Myth-busting 49ers-Chiefs: The 7 worst narratives for Super Bowl 58, from Brock Purdy to Taylor Swift

The Super Bowl 58 matchup is set. The Chiefs and 49ers will meet again in a rematch of Super Bowl 54. Unfortunately, the game is still 13 days away, and the wait for kickoff in Las Vegas on Feb. 11 (6:30 p.m. ET) will feel extra long because talking heads will exhaust all the major storylines well before then.

Given most everyone wants to talk about Brock Purdy and Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan, and most important, Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, there will be some narratives explored that make total sense. There’s also room for misleading chatter about things that aren’t true about either a team, a player, or the matchup itself.

Here’s some help to cut through all that noise with another round of myth-busters to tell you what’s really real about the latest biggest game in NFL history.

SUPER BOWL 58 PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up

Super Bowl 58 myths: The 7 worst narratives for 49ers vs. Chiefs

(Getty Images)

“Brock Purdy is still a game manager and has no chance of outplaying Patrick Mahomes in a Super Bowl”

Purdy just led two big comebacks in two NFC playoff games, doing whatever it took with his arm and legs to lead his team to victory while showing great mental and physical toughness. You would think that would douse the flaming hot takes around his play as a seventh-round starting QB, but the critics will still find their gasoline.

They will point out that he was off vs. the Packers and threw an interception against the Lions. They will tell you he still hasn’t shed that game manager label and is still more caretaker than playmaker. They’ll go back to that one game when regular-season MVP Lamar Jackson outplayed him.

Purdy might turn in the perfect passing game and someone will still find a way to throw shade. What else does the kid need to do? Oh yeah, show he can do it against another two-time MVP on the game’s biggest stage. While Purdy gets dumped on for making winning plays, Jackson, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and other expensive QBs not named Mahomes should be eviscerated for not playing up to expectations.

He’s more than a feel-good story, and he’s not being propped up. This kid has gone from Mr. Irrelevant to leading the NFL in yards per attempt (9.6), adjusted yards per attempt (9.9), net yards per attempt (8.74), adjusted net yards per attempt (9.01), passer rating (113.0), and QBR (72.8).

Purdy is still an MVP finalist with a 4,280-31-11 line. Just embrace his Cinderella story, much like Kurt Warner. There’s no need to put him down when the numbers and eye test say his play was just short of elite for much of the season — critics and lazy, meaningless game-manager takes be damned.

Purdy can and will play well opposite Mahomes, but he’s also facing the tougher pass defense. If he doesn’t beat Mahomes in playoffs, we should also remember no QB not named Joe Burrow or Tom Brady has, either.

“This game comes down to how the Chiefs’ offense fares against that 49ers’ defense”

Now that we’ve pre-extinguished the the raging Purdy hot takes with some “Iyer” of own, let’s save some for the rest of this list. The Chiefs’ defense is better than the 49ers’ defense by the key metrics. It has performed better in the playoffs to back that up vs. the Dolphins, Bills, and Ravens, three dangerous offenses.

The Chiefs will move the ball well against a 49ers’ defense that’s wilting against the run in the playoffs and has been vulnerable in some passing situations. Mahomes is locked in with his key weapons and not messing around with unreliable targets. 

The question here is whether the 49ers and Purdy can handle a Chiefs’ pass defense that can bring pressure from all over and has two of the game’s top cornerbacks. The 49ers should expect to find rushing success against the Chiefs, but it’s how they can protect Purdy and get open for him on key passing downs that will determine the game’s outcome.

Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel 01282024

(Getty Images)

“Christian McCaffrey is the most important running back in Super Bowl 58”

McCaffrey will have a good rushing day in Las Vegas. The Chiefs allowed 4.5 yards per carry in the regular season. They also can struggle to cover backs on shorter passes in relation to what they can contain downfield in the secondary. CMC having a key role with big yardage and at least a TD is a given.

That makes the Chiefs’ Isiah Pacheco easily the most important running back in the game. If the 49ers can rediscover the best form of their run defense, it will go a long way in outscoring Mahomes. If Pacheco keeps up the momentum created by the Packers’ and Lions’ backs, it might be hard for the 49ers’ defense to get off the field.

Pacheco, in three AFC playoff games, got a ridiculous 63 combined carries. He hit 24 against the Dolphins and the Ravens while the Chiefs protected leads. The efficiency in production was up and down with the volume, tapering off at a modest 4.0 yards per carry, but the key with him is the commitment to the run. Mahomes is also trusting Pacheco more as an outlet receiver of late. While a lot of the talk will be about a seventh-round quarterback vs. a first-round quarterback in the Super Bowl, there should be more talk about a seventh-round running back vs. a first-round running back.

