Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers

February 11, 2024
In honor of the big event, today’s Scroll has everything you need to know before the defending champ Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET with the winner hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
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Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
Source: Perry Knotts/Getty Images

Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers

Originally known as the “AFL​​–NFL World Championship Game,” the first iteration of the big show was held in 1967. Soon after, it came to be known as the Super Bowl, inspired by then–Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt’s children’s “Super Ball” toy. The more you know.

  • Now with over 100 million viewers tuning in from around the world, the Super Bowl has grown into a sports (and cultural) tradition like none other.
  • Whether you’re in it for the food (an estimated 1.45 billion chicken wings will be consumed), Usher’s halftime show, the football, or all of the above, there’s truly something for everyone.

And when it comes to this year’s edition, there are plenty of storylines adding to the hype. Kansas City has a chance to become the first team to repeat as champions since the New England Patriots did it in 2005, and their QB Patrick Mahomes could win his third Lombardi Trophy at just age 28. Dynasty, loading?

As for the 49ers, they’re helmed by an unlikely signal caller, Brock “Mr. Irrelevant” Purdy, the last overall pick in the 2022 draft. But this isn’t a Cinderella Story — SF boasts plenty of talent as they search to return to their own dynastic ways from the 1980s and ’90s.

👊 The Kansas City Chiefs

Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
Source: Perry Knotts/Getty Images

How they got here: Death, taxes, and Kansas City competing in the postseason. This will mark KC’s fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five years, but this year, they had to overcome early season stumbles and injuries to make it here — their inconsistent offense is something to watch in this one.

  • That said, as per, they turned it on in the playoffs, running up the score in their 26–7 Wild Card win over the Miami Dolphins, surviving the Buffalo Bills 27–24 in the Divisional Round, and defeating the Super Bowl favorite Baltimore Ravens 17–10 to win the AFC Championship.

Players to watch: Who else but the aforementioned Mahomes. The youngest QB to ever start in four Super Bowls, “Playoff Patty” is the difference maker for this squad, somehow always extending plays and pulling out heroics to lead his team to victory. Must be that Mahomes magic.

  • But don’t sleep on KC’s running game, especially considering the 49ers struggle to defend against it. Chiefs running back (RB) Isiah Pacheco should have plenty of opportunities to make an impact in this one.

The bottom line: Kansas City has boatloads of big game experience, but this squad might have the most question marks out of their recent Super Bowl contenders. Can Taylor Swift’s boyfriend tight end (TE) Travis Kelce yet again deliver big plays to make the whole place shimmer?

Will Mahomes’ other targets actually step up? Can head coach Andy Reid outscheme his opponent once again? Only time will tell.

💪 The San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
Source: Ryan Kang/Getty Images

How they got here: Barring a brief midseason slump, the Niners spent most of the regular season looking virtually unstoppable. But after a first-round postseason bye, the NFC’s No. 1 seed was tested immediately in the Divisional Round, surviving a third quarter comeback from the upstart No. 7 Green Bay Packers to eke out a 24–21 dub.

  • The scripts were flipped in the NFC Championship though with SF mounting a giant second-half comeback of their own to top the Detroit Lions 34–31 and book their ticket to the Super Bowl. Nerves? What nerves?

Players to watch: There’s a trifecta of talent in the Bay Area, with the Niners boasting offensive player of the year RB Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and TE George Kittle as part of their star-studded offense. Teamwork will make the dream work in this one as SF looks to outmaneuver a KC defense that’s No. 1 in the league in unblocked QB pressure.

  • And it’s not just the offense that’s packing a punch, the defense is headlined by defensive end Nick “quads bigger than a torso” Bosa and All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner. Too tough.

The bottom line: The perennial powerhouse Niners have been a postseason staple as of late, appearing in four of the last five NFC Conference Championships. But it’s been 29 years since they last hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, meaning there’s no better time to end their bridesmaid era.

  • SF certainly has the roster to upend KC and avenge their Super Bowl LIV loss, but they need to contain KC’s not-so-secret weapon, the aforementioned Mahomes, to do it.

🎉 The entertainment

Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
Source: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

There’s no time for bathroom breaks on Super Bowl Sunday because — along with the always entertaining (and expensive!) commercials — this year’s halftime show is shaping up to be a millennial’s dream come true.

  • Usher will surely have the whole crowd saying “OMG” during his halftime performance, especially considering his recent confession that there’ll be special guests gracing the stage too. The anticipation.

As for the pre-game performances, Reba McEntire will perform the national anthem, Post Malone will sing “America the Beautiful,” and Andra Day will perform the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

📺 How to watch

Super Bowl preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
Source: Perry Knotts/Getty Images

All that’s left to do is to take your pick below, then kick back, relax, and enjoy the biggest party of the year when the fun kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

  • If you’re in the U.S., CBS has the call. For those up North, you can tune in on TSN, CTV, or DAZN. Game on.