason.”
The Chiefs got to the Super Bowl the hard way, with back-to-back playoff wins against the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round and then the Ravens in the conference championship; For the first time in his career, Mahomes has been forced to play the playoffs on the road. games.
The Chiefs and Niners have top-five defenses, according to Pro Football Reference. While outside of Kelce, Mahomes’ supporting cast has been weak, Purdy has one of the most talented and explosive skill position groups in recent memory with running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and tight end George Kittle.
But while the Niners earned first seed and home-field advantage, they struggled mightily against seemingly inferior NFC competition in the playoffs despite their talent, barely edging out wins against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round and then against the Detroit Lions. in it.
But perhaps even bigger than the conversation about what happens on the field on Sunday will be the buzz around football’s most famous couple, Kelce and pop superstar Taylor Swift.
Swift, who last weekendwith his fourth Grammy Album of the Year award, presented Saturday night in Tokyo as part of his Eras Tour, and his fans whether he would return to the United States in time to attend Sunday’s game.
Thanks to a 17-hour time difference between Tokyo and Las Vegas, he returned to the United States with plenty of time to spare.Saturday afternoon on a private jet.
With parking spaces for private jets at Las Vegas area airportsWith months ahead of Super Bowl weekend, Swift was likely to be driven from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for the big game.