Ranking the Possible Super Bowl Matchups
The NFL’s upcoming conference championships – Tennessee at Kansas City and Green Bay at San Francisco – are loaded with intrigue and exhilarating players. In a departure from recent years, both games feature heavy favorites and bookmakers are already thinking ahead to who might be crowned Super Bowl champion.
The Chiefs (+125) have the edge over the 49ers (+165) in the latest Super Bowl odds according to mytopsportsbooks.com, with the Packers (+700) and Titans (+800) still getting long odds. Both KC and SF are roughly touchdown favorites to win their respective conference championships, which indicates that the Chiefs will be slight favorites in a potential Super Bowl matchup with the Niners if the chalk holds this weekend.
While the 49ers and Chiefs are favorites to toil for the Lombardi Trophy, if we’ve learned anything these playoffs it’s that nothing matters until the games are played. With that sentiment in mind, let’s take a stroll through the possible Super Bowl matchups and consider the intrigue of each from a general viewer perspective, starting with the least compelling.
Titans vs. 49ers
This would be a gem for football purists. The unstoppable Derrick Henry whose stats since Week 10 are off the charts against a suddenly healthy 49ers defense that stuffed Dalvin Cook in the divisional round and would presumably contain Aaron Jones on championship weekend. Plus, the 49ers have a hefty international fanbase and are a shining example of a how an NFL team can quickly go from rags to riches with the right head coach and general manager in place.
But as great as Ryan Tannehill’s comeback and Nick Bosa’s rookie season have been, this matchup inherently lacks major star power. (Though it’s certainly set up for several players to become household names to a more fringe viewing audience).
Titans vs. Packers
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this Super Bowl matchup would be the coaches. Both teams have more inherent deficiencies than the other two teams left in the playoffs. (Green Bay’s receiving corps beyond Davante Adams and the Titans secondary minus that dazzling performance against Baltimore). Yet young energetic coaches in Mike Munchak and Matt LaFleur would have led these teams to the promised land very quickly.
Of course on the field you have Aaron Rodgers trying to reclaim his spot atop NFL quarterback royalty but also having the defensive firepower to not have to be the savior anymore. And then there’s Ryan Tannehill, returning to Miami where he was kicked to the curb and never properly coached. If this Super Bowl matchup comes to fruition, hopefully FOX would consider a megacast where fans could watch the game through the eyes of Adam Gase.
Chiefs vs. Packers
This matchup clearly offers the biggest sell where it counts – under center. Mahomes vs. Rodgers brings back memories of Manning vs. Brady and Rodgers vs. Brady and all the quarterback battles. Expect the quarterbacks aren’t actually on the field at the same time. Beyond the star quarterbacks, both of these teams present strong, improved defenses. The Chiefs have been hot for most of the second half, particularly in the secondary and Packers’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will presumably have schemed the game of his life to contain Shanahan’s playcalling wizardry.
Chiefs vs. 49ers
Despite the 49ers lacking a ton of household names, the idea of San Francisco’s dominant defense against Mahomes and the layered firepower of the Chiefs offense is inherently super compelling. This game would not only feel like the best of the best in terms of talent on the field but would likely be the closest spread. Add in Reid and Shanahan’s dueling playbooks and the fact that both are products of Bill Walsh’s coaching trees and the storylines are never-ending.