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Ravens Insider: Staff picks for Chiefs vs. 49ers: Who will win Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas?


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Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Super Bowl 58 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas:

Brian Wacker, reporter

Chiefs 23, 49ers 20: Kansas City has won five of its past six against San Francisco and quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been tidy throughout the playoffs with three touchdowns, no turnovers and a completion rate of 75.8% against the Buffalo Bills and Ravens, two defenses that ranked in the top seven against the pass this season. The 49ers aren’t as strong against the pass, though both teams feature stellar defenses, which should keep this game perhaps lower scoring than even this prediction. Mahomes, coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo know how to win these games.

Mike Preston, columnist

Chiefs 28, 49ers 24: Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes remind me of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. It’s always hard beating those combinations. This will be a different Kansas City team than the one that beat the Ravens in the AFC championship game. In that contest, Mahomes struck early and often and the Chiefs forced the Ravens to beat them with the passing game, which they couldn’t do because Kansas City’s defense was deep in the head of quarterback Lamar Jackson. Mahomes was a game manager in the second half that day, but the Chiefs will be in more of an attack mode against San Francisco.

Unlike the Ravens, look for the 49ers to pound the ball with Christian McCaffrey, one of the best running backs in the NFL. They will stay with the running game, which will keep Mahomes off the field, but in the end he will make several big plays that will prove to be the difference in the game.

I still can remember the blank look on San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy’s face when the Ravens pounded the 49ers into submission, 33-19, on Christmas night. That could happen again in the Super Bowl because the Chiefs have a great pass rush and they can get after the quarterback if they get a substantial lead.

Childs Walker, reporter

49ers 27, Chiefs 23: It’s tough to pick against the Chiefs because they have the more trustworthy quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, the more trustworthy defense and deeper postseason bona fides. But logic says Kansas City can’t keep beating teams that were clearly superior in the regular season. The 49ers will do what the Ravens could not and play to their offensive identity, with Brock Purdy distributing the ball to the league’s best set of playmakers in Kyle Shanahan’s well-defined system.

C.J. Doon, editor

Chiefs 23, 49ers 20: The Chiefs have the better quarterback and the better defense, but the 49ers have a potent ground attack led by Christian McCaffrey that can take advantage of Kansas City’s weak spots and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. The question is, will 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan stick with the running game, especially if Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce come out as hot as they did against the Ravens? Whoever takes the early lead will have a big advantage in dictating the pace of the game and making the opponent uncomfortable, and I’m more confident in the experienced Chiefs dealing with the pressure in what will be their fourth Super Bowl appearance in five years. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t see Brock Purdy lifting the Lombardi Trophy just yet.

Tim Schwartz, editor

Chiefs 30, 49ers 24: Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes. San Francisco does not. That, to me, decides it. The 49ers are favored and have essentially been Super Bowl favorites from the start of the season but do you really trust Brock Purdy with the game on the line? He’s shown he can win big games, but not by himself. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan will lean heavily on Christian McCaffrey and the running game to limit the Chiefs’ time of possession, but we’ve seen how good Kansas City’s defense is — and how good Mahomes is when it matters. Give me Travis Kelce, Andy Reid and Mahomes in a big game.

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