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The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

Patrick Mahomes will take the Lombardi Trophy home

Mahomes’ experience will get the job done in Super Bowl LVIII
Patrick Mahomes has made his fourth Super Bowl in five years and is looking for his third victory in the event.

In what has been an incredible NFL season, two historic franchises remain. The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will battle it out in the 2024 Super Bowl in Las Vegas. 

When looking at this matchup, you have to start with the quarterbacks. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will play in his fourth Super Bowl, already notching two victories under his belt in the big game. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will play in his first Super Bowl in only his sophomore season in the NFL. 

Given the experience of Mahomes and his ensemble, they look more than capable of getting the job done and winning 2024’s edition of the Super Bowl. 

It wasn’t a dominant Chiefs regular season like we’ve seen in the past. They started off  with a crushing loss at home to the Detroit Lions 21-20. However, the team returned to their old selves rattling off six straight wins against the Jaguars, Bears, Jets, Vikings and Broncos. 

In week 8 of the regular season, the offense hit a lull against the Broncos as they failed to get in the end zone the entire game. Mahomes threw for 240 yards and threw two crucial interceptions. 

Fast forward to week 13 and the Chiefs are sitting at 8-3 entering a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs offense had a decent game, but was outscored by Jordan Love and the Packers offense 27-19. 

The following week the Chiefs hosted a familiar foe in the Buffalo Bills, a team they’ve beaten twice in the Playoffs over the past four seasons. Down three late in the game, Mahomes found Travis Kelce over the middle for a big gain who eventually latteraled the ball across to help to his teammate Kadarius Toney for what was thought to be a go ahead touchdown, but got called back due to an offside penalty. The Chiefs lost 20-17 and fell to 8-5 on the season. 

The Chiefs ended the regular season 2-1 with a loss on Christmas Day against the Raiders and closing it out with two wins against the Bengals and Chargers. Their final record added up to 11-6 and were awarded the No. 3 seed in the NFL Playoffs, an unfamiliar position for them as they’ve been the 1-seed in the Playoffs two of the past three seasons. 

Home field advantage came into effect in the Chiefs’ first playoff game against the Dolphins as the kickoff temperature was 4 below zero. The Chiefs froze the Dolphins, taking care of business 26-7 and advancing to the Divisional Round. 

Awaiting them once again were the Buffalo Bills, a playoff matchup that is summoned by the football gods almost every year. Mahomes and the offense had a great game moving the ball down the field for three touchdowns, two of them by number 87 in “red” with Taylor Swift in attendance. The Bills had an opportunity to tie the game late with a field goal, but it missed wide right. The Chiefs prevailed with a 27-24 victory, ripping the hearts out of the Buffalo faithful once again. 

The Chiefs were in the AFC championship game for the fifth straight year. This time they faced the Baltimore Ravens, a team that had been dominant all year with a dominant offense led by quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Chiefs defense stepped up big time on the road, holding them to only 10 points and winning the game 17-10. For the fourth time in five years, the Chiefs were heading back to the Super Bowl. 

The 49ers entered the 2023 season after a crushing defeat in the NFC championship game last year against the Eagles. The team had quite the discovery in finding their starting quarterback of the future. Purdy was taken 262 overall in the 2022 Draft and was deemed the NFL Draft’s annual “Mr. Irrelevant.” Ever since that selection, he’s been far from that. Purdy was thrust into the starting role in the middle of last year and has done nothing but lead his team to victory. We can’t forget about his supporting cast. Running back Christain McCaffery has put up a phenomenal season with 21 total touchdowns. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle are Purdy’s top weapons and have been very consistent over the years. 

Purdy and the 49ers rattled off five straight victories to start the season against the Steelers, Rams, Giants, Cardinals and Cowboys, scoring thirty-plus points in every game. 

The team entered a bit of a rut with losses to the Browns,Vikings and Bengals, but found a rhythm after their bye week, winning six straight against the Jaguars, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Eagles, Seahawks again and Cardinals. The team was 11-3 entering a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Night. They fell flat on their face losing 33-19 and getting dominated by their defense. 

However, the 49ers finished with a record of 12-5 which was good enough to earn the No.1 seed in the NFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 

Their first matchup was against the No. 7 seeded Green Bay Packers, the youngest team in the league that just snuck into the playoffs. The 49ers struggled to get going on offense for most of the game, only leading 7-6 at the half. After being up 14-6, the Packers took a 21-14 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Niners were able to hold its own, and Purdy and the offense engineered a comeback to survive an upset scare at home 24-21. 

The NFC Championship game date was set against the Detroit Lions, the surprise team of the NFL this year looking to shock the world. Once again the Niners found themselves in a hole, facing a 24-7 deficit. Purdy once again led a comeback, scoring 17 straight points in the third quarter to tie it. After a stop on defense, the Niners once again drove down the field and scored to take a 34-24 lead. The Lions scored another touchdown late, but it didn’t matter. The 49ers were heading to the Super Bowl. 

These two teams faced off not too long ago in the Super Bowl back in 2019. Mahomes won his first Super Bowl ring, as the 49ers came up just short. While the 49ers have players that have played in a Super Bowl, it’s a new stage for quarterback Brock Purdy. Mahomes and the Chiefs should be able to take care of business given their experience. They’ve been in control for most of the playoffs, while the 49ers had to come from behind victories. Not to mention, the Chiefs defense has been playing lights out as of late. We should be in for a good game, but expect Mahomes to raise his third Lombardi trophy come Super Bowl Sunday. 

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MICHAEL SPAHN, Sports Writer

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