Sin City showdown: 49ers, Chiefs quarterbacks and coaches looking to make history Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl stage is set at Allegiant Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs chase football immortality in Las Vegas. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – Since 2021, the city of Las Vegas has been no stranger to championships. The Las Vegas Aces are back-to-back WNBA champions and the Vegas Golden Knights are the reigning Stanley Cup champion.

Sin City will crown another champion Sunday night as the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs duel in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.

The Big Game is a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl, when the Chiefs beat San Francisco, 31-20, for Kansas City’s second Lombardi trophy in franchise history.

Entering Sunday’s game in Vegas, the two teams are both seeking NFL history with a win.

Brock Purdy, 49ers quarterback and Queen Creek native, is looking to become the first quarterback selected with the final pick of the draft to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy carries the hopes of his hometown of Queen Creek as he aims to make football history in the 2024 Super Bowl. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

Purdy already has made plenty of history as “Mr. Irrelevant.” On his way to being an NFL MVP candidate this season, Purdy set the 49ers franchise record for passing yards in a season (4,280), surpassing NFL legends Joe Montana (3944) and Steve Young (4170).

Purdy, at 24 years old, has also become the first “Mr. Irrelevant” to participate in a Super Bowl. Against all odds, he is having one of the best seasons in 49ers’ history, but his focus going into his first appearance on the big stage is not on his accolades.

“I want to do what it takes to help my team win and so I think winning at the end of the day in the NFL is probably the biggest and most important thing,” Purdy said.

The 49ers quarterback isn’t the only member of the team looking to make history. Kyle Shanahan, son of NFL coaching legend Mike Shanahan, is looking to become part of the first father-son coaching duo to win a Super Bowl.

Known as an offensive mastermind, Mike led John Elway, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe and the Denver Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1997-98 during his 20-year career.

Growing up around the Broncos, Kyle learned a lot from his dad and has developed the same offensive mastermind reputation that his father built three decades ago.

“My dad went to the NFL when I was four years old, so just being around it almost my whole life. You don’t realize how much it helps you until you get in it,” Kyle said. “You just realize that a lot of the stuff you’ve been around and it makes (coaching) a little easier.”

In 2020, Kyle had the opportunity to join his dad as a Super Bowl champion as the coach of the 49ers before the Chiefs spoiled his first shot at history.

Now back in the Big Game, Kyle aims to avoid the feelings he had after a devastating loss.

“I think any time you get that close and you lose the last game, that’s definitely the hardest,” Kyle said. “But all football games are hard to lose each week. You put so much into them.

“I remember I always saw my dad as a coordinator after those three Super Bowls when he was in Denver and how hard it was on him (when the Broncos lost).”

On the other sideline, the Chiefs hope to add another chapter to the dynasty they have built over the past five years. With Andy Reid calling plays and Patrick Mahomes under center, the Chiefs have become one of the hardest teams to beat in the postseason.

Since Mahomes became the starting quarterback in 2018, the Chiefs have a 14-3 playoff record. In those games, Mahomes has thrown for 4,802 yards, 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is poised to lead his team against the San Francisco 49ers in a high-stakes showdown at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

With a victory Sunday over the 49ers, Mahomes will become the third quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in five years. Terry Bradshaw did it in the 1970s with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Troy Aikman won three Lombardis in the 1990s with the Dallas Cowboys. Most recently, Tom Brady did it twice from 2002-2005 and 2015-2019.

Even as the Chiefs continue to keep winning, Mahomes can see the dynasty continuing.

“I think the biggest thing about the dynasty is consistency, trying to be consistently great every single year, not getting too big-headed or satisfied with where we were at, but you could continue to do it year in and year out,” Mahomes said.

“I don’t think you can really say that you’re a dynasty until it’s over and people will look back at your career and how you did it.”

Similar to Mahomes, Reid can make history by winning three Super Bowls in five years. Reid would become the second NFL coach in history to complete that feat, joining former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

A win would be Reid’s third Lombardi and move him into third all-time for most head-coaching Super Bowl wins behind Belichick (6) and Chuck Noll (4).

Despite all the history on the line for Reid, the 65-year-old is only focused on the 49ers this week.

“We’re trying to teach about the 49ers and when you take yourself out of it, this is a team sport, so you focus right in on that group,” Reid said.

With all the winning that has occurred in Las Vegas over the past two years, the city should be ready for one of these teams to etch their names in the history books Super Bowl Sunday.

Lucas Gordon LOO-kiss GORE-din
Sports Reporter, Phoenix

Lucas Gordon expects to graduate in May 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism and a minor in business and digital audiences. Gordon has interned at The Arizona Republic.