© Reuters. Feb 9, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; The Super Bowl 58 roman numerals on the NFL Experience with photos of San Francisco 49ers working again Christian McCaffrey (23), quarterback Brock Purdy (13), tight finish George Kittle (85), defensive finish Nick Bosa (97) and
By Steve Keating
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – When Las Vegas was awarded the Super Bowl, the hype machine routinely kicked into overdrive.
After all, what might presumably prime placing America’s largest sporting occasion within the U.S. occasion capital?
In the week lengthy buildup to Sunday’s championship sport Las Vegas — with the assistance of a headline grabbing romance between Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce and mega popstar Taylor Swift — delivered the glitz and pizzazz as promised.
Now the highlight locks onto the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers who might be anticipated to provide you with a end worthy of the largest present on the strip.
The sport might be a watershed second for the NFL with predictions it’d produce the largest viewership numbers since Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
On paper, the matchup is a compelling one which has all of the components of a Super Bowl basic mirrored in a betting line with no clear-cut favorite.
The reigning champions Chiefs, making a fourth Super Bowl look in 5 seasons, take on the 49ers, who with a win will convey house a sixth Vince Lombardi trophy and be a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for essentially the most all-time titles.
Adding a little bit of unhealthy blood, the competition is a rematch of the 2020 title conflict when the 49ers took a 10-point lead into the ultimate quarter earlier than the Chiefs roared again and scored 21 unanswered factors for a 31-20 victory.
Patrick Mahomes was the quarterback for that sport taking most beneficial participant honours and will possible have to produce one other MVP kind effort if Kansas City are to grow to be the primary workforce for the reason that New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005 to declare back-to-back Lombardi trophies.
While Mahomes brings expertise his reverse quantity Brock Purdy, possesses an underdog attraction and storyline that appears destined to at some point be become a Disney film.
The final participant chosen within the 2022 draft that was held in Las Vegas earned him the doubtful distinction of Mr. Irrelevant however he returns to Sin City a first-string quarterback.
“Honestly, people can overlook you and tell you all they want to tell about yourself, but at the end of the day, it comes down to just believing in yourself,” mentioned Purdy, who was within the NFL most beneficial participant dialogue for a lot of the season.
“So obviously being drafted last, and then getting to where we are now and playing in the Super Bowl, can turn into something pretty beautiful.”
In simply his second season the unflappable 24-year-old has been the cool hand on the controls of the 49ers high-octane assault that options dynamic working again Christian McCaffrey, who led the NFL in dashing with 1,459 dashing yards this season.
Purdy has loads of different weapons at his disposal together with dependable tight finish George Kittle and vast receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.
While Purdy is a little bit of an unknown commodity, Mahomes’s credentials are properly established.
With a magician-like sleight of hand and a capability to pull off Houdini like escapes, Mahomes has established himself in six seasons as an elite NFL quarterback.
The 28-year-old already has 14 profession postseason victories drawing comparisons to seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
Like the 49ers, Kansas City has properly outfitted offensive arsenal however Mahomes’s go to man in clutch conditions is Kelce.
The Pro-Bowl tight finish might presently be making extra headlines as Swift’s boyfriend however on the sphere is a harmful sport changer.
In the convention finals in opposition to the Baltimore Ravens, Kelce handed Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for essentially the most catches in playoff historical past when he introduced in his 152nd postseason reception.
He additionally amassed over 100 yards receiving for the day, which tied him with Rice for essentially the most 100-plus yards receiving video games within the postseason with eight.
With two of the NFL’s most sensible teaching minds on the sidelines, Super Bowl XVIII might be an absorbing chess match between 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and Chiefs’ Andy Reid.
The 44-year-old Shanahan, whose father Mike received the Super Bowl in 1998 and 1999 as head coach of the Denver Broncos, is in his seventh season on the helm of the 49ers and nonetheless searching for that elusive championship.
The extra skilled Reid, 65, enters the sport as solely the fourth coach to attain the Super Bowl not less than 5 instances, becoming a member of Bill Belichick (9), Don Shula (six) and Tom Landry (5).