LAS VEGAS — Let’s get this out of the way: Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Kyle Shanahan and Brock Purdy are the four most important people in determining the Super Bowl LVIII winner. There’s a reason we spend most of our time talking about coaches and quarterbacks.
That doesn’t mean they’re the only four that matter.
When the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers meet in Sunday’s Super Bowl, we’ll see some other stars take center stage, and other players we never expected will find the spotlight too. Last season, Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton, a fairly unknown second-year player, had a key role in his team’s win by leading all players with nine tackles and returning a fumble for a touchdown.
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Who will be this year’s key figures in determining a champion? Here are the 10 most important players and coaches, excluding the quarterbacks and head coaches from the list (rest assured, they’d have held the top four spots):
This is not a typically great Chiefs passing offense. Patrick Mahomes was sixth in the NFL in passing yards but 19 quarterbacks (minimum 200 attempts) ranked ahead of Mahomes’ seven yards per attempt. Mahomes and the Chiefs are still good at passing the ball, but Pacheco has been a big part of the offense by necessity. He has averaged 21 carries per game in the playoffs. Derrick Henry led the NFL with 280 carries, and that was just 16.5 per game for him. Pacheco has become a workhorse and the Chiefs need him to keep the 49ers defense honest.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle will be a key figure in this year’s Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
9. 49ers TE George Kittle
The Chiefs have good cornerbacks (we’ll get to them), which could be a factor against 49ers star receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. But the Chiefs don’t allow much to tight ends either. Other than a Week 18 game in which the Chiefs rested starters against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chiefs didn’t…
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Author : Yahoo Sports
Publish date : 2024-02-06 13:00:46
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