June 23, 2024

Opinion: The Super Bowl LVIII champion will be…

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will play in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 11. At the end of the night, I believe San Francisco will be crowned champion and running back Christian McCaffrey will be the MVP.

The running back position has historically not won the Super Bowl MVP, only winning the award twice. The most recent winner was Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis in 1997.

Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey, pictured, here, had come under question last week as to whether he could afford a Super Bowl suite for his family.

Mccaffrey has changed the market for running backs. His pass-catching ability changed the league’s view on how a running back works not only as a ball carrier but a receiver as well. 

In the past, there were powerful running backs who gained short yardage and receiving backs. Teams paired the two types of backs together for a one-two punch. This almost always brought team success, with teams like the 2018 Chicago Bears (Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen) and the 2021 Dallas Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard) ending their years-long playoff drought with the one-two punch.

Both of those teams would lose in the Wild Card playoff round. 

The 49ers are different because McCaffrey is a hybrid of both of those types of backs. Among running backs in the 2023 NFL season, McCaffrey led the league in rushing yards and was second in receiving yards and receptions.

The 49ers also have Brock Purdy at quarterback, the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Purdy started his rookie season as the third-string quarterback, eventually earning the starting spot and taking the 49ers to the NFC Championship. In his second season, the team has a shot at glory.

In the 2023 season, Purdy is fifth in passing yards, third in passing touchdowns and first in QB rating–an impressive feat for the not-so “Mr. Irrelevant.”

Patrick Mahomes is 2-1 in his Super Bowl appearances, losing only to the great Tom Brady.

No team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in 2003-04. 

Despite the increased attention and publicity, Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes have had arguably the worst seasons of their careers. 34-year-old Kelce had a 500 yard drop in his 2023 season. He also caught the least number of touchdowns since his rookie season. Kelce broke his seven-week touchdown drought with two touchdown receptions against the Buffalo Bills.

Comparatively, Patrick Mahomes has had a down year. Struggling to find a rhythm due to wide receiver issues, Mahomes has thrown the most interceptions in a single season this year. Although he has thrown the second-least number of touchdowns in his career, Mahomes is still in the top 10 in the league this year in passing touchdowns.

Mahomes having to overcome San Francisco’s overbearing defensive front, as well as the issues at receiver, will cripple Kansas City. Although Kansas City’s defense is very solid, Purdy has offensive weapons like McCaffrey and wide receiver Deebo Samuel to back him up.

The Taylor Swift distraction has not helped the Chiefs at all. The Chiefs lost six games for the first time since 2017, the season before Mahomes became their starting quarterback. The team has also only gone over 30 points three times this season, opposed to the 49ers who have gone over 30 points in more than half of their games. 

It seems like if the Chiefs want to win Super Bowl LVIII, they will have to “shake off” the factors against them.

Author

  • Clayton Hines

    Clayton is a first-year Criminology and Spanish Major. He is a Videographer for Capital and is an avid moviegoer. In his free time, he likes to watch sports and help his community by volunteering.

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