Sports Editor, Noah Jalango: Chiefs
For the first time in the past three years, fans of the Super Bowl will be able to watch without Patriots fans in their ears all game.
This year’s game, between the San Francisco 49ers (13-3) and the Kansas City Chiefs (12-4), is the first time these two sides have met in a Super Bowl. And this year could yet prove to be one that favors sentimentality over history. The 49ers, along with the Patriots, Cowboys and Steelers, have won five Super Bowls, with their last appearance coming in 2013 against the Baltimore Ravens — which they lost. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have not made a Super Bowl appearance for over 50 years, and head coach Andy Reid has not appeared in a Super Bowl since coaching the Philadelphia Eagles 15 years ago — a game he and the Eagles lost. The stars may be aligning for Reid and the Chiefs to have the perfect fairytale ending.
Beyond stars and sentiments, the Chiefs still look like they’ll have the upper hand against the 49ers. The Kansas City-based team is 7-0-1 in their last eight games leading up to the Super Bowl, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be looking to make it eight wins in their last nine. Mahomes, last season’s MVP, has thrown 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns this season, with only 5 interceptions. On the defensive side, postseason leaders include end Frank Clark, with four sacks, and linebacker Damien Wilson, with 15 tackles. It will be a close game (the Chiefs are only 1-point favorites), but I think Reid, Mahome and the rest of the Chiefs will dominate tomorrow’s headlines with a Super Bowl victory.
Deputy Sports Editor, Eli Fraerman: 49ers
Recent Super Bowls have been challenging to predict, and Super Bowl 54 in Miami is proving to be no different.
Although the San Francisco 49ers (13-3) are considered slight underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs (12-4), I believe the 49ers are the better all-around team. It is not that simple though, as gunslinger Patrick Mahomes is capable of carving up any NFL defense. The 2018 NFL MVP has proven it doesn’t matter how much his team is down by, he’s never out. Many were stunned at how flat the Chiefs looked in the divisional round against the Houston Texans, down 24-0 in the second quarter, before Mahomes exploded to take a 31-24 lead into the half. He has been incredible in the second quarter this year, and don’t be surprised if that continues today. It would be exciting to see Andy Reid get his first Super Bowl ring with his legendary coaching tree, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We may be seeing a repeat of Reid’s 2004 Eagles that fell just short to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 39.
On the other side, the 49ers have rebounded remarkably well from their disappointing 4-12 record in the 2018-2019 season, quickly becoming one of the best teams in the NFL. They have a fantastic defense led by the speedy pass rush of Nick Bosa and a well-rounded offense that dominates in the trenches. Jimmy Garoppolo is making the Patriots regret trading him and running back Raheem Mostert has come out of nowhere to become a bona fide starter, utilizing an exceptional offensive line to his benefit. Slowing down Mahomes is a major challenge, but I think the Chiefs mediocre defense contributes to their demise. Roll Niners.