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OPINION: You may be upset that it’s a rematch, but we’re getting the best game from 49ers-Chiefs

KentWired Illustration by Emily Riebe

Four years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs took down the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV 31-20.

It was the first time the Lombardi Trophy came to western Missouri since 1969. Andy Reid won his first title as an NFL head coach in his 21st season, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, who at the time were young guns in the pro football landscape, got their first Super Bowl rings, and it felt like a breath of fresh air to football fans as a team not named the New England Patriots, who won three titles in five years, finally eclipsed gridiron glory.

On the other side, the San Francisco 49ers got to the big game for the first time in seven years as they were a fun, young team to watch that had the makings of a squad that made you say to yourself after the game, “They’ll be back. They have time.” 

Well, time has come and gone, and just like graduating from high school, a lot has changed in the world.

But ironically, we have the same Super Bowl showdown.

Most folks seem to be tired of the rematch. However, there is something to look forward to if you’re a part of that particular crowd.

We are getting the best matchup possible.

We know what the offense is capable of in the passing game in Kansas City. Heck, we have known that as the conductor of this unit, Patrick Mahomes has only been the face of the league since he made a name for himself in 2018, winning the NFL MVP award twice in the span of 5 seasons. 

But what about the run game? That’s highlighted by Isiah Pacheco, a second-year back from Rutgers who runs like he’s angry at the ground. His motion with his shoulders swaying back and forth while he carries the ball and his knees going up to his abdomen is exhausting to watch. But, it’s paying off; he has 935 rushing yards on the season with seven touchdowns as he’s averaging nearly 5 yards a carry. And his off-the-field story makes people love him more than his on-the-field play. He lost his brother in January 2016 and sister in September 2017 to murder. He says that he plays for them every time he steps onto the field and gives you a player to root for on Super Bowl Sunday.

And the defense is no joke.

They rank second in the league in total defense with two players, defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback Trent McDuffie, making the All-Pro first team. The scariest part about defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s crew is that they are playing their best ball at the right time. Aside from giving up 24 points against the Bills, they only allowed a touchdown on the wild card road to the Dolphins and limited the MVP in quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on the road. 

And with a kicker like Harrison Butker who can nail field goals from 50+ yards seemingly with his eyes closed, there’s a reason why many are picking the Chiefs to clinch the dynasty with them winning the title last year.

With the 49ers, the passing game is one of the best with 2nd-year man out of Iowa State, Brock Purdy, throwing to big-time names like tight end George Kittle (a player that those who love the game still argue over whether or not he is better than Kelce.) A receiver who can do it all in Deebo Samuel, and a guy who can catch seemingly anything in Brandon Aiyuk, expect San Fran to air it out all game.

And with a defense led by former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Bosa, and one of the best middle linebackers in the league in Fred Warner, don’t expect Kansas City to just go up and down the field for all 60 minutes come Super Bowl Sunday.

And that’s why the game we’re getting is so great.


The general feeling is that we are getting a ton of the players and coaches that played in that Super Bowl four years ago. 

Both the coaches are the same, Mahomes, Kelce, Kittle, Bosa and more are back and arguably better than the season they played their first Super Bowls.

That’s something teams like the Lions or the Ravens can’t provide, close to none of those players have competed in the big game.

So if you get upset about the fact that it’s a rematch, just remind yourself, if this game is a classic, experience is the reason why.

Matt Kiraly is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].

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