Snce the Super Bowl LVIII matchup was determined to be between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, everything Super Bowl odds fans have talked about is Patrick Mahomes vs Brock Purdy, Isiah Pacheco vs Christian McCaffrey, and Travis Kelce vs. George Kittle.
Oh yeah, and Taylor Swift. There have been a ton of Super Bowl news pieces regarding Tay Tay.
To change things a bit and stay away from the usual topics, how about we break down how each of the team’s linebacker positional groups compare, and which has the edge?
Between San Francisco’s dual all-star threats and Kansas City’s group approach, let’s dig into what could end up being a pivotal battle come Sunday.
Sometimes all it Takes Is 2 Monsters
There are some truths that are too obvious to deny or shy from. For example, the fact that San Francisco has the best linebacker pairing in the NFL. Just like the past couple of seasons, Fred Warner, aka the best linebacker in the league and Dre Greenlaw have made it a point to become every opposing offense’s worst nightmare.
When you watch Warner and Greenlaw play coverage for short pass plays, it takes no more than five seconds to truly understand why these two are one of the main reasons the Niners are 2-point favorites in our Super Bowl spread.
Considering Mahomes has been all about short pass plays to secure yardage this season, mainly because of how bad his receiver corps has performed if Warner and Greenlaw come out swinging from the get-go, KC might have to rethink its offensive strategy right then and there to have a chance at winning.
Furthermore, Warner, who is coming off his best season when it comes to overall positional grading, with 90.3 for the season, and a whopping 91.0 in pass coverage, should be a player to target if you’re looking to back a strong out-of-the-blue Super Bowl MVP odds candidate to win the award.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
When you watch KC’s linebacker crew in action, it’s like watching a perfectly performed concert. The way in which all players play perfect second fiddle to each other, not skipping a beat and not allowing any big plays to come through them is quite impressive.
Going back to the last time the Chiefs played the 49ers in the Super Bowl, there’s a clear difference in the LB department for KC.
For starters, none of the team’s four featured backers were on the roster in 2019. But it’s not just that. Overall, the level of talent and intensity coming out of KC is on a whole other level in comparison to that last game.
If you consider that Nick Bolton, Willie Gay Jr., Drue Tranquill and Leo Chenal are not necessarily the biggest names in the NFL when it comes to LBs, it makes their work more respectable.
The real question here is, when push comes to shove and this group is expected to stop San Francisco’s attack after its pop, will it have what it takes? Or will our 2024 Super Bowl predictions showing the Niners as favorites end up becoming a reality?
I’m not going to lie, watching Kansas City’s LB crew play this season has been a joy. Bolton, Gay, Tranquill and Chenal have shown what a well-oiled LB unit looks like.
Having all four rushed the passer at least 45 times each this season, all while having all played over 500 snaps apiece, they’ve come to form a strong crew to back Chris Jones and the rest of KC’s front seven defensive line.
But come on, when compared to Warner and Greenlaw, two of the best LBs in the game today, I’m going with all-star pedigree over a team effort here.
In a game that could end up being decided by one or two offensive slip ups by any of the two teams, my Super Bowl pick for best linebacker unit goes to San Francisco.
Questions Of The Day
What Are The Odds Of A Linebacker Winning Super Bowl MVP?
Over at BetUS Sportsbook, the odds in the Super Bowl Prop Bets page for which position will win SB MVP has linebackers at +3300 to win the award this year.
Which Prop Pick Offers Better Value, a QB Winning MVP or Any Other Positional Player?
With the odds at +175, there’s better value in picking a positional player to win Super Bowl MVP than a quarterback for this season’s title game.