The San Francisco 49ers are currently two-point favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs, and if you do a rundown of how the teams stack up by position, you will see why the betting lines are so close.
Sure, the 49ers are the one-seed and have been consistently dominant all regular season, but you cannot deny how their defense was shredded in parts of their two postseason games. On the contrary, the Chiefs offense struggled through most of the regular season but has hit its stride in their three playoff games against top-tier competition.
On Super Bowl Sunday, anything can happen though. Records and seeds do not matter; it simply comes down to executing in a single game sample size. I love the Chiefs matchup in this game because I think it is a good bet to take the team that has the best coach, defense and the best quarterback. The 49ers might have more star power, but not in the areas that matter most.
Let's dig in and find out which team has more advantages by position group. The first one is not too difficult to decide.
The misnomer about 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is that he is a game manager. Purdy was famously labeled as Mr. Irrelevant, as they like to call the last pick in the NFL Draft, but he has quickly moved into stardom, even earning himself an MVP candidacy this season.
There are not too many game managers who toss for nearly 4,300 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He also carries a 90.6 rushing grade, according to PFF. The statistic that proves him more than that is he averaged 9.6 yards per pass attempt. That is the best when throwing a minimum of 400 pass attempts in NFL History.
I do think Purdy is heavily aided by possibly the league's best weaponry, but if Purdy was picked where Trey Lance was picked, the talk around him would be completely different. We would all be asking ourselves, could Purdy be the second-best quarterback in the league behind Patrick Mahomes?
From a statistical standpoint, Mahomes had the worst season of his career. He finished with a career-high 14 interceptions and threw for just 27 touchdowns. Now, some of that was awful luck and some of that was playing to the team's strength which is the defense.
With that being said, Mahomes is on a serious heater right now. He is not tossing for a ton of yards but he is making clutch play after clutch play and has not thrown an interception since the infamous Christmas Day game.
Mahomes is averaging a 90.3 QBR this postseason, after finishing with a 60.3 average in the regular season. For reference, no one finished above a 73 QBR in 2023. Mahomes has two Super Bowl Rings and Super Bowl MVPs under his belt. As underrated as Purdy is, the Iowa State product has never faced a Steve Spagnulo defense and Mahomes has been in this spotlight four times already.