If Pacheco can score for a fourth straight playoff game and pound out timely chunk runs, the Chiefs should win. That won’t be the case for the 49ers should McCaffrey do his thing.

“The 49ers have the big edge in the pass rush against the Chiefs’ offensive tackles”

The Chiefs’ biggest weakness up front is at left tackle with Donovan Smith and at right tackle with Jawaan Taylor. They’ve suffered a key dropoff in keeping the outside clean for Mahomes. Yet, the Chiefs, because of Mahomes and some tight end blocking help, have kept their QB rather clean. Nick Bosa and Chase Young give the 49ers a chance with a fine 1-2 punch at defensive end.

That said, Chris Jones working on 49ers left guard Aaron Banks and center Jake Brendel is an absolutely terrible mismatch. Jones also will be flanked well on the edge like he has been all playoffs long with young George Karlaftis exploding off the line vs. shaky right tackle Colton McKivitz. The Chiefs just happen to attack along the front four best away from left tackle Trent Williams. The Chiefs also have a much more effective blitz package under Steve Spagnuolo, while the 49ers rarely bring extra men after the QB.

The Chiefs will simply have more success getting into Purdy’s face, and the 49ers will find it a lot more difficult to get enough push to rattle Mahomes.

Rashee Rice, Patrick Mahomes 01132024

(Getty Images)

“The 49ers are loaded at wide receiver and the Chiefs are not”

The 49ers have a dynamic duo, arguably the best in the league, with Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. They become all the more dangerous when you throw in the receiving skills of McCaffrey and tight end George Kittle. However, the 49ers aren’t much deeper than that, as Jauan Jennings and Kyle Juszczyk have only flash usage behind them.

The 49ers get thin in a hurry, as returner Ray-Ray McCloud and former Chief Chris Conley are the next options with rookie Ronnie Bell injured.

The Chiefs have a bona fide top receiver now, as rookie Rashee Rice has matured out of that status. Of course, he has Kelce and the backs when needed in the passing game. At the right time, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson are back making big plays for Mahomes. Former 49er Richie James also will be motivated to help when needed. The biggest thing Kansas City can do is not force depth with Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney. Like the 49ers, they are better off being compact and streamlined.

It may feel different, but Mahomes has the same situational circle of trust that Purdy has with his targets.

“Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs are scrappy underdogs who no one thought would be playing in Super Bowl 58”

This one you might be hearing from the Chiefs themselves through all the media opportunities leading up to the game. They have extra fodder to play the disrespect card, led by Mahomes, with the 49ers being favored out of the gates. Heck, they were the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs and no one believed their offense from this season could take them this far, right?

Come on, Mahomes! Everyone knows the Chiefs have replaced the Patriots as the big bad K.C. wolf in the playoffs and Super Bowl. He’s the new Tom Brady. Reid is the new Bill Belichick. When you’ve won two Super Bowls and been to four of the past five, you don’t get to say “us against the world’ anymore or say you’re motivated by no one believing in you. Everyone knew the Chiefs would be a different team in the playoffs, wouldn’t beat themselves, and had to be beaten. The 49ers just need to avoid the Ravens’ and Bills’ mistakes out of bravado, thinking they’ve got the Chiefs right where they want them to beat them.

(Getty Images)

“Taylor Swift is the real reason the NFL put Travis Kelce and the Chiefs back in the Super Bowl — and why it wants them to repeat”

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have been the NFL storyline of the entire 2023 season and playoffs — or so you would think. Two good-looking people who are successful, hard-working, and driven to be at the top of their respective professions are seeing each other? Shut the front door. That never happens, except always.

Swift isn’t going to rack up more Grammys, churn out more well-produced songs, and sell out more concerts because she’s seeing Kelce. Likewise, Kelce hasn’t transformed from some mere Pro Bowl tight end to an elite Hall-of-Fame receiver because he’s with Swift. These two were all-timers before they met.

The Chiefs were Super Bowl champions without Kelce being in a relationship with the world’s most recognized recording artist. His relationship with Mahomes is why the Chiefs are here, on top of great drafting, personnel moves, coaching, and defense. The Super Bowls have seen escalating ratings because of a compelling product that often features a superstar QB. It’s already a casual audience game of epic proportions when there aren’t a few more Swiftie eyeballs.

Taylor Swift has a lot of power, but she’s not the central figure in some grand NFL script or conspiracy. The Chiefs got here for being the Chiefs, and they will win Super Bowl 58 for playing like the Chiefs that won Super Bowl 54 and Super Bowl 57.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *