Super Bowl LVIII will take place this Sunday, February 11, with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Kansas City Chiefs, led by the dominant quarterback Patrick Mahomes, will take on the rough and tough San Francisco 49ers, with both teams seeking to hoist the Lombardi at the end of the night. Here’s how Voice Staffers think the game will go…
Bradshaw “Kelce Is Going to Shake Off the Haters” Cate
First, I was right last year when I said the Chiefs would beat the Eagles in the Super Bowl. I am 1989% sure Kansas City will repeat. While the Chiefs’ offensive has regressed since last season, I am floored by how fierce this new defensive unit is under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. I pin him as the reason the Chiefs clawed past Baltimore in the AFC Championship. On the flip side, San Francisco’s offensive is unique, especially with running back Christian McCaffery (who I believe should have won the MVP). However, their offense has one glaring weakness: experience. While both teams faced each other in Super Bowl LIV, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was too young to ride that ride. The lights of Las Vegas will be too bright for him, and I know that the Chiefs’ Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed will have a field day against the young QB.
Above all, the Chiefs are the more lovable team. Andy Reid just wants his post-game cheeseburger—and maybe some nuggies, too—just like the State Farm ads. Patrick Mahomes sounds like Kermit the Frog and scrabbles around the pocket like a toddler who stole your phone. And then there’s the man of the year, Travis Kelce. How can you hate the guy that once tweeted, “I just gave a squirle a peice of bread and it straight smashed all of it!!!!” I know he will want a big game to show off to a jetlagged Taylor Swift right before Valentine’s Day. Chiefs 24-20.
Jo “Only Gives A Shit About The Gamecocks” Stephens
I have to admit that while I watch a lot of college football, I do not follow the NFL super closely. As a result, I’ve decided to treat my pick as more of a manifestation based on what would bring me the most joy personally. The Kansas City Chiefs have exactly zero former South Carolina Gamecocks on their roster, while San Francisco has two – Deebo Samuel and Javon Kinlaw. Samuel has dealt with a bit of a shoulder issue in the past few weeks, but was still able to play against Detroit in the NFC Championship game. It’ll be difficult, but I think he’ll put together a monster performance against the Chiefs to give the Niners their first Super Bowl victory since the 1990s.
Ben “Dan Campbell was right to go for it” Jakabcsin
Pain. Those who read our preseason predictions will know that I am a big Detroit Lions fan. Suffice it to say, I am still in mourning. As such, I will also manifest my desired Super Bowl outcome with my prediction. When the Lions beat the Chiefs in this seasons’ opening game, they did so without two Kansas City stars, tight end Travis Kelce and defensive lineman Chris Jones, on the field. So here are my sadness-charged but still somewhat realistic predictions: 1. Kelce overcomes the matchup challenges of the 49ers linebacking core to finish with 150 yards and two touchdowns. 2. Chris Jones finishes with 2.5 sacks. 3. Kansas City wins its third Super Bowl in four years, 31-27.
Sam “This game needs at least one Kadarius Toney drop” Lynch
As a big fan of underdogs and a proponent of both bird and cat teams, the conference championship weekend filled me with pain and disappointment. A Super Bowl between the 5-time victors San Francisco 49ers and the 3-time champion Chiefs, the NFL’s latest dynasty, is a letdown for me, beyond the good football that will be played. Although, as a Panthers fan, I will be cheering for Christian McCaffrey to get his first ring, this will not happen for three reasons: the dynastic inevitability and Super Bowl experience of future hall of fame QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s legendary Super Bowl choke tendencies, and the Taylor Swift effect. Combining all these elements, the Chiefs win 27-23 (the 49ers will lead 20-7 at the half). Both defenses and offenses are strong, so expect some impact plays on both sides. However, it will be rookie wideout Rashee Rice, not Travis Kelce, who puts up better stats and scores the game-winning touchdown.
Caroline “Really only here for Taylor Swift” Palermo
As a self-diagnosed proclaimed Swiftie it would be sacrilegious to go against the almighty Chiefs as they enter their fourth Super Bowl in the last five years. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes plays against the traditional grain of previous successful quarterbacks with long-routed drives, runs outside the pocket, and even the fearless-ness to play with a broken helmet. Mahomes and his Chiefs will be paired against the 49ers and their 2nd-year quarterback Brock Purdy, who has been making headlines as a candidate for NFL MVP, something Mahomes himself has done twice. In what is arguably the greatest crescendo in sports, the Super Bowl is well acquainted with quarterback quarrels with battles between Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, John Elway and Brett Favre, Dan Marino and Joe Montana, and this Sunday will be no exception. While the Chiefs have the benefit of recent experience (as well as the affinity of a global superstar), the 49ers are more than capable of rising to the challenge that, if won, will taste better than revenge.
Andrew “Kelce is totally gonna propose, isn’t he” Arnold
With much of the focus on the two teams’ innovative and high-powered offenses — and deservedly so — the other side of the ball seems to be getting overlooked. The Chiefs and Niners were second and third in points allowed per game (at 17.3 and 17.5 points allowed, respectively), and both rank in the top ten in yards allowed per game and yards allowed per play. The Chiefs, in particular, have undergone a massive shift in defensive philosophy, with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnoulo employing an extremely blitz-heavy approach that’s led to his defense pressuring the quarterback on 64.3 percent of attempts (third highest in the league). With All-Pro Chris Jones anchoring his defensive line, “Spags” has transformed Kansas City from a middling defense — ranked 16th in 2022 in PA/G — into a vaunted unit. The Chiefs paced the NFL in unblocked pressures (73), were second in sacks (57), and allowed the fewest second-half points en route to no opponent breaking 30 points. While Kansas City’s ability to fluster Brock Purdy will be a key to the game, the Chiefs ‘QB–or–nothing’ approach has left them vulnerable to getting gashed on the ground; they let up 4.5 yards per rush in 2023. If Kyle Shanahan can scheme around getting MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey as many touches as possible, San Francisco has a chance. Otherwise, gimme Kansas City going back-to-back with a Travis Kelce–Taylor Swift proposal and kiss to seal it, because why not?