The NFL’s final game of the 2023-2024 season approaches as the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to face off in Super Bowl LVIII at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.
The teams played each other four years ago in Super Bowl LIV at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, where the Chiefs won their second Super Bowl title and first in 50 years with a 31-20 victory.
“We’re just getting ready for this game,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. “I don’t think last Super Bowl has anything to do with this game, just like last week doesn’t have anything to do with this game.”
The 49ers were the NFC’s No.1 team throughout the season, securing the top seed for the playoffs via tie-breakers over Dallas and Detroit.
Despite the home-field advantage, the 49ers were tested in the playoffs, trailing in both games before reaching the Super Bowl. They survived against Green Bay in the Divisional Round and completed an improbable 17-point second-half comeback as the ball literally bounced their way against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship.
Meanwhile, Kansas City is nearing dynasty status with its fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five years. In fact, the Chiefs have been so good over recent seasons that Patrick Mahomes did not play a road playoff game until three weeks ago.
The Chiefs had a down year by their standards during the regular season, finishing 11-6 with the No.3 seed in the AFC. Dropped passes have been an issue, but they’ve found a way to make the plays to beat teams like Miami, Buffalo, and No.1-seed Baltimore in the playoffs.
“You never know how many you’re going to get to or if you’re going to get to any,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes told the media after the AFC Championship win. “It truly is special just to do it with these guys after what we’ve been through all season long. The guys are coming together, and it is special, but the job’s not done. Our job now is to prepare ourselves to play a good football team in the Super Bowl and try to get that ring.”
Perhaps their most impressive performance was in the AFC Championship in Baltimore. Although both teams struggled offensively, Kansas City’s defense held a potent Ravens offense to its lowest point total of the year, thanks to some timely turnovers to secure the win and a return to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl LVIII is scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. CT on Sunday.