Around the NFL: Super Bowl Preview

We are here on a weekly basis to provide you with impartial matchup analysis to navigate each week and make informed, data-driven decisions with the latest information at hand. We rely on our game and player matchup analysis dashboards that provide a concise overview of a team’s strengths and weaknesses at every level of the game and produce advantage insights by identifying key mismatches in the trenches, at the skill positions and in the secondary that will have a significant impact on game results across the league each week.

The Super Bowl is here and is primed to be a highly entertaining matchup between two of the objectively best teams in football. Thank you to our loyal readers who have been with us all season and have used our tools and analysis all season. We are looking forward to continue to refine our suite of dashboards and tools to bring value to you!

How We Got Here – Offensive and Defensive Efficiency Trends

  • SF’s explosiveness and efficiency on the offensive side of the ball are inarguable; their defense has been suspect over the trailing 6 weeks or so, including in each of the L2 weeks against the Packers and Lions. SF outgained GB 6.1 to 5.7, trailed late in 4Q and benefitted from a late missed FG that would have put them down by 7 points with a very finite amount of time left on the clock. In that game, SF allowed GB to rush for 136 yards (4.9 YPC) and log 5 RZ trips – the packers finished just 2-5 on RZ TD conversions. In the NFC Championship, Detroit ran for 182 yards (6.3 YPC), finished 3-4 in the RZ and had SF on the ropes midway through the 3rd quarter. In their L6 games, SF is allowing opponents to rush for 5.1 YPC.
  • KC’s defense meanwhile has been a significant asset over the course of the season and has clamped down over the L3 weeks against some of the AFC’s best offenses in Miami, Buffalo and Baltimore. KC has allowed just 26 total 2H points in their L7 games (excluding Wk 18 game vs LAC). In three playoff games:
    • KC outgained MIA 5.5 – 4.5 by YPP – 409 yards of total offense, including 147 yards rushing. Logged 6 RZ trips and only converted on 2 for TD’s, otherwise this could have been even uglier than the final score indicates. Defense held MIA to 1-12 on 3rd down and Tua to 199 yards passing – he averaged 268 passing YPG on the season.
    • KC outgained BUF 7.7 – 4.7 by YPP – 361 yards of total offense, Mahomes finished 17-23 for 215 yds, 2 TD’s (9.3 YPA) vs a BUF secondary that was banged up but finished 6th in the league in passing YPG and YPA allowed.
    • Outgained by BAL 4.4 – 5.9 by YPP – but KC defense held BAL run game in check (or BAL abandoned it) and was excellent on 3rd down, holding BAL to 3-11, just 1 RZ trip and 0 TD’s, with 3 TO’s forced to go with it.

Matchup Breakdown

Chiefs Money Line +106 – FD

  • KC stumbled their way through the middle of the season, but they’ve overcome 3 high quality opponents over the L3 weeks on their way to Pat Mahomes’ 4th Super Bowl appearance. KC’s offensive efficiency rating by our metrics is heavily influenced by their turnover woes and offensive penalty yards assessed against them, but they have a well balanced attack that ranks 10th in EPA/play, 9th in YPP, 6th in 3rd down conversion rate, 9th in passing YPG, 6th in passes of 10+ yards, 7th in YPC, 10th in runs of 10+ yards, 7th in RZ trips and 2nd in sacks allowed.
  • There is a divergence between what the public perception of SF’s defense is given the starpower they have (Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Chase Young, Javon Hargrave, etc.) and how they’ve performed in recent weeks. There’s no denying that SF has talent all over the field, but they have allowed opponents to rush for 5.1 YPC over the L6 weeks and rank 27th in the league in 3rd down conversion rate. DET just posted 442 yards of total offense, 182 yards rushing (6.3 YPC) and finished 3-4 on RZ trips in the NFC Championship game,
  • KC’s defense meanwhile is excellent, heading into the Super Bowl ranking 4th in the league in EPA/play, 7th in series conversion rate, 4th in YPP allowed, 6th in 3rd down conversion rate, 4th in passing YPG allowed, 2nd in YPA allowed, 8th in RZ TD %, 4th in RZ trips allowed per game, 2nd in sacks and 4th in QB hits. In Brock Purdy’s L2 matchups against top 10 passing defense, he has not been good:
    • Vs CLE: 12-27, 125 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
    • Vs BAL: 18-32, 255 yds, 4 INT’s
  • KC is excellent on 3rd down conversion rate, ranking 6th in the league, while SF has struggled to get off the field on 3rd down, ranking 27th in 3rd down conversion rate allowed. The Chiefs have allowed just 26 points in the 2nd half in their L7 games.
  • 2022 was a different season with different rosters for both SF and KC, but the Chiefs posted 529 yards of total offense and 44 points on SF a season ago. Pat Mahomes threw for 423 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT on 25-34 passing, and the Chiefs finished 4-5 on RZ trips and 6-9 on 3rd down.
  • KC does have a liability on the defensive side of the ball in the run game, where they rank 24th in YPC allowed. SF certainly will have opportunities to sustain offense with a scheme predicated on featuring Christian McCaffrey and limiting Brock Purdy’s opportunities to make mistakes. They have starpower all over the field at skill positions and on the OL, but KC is playing better football than SF is heading into this game. Expect KC to look to control the flow of this game via the run game – their ability to convert 3rd downs and extend drives and clamp down on opponents in the 2nd half create a scenario in which KC can take a lead and maintain it to the finish line. For these reasons, we are on KC ML.

Player Prop of the Week

Receiving Splits Dashboard: Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce O70.5 Receiving Yards – DKNG

  • The sky is blue, water is wet and Travis Kelce is Pat Mahomes’ favorite target. At age 34, Kelce continues to be one of the most dynamic receivers in football, and has cleared this number in 6 of his L9 games. Against Baltimore’s top-ranked defense in the AFC Championship game, Kelce caught 11 balls on 11 targets for 116 yards and a TD.
  • When the bright lights are on, Travis Kelce shows up. Dating back to 2020, Kelce is averaging 8.7 receptions, 10.4 targets, 99 receiving YPG and 13 TD’s in 12 playoff games – he has cleared 70.5 receiving yards in his L12 playoff games and has caught at least 1 TD in 10 of his L12 playoff games.
  • In the aforementioned 2022 matchup with SF in 2022, Kelce caught 6 balls for 98 yards on 8 targets. SF has been generally proficient in defending the TE position in 2023, ranking 15th in TE receiving yards allowed, but Sam LaPorta caught 9 balls for 97 yards on 13 targets in the NFC Championship game two weeks ago. TE Trey McBride caught 10 balls for 102 yards on 11 targets in SF’s Week 15 matchup with Arizona.
  • The Chiefs are likely going to have success in sustaining offense against the 49ers, and Kelce is likely going to have the target share to have a significant role in that. Take Kelce O70.5 receiving yards.

Head over to our Dashboard section of the site to comb through game matchup dashboards for every game on the board in the Super Bowl and browse our Player Matchup Analysis dashboards to target the player prop markets.

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