Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Super Bowl 58: A Rematch Between The Chiefs and 49ers in Vegas

Annabelle DeGuzman-Carino

This year’s Super Bowl matchup is finally set, with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers heading to Las Vegas.

This will be Kansas City’s fourth Super Bowl appearance in five years. They won in 2019 and 2022, including a victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl 54. By reaching the big game, the 49ers are now tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the most Super Bowl appearances by a National Football Conference (NFC) team (eight). The matchup has drawn mixed feelings among Seattle University students, with some rooting for other teams and others excited for theirs to play in the championship. 

So how did we get to this point? This year’s playoffs started with an entertaining wild-card round that featured frigid temperature wins from the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills and disappointing exits from the Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. The round also saw success from first-year starting quarterbacks Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers and C.J. Stroud of the Houston Texans, who both defeated top-ranked defenses to bring their teams into the second round.

Arguably the best win from the wild-card round came from a team that hadn’t won a playoff game in over 30 years: the Detroit Lions, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams 24-23. One week after their wild-card victory, the team won their second playoff game of the year by holding off Tampa Bay to punch a ticket to the NFC championship game. 

The last time the Lions won two playoff games in a season? 1957.

The Lion’s success this season has been special for Thomas Mann, a political science professor at Seattle U and a Michigan native.

“Previously there was nothing on the line. If [the Lions] win 10 games in a season, that’s amazing, maybe we’ll get to the playoffs, but with [no] expectations,” Mann said. “You [have] these low expectations, and yet when they actually do it, it’s like a miracle.”

The divisional round saw four teams punch their tickets to the conference championship games: the 49ers, Lions, Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens. The NFC championship game was set with San Francisco beating Green Bay 24-21 in a comeback victory and Detroit defeating Tampa Bay 31-23. The AFC championship game was set when Kansas City defeated Buffalo 27-24 and Baltimore crushed Houston 34-10.

It was in the NFC championship game that Detroit’s magical run came to an end. After the Lions jumped to a 24-7 halftime lead, the 49ers scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and rallied back to a 34-31 win. San Francisco’s victory gives them an opportunity to win their first Super Bowl in nearly 30 years.

The 49ers’ comeback win was especially significant for one player: quarterback Brock Purdy. Throughout the season, Purdy had been called a “system quarterback” by many fans and some analysts. This refers to quarterbacks who aren’t particularly talented passers but because they play for a good team, they benefit from a good “system.” Following back-to-back comeback wins in the playoffs, Purdy is seemingly silencing his critics. Second-year Economics Major Mateo Poon is a 49ers fan and a Purdy believer.

“He’s a dual threat. [He] runs, passes, [a] sneaky athletic type, high IQ guy… that’s Brock Purdy,” Poon said.

For Seattle Seahawks fans, like Second-year Mechanical Engineering Major E.J. Edora, it was hard to see the 49ers defeat the Lions.

“I’m very tired of the 49ers but that’s because I’m a Seahawks fan and we’re rivals,” Edora said. “[Additionally,] I enjoyed [the Lions] success and love an underdog story. It’s cool to see a team that’s been bad for so long finally find some success.” 

In the AFC championship game, Kansas City’s defense clamped down on the Ravens’ offense with a 17-10 win on the road. The game marked the sixth season in a row that the Chiefs played for the AFC title. Additionally, the victory gives Kansas City a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions. If the team wins the big game, it would be the first time since 2005 that a franchise won back-to-back championships. While Kansas City has enjoyed playoff success for years, the same cannot be said for Baltimore. In former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson’s tenure with the team, they have only won two playoff games while losing four. 

“I was disappointed with the Ravens because I thought they could do better, but I like [Kansas City quarterback] Patrick Mahomes and want him to pass Tom Brady as the [greatest of all-time], so I’m ok with him going to another Super Bowl,” Edora said.

With the 2024 NFL playoffs wrapping up, Super Bowl 58 is just around the corner. Who will win this Super Bowl rematch? We will know the new champion on Feb. 11.

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