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.
Super Bowl LIV in 2020, 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.is a rematch of
The two head coaches who patrolled the sidelines four years ago are still at the helm, but their teams come into Sunday with vastly different narratives. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has a 3-0 record against the Niners’ Kyle Shanahan — who has earned a reputation as a quality regular season coach who struggles with game management in the playoffs.
If Shanahan is going to finally defeat Reid, he will need to find a way to slow down Mahomes and his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce, the two of whom made history in the AFC title gametwo weeks ago by connecting on their 16th postseason passing touchdown, the most ever playoff touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver duo.
A win Sunday would give the Chiefs their third Super Bowl in five years, vaulting them into NFL dynasty status and putting Mahomes into rarified air as one of only three quarterbacks ever to win three Super Bowls before the age of 30, the other two being Tom Brady and Troy Aikman.
When asked this past week about the possibility of one day tying or surpassing Brady’s seven Super Bowl wins, the 28-year-old Mahomes deflected, saying he’s “a long ways away still.”
“I mean, I’m not even close to halfway, so I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Mahomes said. “I mean, your goal is to be the best player that you can be. I know I’m blessed to be around a lot of great players around me. And so, right now, it’s doing whatever I can to beat a great 49ers team and try to get that third ring. And then if you ask me that question in 15 years, and I’ll see if I can get close to seven.”
The Niners, whose quarterback Brock Purdy was famously 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant — the last pick of that draft — are hoping to finally end their 29-year Super Bowl drought and win their first title since 1995.
“I know a couple of the guys that got drafted before me,” the 24-year-old Purdy told reporters in Las Vegas. “But I’ve never held a grudge or anything. I’m a believer that God has a plan for everybody, and I fell last for a reason.”
The Chiefs reached the Super Bowl the hard way, with back-to-back road playoff wins against the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round and then the Ravens in the conference championship — the first time in his career Mahomes has been forced to play road playoff games.
The Chiefs and Niners both feature 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 a No. 1 seed and home-field advantage, they struggled mightily against seemingly inferior NFC competition in the playoffs despite their talent, barely eking out wins against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round, and then the Detroit Lions in the.
But maybe even bigger than the conversation surrounding what happens on the field Sunday will be the hype around football’s most famous couple, Kelce and pop superstar Taylor Swift.
Swift, who last weekendwith her fourth Album of the Year win at the Grammys, performed Saturday night in Tokyo as part of her Eras Tour, and fans whether she would make it back to the U.S. in time to attend Sunday’s game.
Thanks to a 17-hour time difference between Tokyo and Vegas, she made it back to the U.S. with plenty of time to spare,Saturday afternoon on a private jet.
With parking spots for private jets at Vegas-area airportsmonths in advance for Super Bowl weekend, Swift was likely to be driven from L.A. to Vegas for the big game.