At first glance, Brock Purdy has no chance in the quarterback duel with Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. It is the first appearance in the most important football game in the world for the 24-year-old San Francisco 49ers playmaker, and he has not yet had two full seasons in the NFL. Mahomes, on the other hand, is not only in the fourth Super Bowl of his career, but has also won the Vince Lombardy Trophy twice. The 28-year-old is also the face of the league and has proven several times that he can withstand pressure and deliver even in the biggest moments.
“He is the catalyst, he is the reason that we are coming back and he gives the team a calmness and certainty that we can win and that means a lot,” said Chiefs professional Travis Kelce recently about Mahomes.
And yet the San Francisco 49ers go into Super Bowl LVIII on Monday night in Germany (12:30 a.m. CET/RTL and DAZN) as slight favorites - like in every other game of the season so far. "This is a team that hasn't been reported enough about in recent years, how consistently good the 49ers are," said German NFL professional Jakob Johnson to the German Press Agency. The Chiefs, as defending champions, with Mahomes and Taylor Swift partner Kelce, are getting a lot of attention beyond the USA.
The 49ers have the stronger squad. Johnson, who plays for the Las Vegas Raiders, also believes the 49ers will win at Allegiant Stadium at the southern end of the legendary strip. “Because they simply have a strong, experienced defense,” says the Stuttgart player. There are also “playmakers on offense and offensive plays that you don’t see on any other team.”
Brock Purdy - Quarterback San Francisco 49ers
It seems as if the numerous NFL experts still don't really want to accept that someone can be selected last in the draft, receive the title "Mr. Irrelevant" and now be a regular in the Super Bowl plays. Purdy has to put up with some absurd criticism - even though he delivered in his first full NFL season. After recovering from a serious elbow injury, he had the best rating of all quarterbacks and also the top spot with 9.6 yards per attempt. His 4,280 passing yards are also a 49ers record.
In contrast to Mahomes, he also made it into the top 5 in the voting for the most valuable player of the season. Nevertheless, Purdy is subtly assumed that his team is so good not because of him, but in spite of him. Purdy simply doesn't force himself into the spotlight unnecessarily, makes mostly good decisions and ensures that the 49ers' offensive system develops wonderfully - and that his extremely talented teammates can play to their strengths.
Christian McCaffrey - Runningback San Francisco 49ers
Also in the top 5 when voting for the most valuable player of the season, McCaffrey is one of the difference players in the 49ers' consistently strong squad. He also completed his first full season for San Francisco and showed why defenders around the league fear him. On paper, McCaffrey is a running back and carries the ball through the defensive lines - but he can also pose a threat as a pass receiver. In his 31 games in the starting lineup since moving from the Carolina Panthers, he has 38 touchdowns for the 49ers.
George Kittle - Tight End San Francisco 49ers
George Kittle or Travis Kelce - for the five years since Kittle made his debut, one of the two has always been number one in the NFL's most important statistical categories and the other has finished second. Kittle blocks when he's supposed to, catches balls when they're thrown to him and is one of the most important professionals for the 49ers overall. His positive nature also has enormous value for the atmosphere in the dressing room.