American football: The Kansas City Chiefs will defend their Super Bowl title against the San Francisco 49ers

The poster is superb

American football: The Kansas City Chiefs will defend their Super Bowl title against the San Francisco 49ers

The poster is superb. As in 2020, the next Super Bowl – the final of the NFL American football championship – will pit the reigning champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, against the legendary San Francisco 49ers franchise, after a magnificent conference final played on Sunday. January 28.

The Chiefs of star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, winners last year against the Philadelphia Eagles, dominated the Ravens (17-10) in Baltimore (Maryland) in the AFC conference final, at the end of a match perfectly controlled on defense .

“It's been an eventful year, we were considered underdogs for the last few games but for our part we never feel like outsiders,” reacted Mahomes, 28, who managed a 30 out of 39 pass, distributed a touchdown and gained 241 yards, without being intercepted during the entire game. “We have a lot of guys on this team that know how to win in the playoffs. I knew we were going to do it, and here we are at the Super Bowl”, for the fourth time in five years, for two successes in 2020 − against the 49ers − and 2023.

Receiver Travis Kelce – one passing touchdown, eleven receptions out of eleven, including a spectacular and decisive one at the end of the game – also largely contributed to the Chiefs' victory. The imposing “tight end” was hugged for a long time on the pitch by his girlfriend, pop star Taylor Swift, after the match. And as in the United States, sport and entertainment are closely linked, NFL reporter Ian Rapoport announced that the singer would be present in Las Vegas, despite the four concerts planned in Tokyo on February 7, 8, 9 and 10 for his very popular and lucrative Eras tour.

On offense, runner Isiah Pacheco also got the job done with a touchdown scored and 68 yards gained on 24 carries. And then to complete this success, the Chiefs managed, thanks to an intractable defense, to muzzle the Baltimore quarterback, Lamar Jackson, expected to be named best player of the regular season, whom his team had dominated by winning thirteen games out of seventeen .

San Francisco miraculously

Facing the Chiefs, a miraculous San Francisco 49ers team will present themselves. The legendary Californian franchise, winner of five Super Bowls, won at home against the Detroit Lions at the end of a completely crazy NFC conference final.

Trailing by 17 points at the break (24-7) after a listless first period, the “Niners” caught up within eight minutes of the third quarter. “We played as bad a first half as possible, but we were only down 17 points and there was still room for more points,” California coach Kyle Shanahan said. Our defensive team was able to put them out of harm's way in the second half, and the guy next to me made it happen. »

The “guy next door” is none other than Brock Purdy, the young 49ers quarterback who, at age 24, is only playing his second professional season. The Lions may regret having wasted two attempts near the end zone which could have kept them safe, but they also bowed under the perseverance of Purdy who reversed the trend by forcing his nature. Accustomed to distributing the game, the Californian number 13 did not hesitate to try his luck on the run, at key moments of the match, to advance his attack. He finished the game with 48 yards gained in five carries, as well as a passing touchdown for 267 yards gleaned thanks to 20 of 31 completed passes.

Le bulldozer McCaffrey

After being asked about his ability to come back, Brock Purdy responded in the best possible way by offering the 49ers two consecutive “comebacks”. Last week, he had already been behind a victorious comeback in the last quarter to beat the Green Bay Packers to the wire. On Sunday, his audacity also allowed San Francisco to take the lead in the last quarter to finally win 34-31.

The Lions, who hoped to escape from the cursed club of franchises to have never played in the Super Bowl, will also regret not having succeeded in controlling running back Christian McCaffrey, a real bulldozer on legs, who scored two touchdowns in the race and cleared 90 yards in 20 attempts.

Last titled in 1994, San Francisco will try to win a sixth ring to join the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at the top of the NFL. But the Super Bowl on February 11, which will be followed live on our site, promises to be extremely competitive. And attractive.