Comparing Chiefs vs 49ers rosters in Super Bowl LIV and Super Bowl LVIII

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers have gone through a host of changes since they met in Super Bowl LIV in early 2020.

Chiefs fans can argue that the current dynasty began in the 2018 season with the team making the AFC Championship in quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ MVP first year as a starter. But the 2019 season officially got the train rolling with a Super Bowl win over San Francisco.

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It’s also the year the Niners put everything together with second-year head coach Kyle Shanahan after a 4-12 record in 2018 when QB Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL against the Chiefs in Week 3.

Three years later, both teams have the same pillars throughout their organizations that have brought them back to play for football’s greatest prize.


The staffs are slightly different, but the head coaches are still the same.

Shanahan is still HC,but the 2019 Niners staff had several assistants that turned into HCs like Miami Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel (then-run game coordinator), New York Jets HC Robert Saleh (then-defensive coordinator) Houston Texans HC DeMeco Ryans (then-inside LBs coach). Shanahan was also the offensive coordinator.

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The 2023 Niners have former HCs on staff like defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and assistant HC/running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

Chiefs HC Andy Reid seldom changes staffing unless coaches depart for different jobs, so the 2019 and 2023 Chiefs staffs are pretty similar.

But the 2019 offseason saw Reid fire DC Bob Sutton and cornerbacks coach Al Harris to make way for current DC Steve Spagnuolo and his current regime to lead KC’s elite defense.

That staff also had Eric Bieniemy as OC and Mike Kafka as QB coach as the few coaches that are not on the 2023 Chiefs.

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Matt Nagy and David Girardi replaced them. Nagy was a former Kansas City OC and Girardi has been an assistant in the franchise for six seasons now.


The core of the Niners offense is slightly unchanged.

All-Pro tight end George Kittle and All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel are still the focal points of the offense, but QB Brock Purdy and All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey have elevated Shanahan’s offense to new heights. All-Pro fullback Kyle Juszczyk was also a part of the 2019 team.

Chiefs WR Richie James was the Niners’ returner that season while former Chiefs WR Chris Conley and Park Hill alum Ronnie Bell will be staring at their familiar foes next Sunday.

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Up front, the offensive line is completely made over. Joe Staley was San Francisco’s stalwart left tackle in 2019 before they traded for Trent Williams, who they use significantly in their run game.

For the Chiefs, Mahomes, TEs Travis Kelce and Blake Bell, WR Mecole Hardman and OL Austin Reiter and Nick Allegretti are the only offensive players still on the team from 2019.

Obviously, Tyreek Hill is no longer on the roster and rookie Rashee Rice leads the cast of wideouts that make up the offensive production now.


It can’t be stated enough how fast NFL rosters can change in the blink of an eye than reviewing these rosters that are just four years apart.

Defensive tackles Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi and Mike Pennel are the only defenders to remain on the roster. Jones and Nnadi have spent their entire careers in Kansas City while Pennel has been a journeyman and recently rejoined the team in October.

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Names like DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Frank Clark, linebacker Anthony Hitchens and safeties Tyrannn Mathieu and Daniel Sorenson are in the past.

This defense is easily the best that the Chiefs have seen in years with All-Pro Jones, All-Pro CB Trent McDuffie, CB L’Jarius Sneed. Other pieces all over the defense make it whole like defensive end George Karlaftis and LBs Nick Bolton, Willie Gay and Drue Tranquill.

DE Charles Omenihu and safety Justin Reid are the only players who are on extended contracts and not rookie deals or one-year deals. Omenihu played for the Niners after their SB run.

For San Francisco, they still have a potential future Hall of Fame core with DE Nick Bosa and LB Fred Warner, along with LB Dre Greenlaw and DT Arik Armstead who were all in Miami in 2019.

This year’s defense has a few better pieces, like two-time Pro Bowler Javon Hargrave who will start in his second-consecutive Super Bowl since he fell short with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

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The 2019 Niners had long-time safety Jimmie Ward while this year’s Niners have former Chiefs corner Charvarius Ward who leads the team with five interceptions.

Special teams

The Chiefs still have two out of three of their special teams trio in kicker, punter and long snapper.

Kicker Harrison Butker and long-snapper James Winchester remain, while long-time Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt has retired since Super Bowl LIV. Punter Tommy Townsend replaced him the next season.

San Francisco has the same punter in Mitch Wishnowsky, but it has kicker Jake Moody instead of now-retired Robbie Gould and LS Taybor Pepper instead of Kyle Nelson.

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The overhaul of these rosters and coaching staffs was necessary — and sometimes required.

It got both teams back to the Super Bowl where it should be a compelling matchup between the NFL’s newest dynasty and a young HC still looking for his first SB win.

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