The Kansas City Chiefs return to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years, meeting their opponents from 2020, the San Francisco 49ers. The game will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Kansas City Chiefs look outstanding value to record their third Super Bowl win in four years.
The 2024 Chiefs have a much different feel to them than the teams that have made the Super Bowl in years past, even last year. Offensively, they are far less explosive, but this is undoubtedly the best defence of the Patrick Mahomes era.
The Chiefs defence ranks second for both yards and points allowed – the first time they have been better on defence than offence with Mahomes at QB.
Patrick Mahomes is having career lows in yards and touchdowns this season, but he is still the best quarterback in football, capable of making big plays when his team needs him to.
The concern for the Chiefs has been the play of their receivers, but Travis Kelce has lifted his output in the playoffs and rookie Rashee Rice has emerged at the right time. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been more judicious with his use of personnel – less of the mistake prone Kadarius Toney and Mecole Hardman, more of Kelce, Rice and running back Isiah Pacheco.
The Chiefs offensive line has also lifted its level of play immensely, only allowing two sacks in three playoff games, and rushing for 147, 146 and 89 yards in the postseason.
In last year’s Super Bowl, Reid surprised everyone by going to a run heavy gameplan which was brutally effective, putting up 158 yards on 26 carries. Expect the same here.
That is a concern for a 49ers defence which has shown to be highly vulnerable on the ground of late. After not giving up more than 88 yards rushing in five straight games following the bye, the Niners have allowed 234, 1032, 62 (to the hapless Commanders), 109, 136 and a whopping 182 in the NFC Championship Game.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the run game, as the team that has rushed for most yards has won 42 of 57 Super Bowls.
Things weren’t that much better for the 49ers in the passing game either, with critical drops by Lions receivers making San Francisco’s numbers look much better than their level of play.
San Francisco are a stacked team offensively with a plethora of talented players in the skill positions, expertly guided by their brilliant head coach, Kyle Shanahan. If they can get a lead early and rely on their running game to close it out, Christian McCaffrey and company should be able to get it done.
There are three ways this game can go. If either team gets a big advantage early, it will be very hard for their opponents to come back given the strength of their running games and their pass rush when they can pin their ears back and get after the quarterback.
But if this game comes down to the last two minutes, which quarterback do you trust more? Patrick Mahomes or Brock Purdy? Purdy’s has been a fantastic cinderella story, but give me the best quarterback – who has been there and done that – every time.
Key numbers also point to the Chiefs. Mahomes is 10-1-1 as an underdog against the spread, with nine outright upsets. Underdogs have covered in 12 of the last 16 Super Bowls. The higher playoff seed (SF this year) is 2-15-2 against the number in the last 26 Super Bowls. The team that scored more points per game is 7-13-1 against the number in the last 21 Super Bowls.
It’s remarkable the Chiefs are underdogs. Chips in.
Same Game Multi
With two strong defences here the under looks the best play. I’m expecting Andy Reid to stick to the run and with that Isiah Pacheco comes into play.
As Nick Tedeschi highlighted in his touchdown preview, the Chiefs have conceded the fewest rushing touchdowns of any team this season, so bypassing the short odds for Christian McCaffrey and backing Brandon Aiyuk to get the job done.