Tonight, the NFL crowns its next Super Bowl Champion, with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs facing off in Super Bowl LVIII. Eight Super Bowls have been won between these two franchises but, interestingly, from the 1995 season through the 2018 season, neither team managed to win once.
Closing out the 1994 NFL season, the Niners won Super Bowl XXIX 49-26 — with Steve Young being named the game’s MVP. San Francisco has appeared in and lost two Super Bowls since the 2012 NFL season. In February of 2013, San Fran lost to the Baltimore Ravens and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco.
The 49ers’ most recent loss was to none other than the Kansas City Chiefs to put a bow on the 2019 NFL season. It had been 50 seasons since the Chiefs represented the AFC (and won) in the Super Bowl, and they left the field of Super Bowl LIV victorious over head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named MVP, and suddenly a new, highly marketable face of the NFL was born.
Since Mahomes took over as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, they’ve served as NFL darlings and perennial Super Bowl participants. Tonight’s game will mark the fourth appearance in five seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs with Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, and head coach Andy Reid.
The 49ers rank third among teams with Super Bowl wins. In total, the Niners have played in seven games, with a 5-2 record (.714) overall. Kansas City ranks 10th on the list of Super Bowl-winning teams. The Chiefs have played in five games, going 3-2 (.600) overall. They also hold the distinction of having played in the very first Super Bowl (after tossing aside the Buffalo Bills in the first AFC Championship game). However, Kansas City exited Super Bowl I as losers to the Green Bay Packers.
One very interesting topic is the idea of rooting interests in tonight’s game. When these teams last faced, most NFL fans gave their support to the Chiefs due to their half-century absence from the big game. But tonight, Kansas City plays the antagonist — and it’s fair to wonder if most who supported them four seasons ago are now instead pulling for the 49ers.
Some might say “my how the turntables have...”
So yes, tonight’s game is a rematch four years in the making. A chance for Kyle Shanahan to make right for what went wrong the first time he faced off against Andy Reid in the NFL’s biggest game. He brings a roster talented enough to win. But the Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid — and what many consider to be the league’s best defense from the 2023 NFL season.
They also have experience and a long track record of postseason success. Will it be enough to see another W added to Mahomes’ playoff world? We’ll have to wait and see if the pregame locker room speech Travis Kelce reportedly gave that brought his teammates to tears provides them the needed fuel.
Here’s your open thread for Super Bowl LVIII. As always, remember to be kind to one another. Absolutely no one will blame you if you’re simply over talking about these two teams and this game.
Feel free to use this space to discuss the other sights and sounds of the event — you know, commercials, halftime performances, etc — and the many Buffalo Bills topics, as well!