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Front Page - Friday, February 9, 2024

Super Bowl pick: Don’t go against Mahomes, Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid oversees his team’s pre-Super Bowl drills. - Photo by Charlie Riedel | AP

Like them or not, the Kansas City Chiefs find a way.

You might be tired of seeing Patrick Mahomes, and you might be over the whole Travis Kelce/Taylor Swift saga, but there is no denying that the Chiefs are building a dynasty of sorts.

In the division round, they outlasted Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills again, then went into Baltimore and took out the Ravens – who for most of the season had been the NFL’s most complete team – in the AFC Championships Game.

Now, only the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers stand between the Chiefs and their third Super Bowl championship in the last five years.

The Niners have plenty of weapons and come in – offensively at least – as almost the complete team opposite of the Chiefs.

While the Chiefs have Mahomes and Kelce, the remainder of Kansas City’s supporting cast has been a bit suspect with receivers dropping passes and the offensive line allowing more sacks and penalties than in some years past.

San Francisco, on the other hand, has 2022 Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, at quarterback. While being the very last pick in the draft is a nice novelty, it doesn’t exactly earn you immediate respect.

Purdy has put up good numbers and made his share of plays, especially in the postseason, but most of the attention on the 49ers offense stems from the weapons he has in Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and others.

The Niners earned their way to Super Bowl LVIII with a pair of comeback wins in the playoffs over Green Bay and Detroit. It certainly helped that they played at home. But in the Super Bowl they won’t be able to afford to get too far behind Mahomes and the Chiefs.

This Super Bowl could come down to which defense can control the other team’s high-powered offense. Kansas City’s defense is much improved over many of its past Super Bowl runs, and the 49ers defense has star power all over with Nick Bosa and Fred Warner leading the way.

Prediction: While the 49ers certainly have a chance to win their sixth title and first since the 1994 season, the guess here is that Mahomes will find a way to get it done in a close one.

Chiefs 31, 49ers 28.