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5 storylines to follow in this year’s Super Bowl

The 2024 Super Bowl will match up the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas

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Allegiant Stadium during NFL football Super Bowl 58 opening night Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 in Las Vegas. The San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday.

Allegiant Stadium during NFL football Super Bowl 58 opening night Monday, Feb. 5, 2024 in Las Vegas. The San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday.

Adam Hunger, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — The top seeds from both the NFC and AFC will face each other in this year’s Super Bowl when the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs play for the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. MST at Allegiant Stadium.

Here are just a few of the storylines for what is expected to be a competitive matchup.

‘Mr. Irrelevant’ vs. MVP Mahomes

For good reason, the quarterback matchup often takes center stage in the Super Bowl, and this year is no different.

On one side, you have Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will be playing in his fourth Super Bowl and has been named Super Bowl MVP in his two wins.

On the other side is second-year San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 NFL draft, or “Mr. Irrelevant” as the last selection has famously been dubbed.

This will be the second straight year two Big 12 quarterbacks face each other in the Super Bowl.

Last year, Mahomes, who played at Texas Tech, took on the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, who played at Oklahoma.

Purdy played collegiately at Iowa State.

Will Fred Warner and the 49ers defense get their revenge?

Former BYU linebacker Fred Warner was on the losing end when the 49ers lost to the Chiefs four years ago in the 2020 Super Bowl.

San Francisco held a 20-10 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Kansas City scored 21 unanswered points to take the victory.

Since then, the 49ers have played in the NFC Championship twice and lost before finally breaking through again and reaching the Super Bowl.

“You’ve got to play a full four-quarter football game all the way until the very end. The team that plays the best for those three hours is the team that will be Super Bowl champion,” Warner said.

Can Andy Reid join an elite group as a dynasty grows in the desert?

This is the fourth time in the past five years that the Chiefs are in the Super Bowl.

During that time frame, they are 2-1 under head coach Andy Reid.

If Kansas City is victorious again, Reid would become just the fifth head coach all-time to win three or more Super Bowl titles.

The Chiefs are also trying to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots did it in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Reid isn’t focused on the history, just getting his team ready for the biggest stage.

“You take a humble approach to the game, period, because any given Sunday could be a good thing or a bad thing,” Reid said.

“You’ve got to maximize yourself and respect your opponent, then maximize the effort you put in to play the game with game plans, knowing it like the back of your hand. That’s how we go about it. It keeps you somewhat level.” 

A first of many Super Bowls for Las Vegas?

This will be the first Super Bowl ever in Las Vegas, with Allegiant Stadium, the second-newest stadium in the NFL, playing host.

Get used to Super Bowls being held in the West.

While the 2025 Super Bowl will be held at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, it will take place in at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, in 2026, then SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, in 2027.

The last two Super Bowls were also in the West, at SoFi Stadium in 2022 and State Farm Stadium in the Phoenix metropolitan area in 2023.

Other Utah ties in the Super Bowl

In addition to the former BYU star Warner, former Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky will be playing for San Francisco on Sunday.

Two other players — both tight ends — won’t be playing in the game but are on Super Bowl rosters.

Former BYU tight end Matt Bushman is on the Chiefs’ practice squad, while former Olympus High star Cameron Latu is on injured reserve with the 49ers.

There are two assistant coaches on Reid’s staff who are Utah natives as well. Kansas City assistant running backs coach Porter Ellett graduated from BYU, while defensive quality control coach Alex Whittingham prepped at Brighton High and played at the University of Utah under his father, Utes coach Kyle Whittingham.