As the nation gears up for the biggest event on the sporting calendar, the anticipation surrounding Super Bowl LVIII reaches a fever pitch.
The stage is set for an epic face-off as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers prepare for a riveting rematch of Super Bowl LIV.
The hallowed turf is prime, the fans are ready, and the question on everyone’s mind is, who will seize the glory and emerge as this year’s Super Bowl champion and MVP?
Historically, the title of MVP has almost exclusively been reserved for the victor’s brightest star—after all, what’s more triumphant than spearheading your team to NFL glory?
Eager fans and spirited debates abound as kickoff on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET draws closer, promising a spectacle broadcast live on CBS, where new legends are waiting to be born.
It should come as little surprise that Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes is at the forefront of the MVP discussion for this year’s Super Bowl. A twice-crowned MVP, Mahomes has been the cornerstone of the Chiefs’ success, continuously proving himself as a quarterback with a rare blend of talent and tenacity. Throughout a season mired with challenges, including significant injuries within the squad, Mahomes’ resilience shone through, propelling Kansas City’s offense to new heights when it mattered most in the playoffs. His dynamic playmaking ability has been pivotal, especially in the absence of a standout rushing leader, with Isiah Pacheco performing capably yet not at a superstar level.
With the Chiefs’ air assault heavily dependent on Mahomes’ synergy with an exceptional, albeit aging, tight end, Travis Kelce, the quarterback’s role in scoring drives cannot be overstated. If Kansas City is to triumph over the formidable 49ers, it will likely be through the wizardry of Mahomes’ arm—making him the prime candidate for yet another MVP accolade.
It’s important to note that 12 of the last 17 Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks, and Mahomes was the MVP for both of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victories within the last four years. Thus, if the Chiefs do come out on top, there’s a good chance Mahomes is the reason behind it and will win the honor.
Despite the long odds to win Super Bowl 2024 MVP, Travis Kelce entertains a tenacious pursuit of his first Super Bowl MVP title, armed with a remarkable football intellect and hands as reliable as any in the league. His odds of +1700 reflect not only the stiff competition he faces in the hierarchy of MVP candidates but also the substantial challenge that lies in outshining his quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. A tight end achieving MVP status in the Super Bowl would be historic; throughout all 57 Super Bowls, no tight end has ever won the MVP.
Kelce’s potential path to glory is reminiscent of the extraordinary contributions made by Julian Edelman and Cooper Kupp, whose respectively pivotal plays and decisive scoring in crunch times elevated them above their peers. For Kelce to take home the coveted award, he would have to replicate that level of game-changing impact—hauling in critical catches and driving home scores that etch his name into Super Bowl lore. If he has games like he did against Buffalo and Baltimore, there’s a good chance he could hold up the MVP trophy.
The tale of Brock Purdy is nothing short of a Cinderella story. As the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft—dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant”—Purdy’s ascent from the brink of NFL obscurity to the precipice of Super Bowl glory is the stuff of fairytales. Stepping in for the 49ers amidst injuries to starting quarterbacks, Purdy has shown remarkable poise and capability, swiftly endearing himself to fans and commentators alike. In a league that loves an underdog, Purdy’s narrative is compelling; the thought of the last draft pick becoming MVP in the following Super Bowl is the kind of storyline that captivates audiences and encapsulates the magic of sports.
On the field, his performance has been a testament to the strength of San Francisco’s offensive lineup, as they complement Purdy’s play with exceptional skill position players who are lethal at their peak form. While Purdy’s individual talents are noteworthy, it’s this collaboration with a roster brimming with talent that could elevate him to MVP status. Should the 49ers emerge victorious, and if Purdy executes with precision, complementing his narrative with a championship-caliber performance, he could very well stitch his name into the annals of Super Bowl history as the most unlikely MVP.
While Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle may cannibalize each other’s opportunities to stand out, there remains one other 49ers player with a potentially clearer path to the Super Bowl MVP award—Christian McCaffrey.
A standout in the 2023 season, McCaffrey dominated with a league-leading 2,023 yards from scrimmage, outpacing the nearest competitor by over 100 yards and tying for the league lead with 21 scrimmage touchdowns. His stability is further highlighted by the mere three fumbles committed despite a league-high 339 touches. His astounding performance level places him in a league of his own and posits him as a potential game-changer in the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs have built a reputation for their pass defense, yet they’ve shown vulnerability against the run, ranking fifth-worst according to numberFire’s schedule-adjusted metrics. While Kansas City may be able to stifle Purdy’s passing game, their run defense could succumb to McCaffrey’s prowess on the ground. His consistency as a versatile offensive weapon, coupled with his knack for making an impact both as a rusher and receiver, only strengthens his case. However, only six running backs have won Super Bowl MVP, the last to do it being Terrell Davis 26 years ago.
With a breakaway run rate ranked fourth-best by PFF, McCaffrey possesses the explosive capability to end the Super Bowl MVP drought for running backs, seizing the moment on football’s grandest stage.
In the end, only one player can be crowned Super Bowl MVP. Whether it’s a quarterback like Mahomes or an underdog story like Purdy, each player on the field will be looking to make their mark and etch themselves into NFL history.
While the spotlight naturally gravitates toward the quarterbacks and dynamic skill position players, it’s crucial to consider the Super Bowl odds as more than just a reflection of individual athletic prowess.
These odds encapsulate the tapestry of stories, past performances, tactical matchups, and, indeed, the whole team’s capacity to elevate its members to the mantle of Most Valuable Player.