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Who will Win Super Bowl 58?

Well, the day that football fans have been waiting for is almost here! Super Bowl LVIII takes place this Sunday, featuring the National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers, and the champions from the American Football Conference (AFC), the Kansas City Chiefs. For the 49ers, this is the second time they’ve made the big dance since 2019 (the first time against these very same Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV), and for the Chiefs it’s the fourth time in the last five years that they’ve made it to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers earned the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs, holding the best regular-season record in the conference at 12-5. They were led by their second-year quarterback Brock Purdy, who was the last pick in the draft in 2022. Despite this, he’s blossomed in the Bay with another strong year, throwing for 4,280 yards, 31 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a QB rating of 113.0 (the best rating among starting quarterbacks). The leading rusher this season for San Francisco was All-Pro runningback Christian McCaffrey, who rushed for 1,459 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. He did this while being one of the most efficient runners in the league, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. They also boast one of the best receiving cores in the league, headlined by Brandon Aiyuk (1,342 receiving yards, 7 TDs), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (892 receiving yards, 12 total touchdowns) All-Pro tight end George Kittle (1,020 receiving yards, 6 TDs).

Their defense is also among the best in the league, boasting a defensive line containing players such as Javon Hargrave, Arik Armstead, and All-Pro defensive end Nick Bosa (10.5 sacks) who is arguably the face of the defense. Their linebackers are solid as well, headlined by one of the best in the league, Fred Warner (4 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions, 132 total tackles, 2.5 sacks). He’s flanked by Dre Greenlaw (120 total tackles, 1.5 sacks) who’s turning into a game-changer in his own right. The secondary doesn’t have as many stars, but cornerback Charvarius Ward led the team in interceptions with five. The 49ers had to go through the red-hot Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to get here, and they’ll attempt to beat one of the great teams of the decade in pursuit of their sixth Super Bowl title.

Kansas City is (once again) back in the Super Bowl, finishing with an 11-6 record and holding the #3 seed in the AFC. After a roller coaster of a year in which the energy around the team had peaks and valleys to it, in the end they’re right back in the big game. They’re led by arguably the best quarterback in the league and (likely) future Hall-of-Famer Patrick Mahomes. Even in a “down year,” Mahomes still had a strong 2023 campaign, throwing for 4,183 passing yards, 27 TDs, and 14 interceptions. Their run game, while not their strong suit, still boasts a good RB in Isiah Pacheco (935 rushing yards, 7 TDs). Rashee Rice (938 receiving yards, 7 TDs) and Justin Watson (460 receiving yards, 3 TDs) are the leading wide receivers on the Chiefs, but you can’t tell the story of the Chiefs offense without tight end Travis Kelce (984 receiving yards, 5 TDs) who leads the entire team in receiving yards.

Their defense is highly underrated, led by defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. There aren’t a whole lot of stars on this side of the ball, because it’s a true team effort. One star that is on the defense is defensive tackle Chris Jones, who had another strong season (10.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, 29 QB hits). George Karlaftis III was also excellent at the defensive end position (10.5 sacks, 47 total tackles, 17 QB hits, 7 tackles for a loss). Other contributors along the defensive line include Michael Danna and Derrick Nnadi. They aren’t household names but they are key contributors. Drue Tranquill, Leo Chenal, and Willie Gay fill out the linebacker room. And in the secondary, you’ll find one of the top safeties in the league in Justin Reid (95 tackles, 3 sacks, 5 tackles for a loss, 5 QB hits) as well as some of the most talented corners in the league in Trent McDuffie (7 passes defended, 5 fumbles forced, 80 tackles) and L’Jarius Sneed (2 interceptions, 14 passes defended). In the playoffs, the Chiefs had to defeat Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins, Josh Allen and the Bills, and Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

Who will prevail in the 58th playing of the Super Bowl? Well, if you want my opinion, I’ve learned to never bet against Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs. I’ve got Kansas City repeating as Super Bowl Champions and Travis Kelce winning Super Bowl MVP. The Chiefs fans will be happy, and so will the Swifties.

What do you think? Who do you think will win the Super Bowl? Let us know, and we’ll see if you’re right!

 

By Jermale Dabney, Junior, Lindblom Math and Science Academy

Instagram: @jermale_d

 

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Written by Jermale Dabney

Hi, I’m Jermale! I love roller coasters, theater, and Chicago sports (unless it’s the White Sox).

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