By Bryan DeArdo
For a second time, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will face off in the Super Bowl. If their first Super Bowl showdown is any indication of what will happen in two weeks, NFL fans are in for a treat.
Four years ago, the 49ers held a 20-10 lead over the Chiefs late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. But things changed in a hurry after Patrick Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill for 44 yards on a third-and-15 play.
The big completion set up the first of consecutive touchdown passes by Mahomes in as many possession. Mahomes’ second touchdown throw, a short completion to running Damien Williams, gave the Chiefs a 24-20 lead with 2:50 left.
The 49ers quickly drove into Chiefs territory on their next drive. For a second, it looked like the 49ers were about to retake the lead when Jimmy Garoppolo fired a deep pass downfield to Emmanuel Sanders on third down. The pass just evaded Sanders’ grasp, though, and the 49ers decided to punt with the hope of getting the ball back one last time.
San Francisco never did, as a 38-yard touchdown run by Williams put the exclamation point on the Chiefs’ 31-20 win.
So, will the rematch be just as good, or even better? History suggests that it might. Of the previous Super Bowl rematches, several of the sequels were even better than the originals.
Three years after a highly entertaining Super Bowl, the Steelers and Cowboys put on a show in Super Bowl XIII. The Steelers prevailed, 35-31, in what was at the time the highest-scoring Super Bowl ever.
A decade later, Joe Montana engineered the 49ers’ 92-yard, game-winning drive as San Francisco won its Super Bowl rematch over the Bengals.
The second Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl was a classic, too. That game will be mostly remembered for Nick Foles MVP performance in leading the Eagles to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win. A smaller footnote from that game was Tom Brady setting the Super Bowl single game passing record in a losing cause.
While these were team rematches, the only rematch in Super Bowl history that occurred one year after the first remains Super Bowl XXVIII. The Cowboys, a year after dismantling the Bills in the big game, did so again on the strength of game MVP Emmitt Smith.
Super Bowl rematches
- Steelers-Cowboys: Super Bowls X, XIII, XXX
- Bengals-49ers: Super Bowls XVI, XXIII
- Bills-Cowboys: Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII
- Chiefs-49ers: Super Bowls LIV, LVIII
- Giants-Patriots: Super Bowls XLII, XLVI
- Eagles-Patriots: Super Bowls XXXIX, LII
- Rams-Patriots: Super Bowls XXXVI, LIII
- Dolphins-Washington: Super Bowls VII, XVII
It’ll be interesting to see where Super Bowl LVIII ranks among these rematches. Based on the talent that exists on both teams, this game should be just as good — if not better — than Super Bowl LIV.
Specifically, the offensive talent that is in this game could make it a classic. Among the notable offensive players suiting up for Super Bowl LVIII include Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Isiah Pacheco, Christian McCaffrey, Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk.
Defensively, this will be a matchup between the NFL’s second and third-ranked scoring defenses from the regular season. From a coaching standpoint, you’ve got two offensive gurus in Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan.
Add of of those things up, and no one should be surprised if this goes down as one of the greatest Super Bowls in history.