Super Bowl Sunday is officially here, and the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will soon take the field in the biggest game of the year.
This is somewhat familiar territory for both sides. The 49ers already have one championship appearance this decade, with 2020's Super Bowl LIV outing coming against this very Chiefs team. For Andy Reid's squad, this is their fourth appearance with quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the helm. A Chiefs win cements them as a dynasty, whereas a San Francisco victory could spark an AFC-NFC rivalry of sorts.
The sakes don't get any higher than this. How will Sunday's game unfold? Will the Chiefs go back-to-back? The Arrowhead Report crew makes their predictions.
Joshua Brisco: Game day has finally arrived, and my expectations for this game have clarified over the last two weeks. I expect Super Bowl editions of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce to produce points and highlights on the biggest stage, but they did that in the AFC Championship Game while scoring only 17 points. Ultimately, I expect this game to come down to another impressive performance by the Chiefs’ still-somehow-underrated defense, giving Mahomes and Co. a modest point total to go back-to-back. Give me a Steve Spagnuolo masterclass and big games from Chris Jones and the KC secondary to secure the Chiefs’ third Super Bowl of the Mahomes era.
Prediction: Chiefs 23, 49ers 20
Jordan Foote: After picking against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round and AFC Championship Game, I'd be silly to do it again on Sunday. Kansas City has shown that the playoff version of this team is different than what was shown for much of the regular season. Patrick Mahomes is playing perfect football, Andy Reid's adjustments are working, there are fewer mistakes on that side of the ball and the defense remains elite. While the 49ers might have more talent on paper, football isn't played on paper. The Chiefs' championship experience and pedigree will show on the field — let's roll with a cover and a second-straight Super Bowl victory for Kansas City.
Prediction: Chiefs 27, 49ers 21
Mark Van Sickle: Here we go! The game of all games. We’ve reached the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are no stranger to this game, making it to four of the last five big-game matchups. Can they win their third ring in five years to cement their place in NFL history’s rarefied status as one of a handful of dynasties to ever take the field? Short answer: yes!
The defense has taken things to another level in the playoffs, and Mahomes and the offense have yet to make a critical mistake. I like that trend to continue with the Chiefs winning the turnover battle and ultimately winning the game. I’m predicting a lower-scoring game but would love to be wrong. After all, Mahomes is 3-0 all-time vs the Niners and the Chiefs have put up over 30 points in each of those games. For now, I’ll take the good guys in a lower-scoring, close game that brings another parade to Kansas City.
Prediction: Chiefs 20, 49ers 17
Zack Eisen: It feels like this week has been a year, but the Super Bowl is finally here. It’s against the same team Patrick Mahomes won his first Super Bowl against. That 49ers defense he played then was much better than the defense he will face this time. The best player in the world will further add to his legacy by putting on a show with his best Super Bowl performance to date. On the defensive side of the ball, playoff Steve Spagnuolo shows up yet again with complex blitzes and coverages to confuse San Francisco’s offense. After flying under the radar the entire season, Kansas City’s defense will announce itself to the world with a dominant performance.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, 49ers 13
Conner Christopherson: Of the four Super Bowls the Chiefs have played in under Mahomes (absurd statement on its own), this is the one I feel the most confident heading into the game. I am not saying I am sure the Chiefs will win but if they play their game, I feel they will win. With minimal mistakes, I feel the Chiefs match up well enough to minimize the 49ers. The defense can affect Brock Purdy and throw him off. The offense can move the ball against a 49ers defense that has shown cracks recently. The game comes down to Mahomes and Spagnuolo, and those two have the pedigree of all-time greats in the Super Bowl. I’ll bet on that.
Prediction: Chiefs 23, 49ers 17
Marlow Ferguson Jr.: If there’s one thing this postseason has taught us, it’s that there’s only one thing more dangerous than Patrick Mahomes in a big game: Patrick Mahomes as the “underdog.” It’s certainly true that the San Francisco 49ers enter Super Bowl LVIII with a potential skill-player edge, but they’ve also looked like the more vulnerable team over the last two weeks, relying on late-game comebacks to fuel them through. That’s a difficult diet to live by, and an Andy Reid-led group boasting an elite defense and a capable, turnover-free offense can certainly make them pay for it. This’ll certainly be a close game filled with rollercoasters, doubts, and even unsung heroes. But it’s easy to envision more scenarios in which the Chiefs win this one, which they should.
Prediction: Chiefs 23, 49ers 20