Feb. 5—One week from when I started to write this column, I will either be celebrating a sixth Super Bowl win by the San Francisco 49ers or be incredibly sad they came up short once again.
The 49ers need this Super Bowl more than the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kyle Shanahan needs it to show he is capable of winning the big one. He's had a successful coaching career and been so close to hoisting the Lombardi trophy in multiple spots. But can't quite do enough in the big game to win.
In fact, he's blown leads in the two Super Bowls he's coached in.
It's easy to compare Shanahan to Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid. Reid, now the head coach of the Chiefs, couldn't get over the hump in Philadelphia either. He had to go to Kansas City and be fortunate enough to have one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game on his roster.
Shanahan needs this one badly.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Brock Purdy needs this one, too. Not because he won't be back or can't get back there. But the only thing that might change the narrative of who he is may be winning the Super Bowl.
The 49ers have been close. They lost to these same Chiefs in 2019. That year, San Francisco dominated its two previous playoff games.
This time around, the 49ers have needed second-half comebacks to get to the big game.
They rallied from a small deficit to defeat Green Bay a few weeks ago. The most recent come-from-behind win came against Detroit last weekend. Down 24-7 at halftime, the 49ers rallied with a big third quarter to win by three.
The 49ers led the Chiefs by 10 with 7 minutes to go in their officials missed a hold against Nick Bosa on maybe the biggest play of the game late in the fourth quarter.
No, I am still not over it. And neither is Bosa or 49ers owner Jed York, who both mentioned that in interviews recently when asked what they remember about that game.
If San Francisco wins, and it is a slight favorite somehow, the monkey is lifted off the shoulders of Shanahan. And Purdy might finally get the respect he deserves.
I've seen some Hawkeye fans on social media say they can't root for the 49ers to win because they wouldn't be able to handle Cyclone fans if Purdy wins the Super Bowl.
I'm sure some Cyclone fans feel the same way about George Kittle, a former Hawkeye.
I do think a majority of fans who have no rooting interest will cheer for the 49ers.
The Chiefs fatigued is real. I think most fans are ready to see someone else celebrate a championship.
I don't ask for much in this world. I would love it greatly if asking for a 49ers win could come to fruition.
San Francisco has the better roster. There's no doubt about that. You could argue Reid is the better coach and I wouldn't have much to say about that.
But the Chiefs have the great equalizer in Patrick Mahomes. He just doesn't lose very often in these big games.
If Purdy can play close to Mahomes and make enough plays, I think Christian McCaffrey can carry the offense to a win.
As long as the 49ers defense decides to play like the top-five unit they have been all regular season long.
Bang bang. Niner gang.
Contact Troy Hyde at firstname.lastname@example.org