The stage is set for Super Bowl LVIII.
A season full of twists and turns ends with the American Football Conference’s No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs (11-6) facing off against the National Football Conference’s No. 1 San Francisco 49ers (13-4).
After a disappointing regular season, Kansas City returned to their regularly scheduled program en route to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five years. It was Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ first road playoff games, but they weren’t enough to phase him and Kansas City’s vaunted defensive unit.
Meanwhile, seventh-round draft pick quarterback Brock Purdy and star running back Christian McCaffrey will lead the 49ers to their second appearance in the big game since 2020, in an effort to redeem themselves from their loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.
Here’s what Howard University students are saying about the Super Bowl:
Ke’Mari Rattliff, senior accounting major from Chicago, IL: “I got 24-21 Chiefs. Breakout players would have to be the Chiefs’ defensive backs, I think they get at least one pick. Either [Isiah] Pacheco or [Patrick] Mahomes for Most Valuable Player (MVP). It’s gonna be a lotta zone blitz if the 49ers are going to win; They have to be very disciplined and not give the ball up.”
Avery Baron, senior management major from Atlanta, GA (by way of Trinidad): “I got Kansas City 38, San Francisco 28. Kansas City has the more experienced team and better quarterback. I don’t think it’ll come down to Brock Purdy needing to win the game, but if it does, Kansas City will break him. I got Mahomes for MVP.”
Gregory Coleman, senior journalism major from Indianapolis, IN: “I think the Niners will win 24-21. Look for Christian McCaffrey to have a good day on the ground and be relied on heavily. [Brock] Purdy is gonna have to emulate what he did against Detroit [in the NFC Championship], since the Chiefs’ pass rush is lethal, and the Niners’ pass rush has to get to Mahomes. If they take out Kelce, the Niners have a shot at this.”
Karson Kennedy, senior economics major from Pittsburgh, PA: “My prediction is Chiefs 30, 49ers 24. I think Mahomes will go down as the greatest football player ever.”
Cade London, senior finance major from New Orleans, LA: “I got Chiefs 24-17. I feel like the teams are a lot more evenly matched than people think. If you just look at names, the 49ers have the better roster hands down. But it’s all about matchups. I feel like the Chiefs are better equipped to shut down the 49ers run game in terms of Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers are also good at stopping the run, but the problem is that forces the game into who has the better quarterback. If both teams shut down the run, the 49ers have plenty of playmakers for sure, but Brock Purdy is gonna have to be the one to do something. I feel like he can, but I’ll put my money more on Mahomes to do something than Purdy.”
The Chiefs have the chance to truly cement themselves as a dynasty and possibly the team of the decade with a third Super Bowl victory under Mahomes. If it weren’t for a few mistakes in the 2019 and 2022 AFC Championship games, Kansas City would have six consecutive appearances in the big game. They are the new-aged New England Patriots, a team no one can count out no matter how they may look during the regular season.
Meanwhile, San Francisco can tie the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers as the most decorated franchise in terms of championships. Hanging their sixth banner in Levi’s Stadium can reciprocate the team’s shortcomings the last few postseasons.
Only time will tell which predictions reign true or not. The reigning Super Bowl champions Chiefs will try to defend their title against the 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. EST.