Feb 8, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during a press conference before Super Bowl LVIII at Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl win no retirement bridge for Chiefs’ Andy Reid

LAKE LAS VEGAS, Nevada — At his final media obligation until Super Bowl LVIII postgame, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid repeated consistent denials he’s on the verge of retirement, win or lose to the San Francisco 49ers.

“Yeah, I haven’t gone there,” Reid, 65, said Thursday morning at the team hotel. “I don’t think about that. I’m tied up in the game and trying to take care of that. I’m sure somewhere, I’ll know when that time is. It’s not today and it won’t be Sunday.”

If Reid does ride off into the sunset with a third Super Bowl win during the upcoming offseason, Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and quarterback Patrick Mahomes would both be caught off-guard.

“I’m highly doubtful (Reid would retire),” Mahomes said. “It’d be very surprising to me.”

Hunt said the team has “no sense he is ready to hang it up,” when discussing Reid’s future.

Mahomes, 28, believes having a team in its prime and perennially among contenders for the league’s most coveted trophies will be enough to keep Reid and others in the picture for longer than some expect. Mahomes said earlier this week he could definitely envision playing into “(Tom) Brady range” or around 15 more seasons that puts him into his 40s.

The draw for Mahomes is what he described again Thursday as a brotherhood and like-mindedness among leaders that includes Reid.

“(Travis Kelce) wants to take every single rep at practice. He wants to be out there for every single play. When you see that mindset, this is a Hall of Fame tight end and he wants to be the guy working the hardest, it raises everybody’s standard,” Mahomes said.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tries to make a throw as his is hit by Bills Matt Milano.

Super Bowl LVIII prop bets: Put your money on Travis Kelce

As the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs prepare to meet in Super Bowl LVIII, the primary betting lines established after the Jan. 28 conference title games have largely held up.

BetMGM is similar to most major sportsbooks, listing the 49ers as a two-point favorite. The game total, which opened at 47, has risen only a half-point in 10 days.

The big players holding the sharp money frequently wait to see the crush of public money on Super Bowl Sunday and react accordingly, finding value in the adjusted numbers.

We can’t wait, so we are offering our three best Super Bowl prop bets.


BetRivers shows only 30 percent of the money and 27 percent of the tickets on the 49ers moneyline, and 28 percent of money and tickets on the Niners spread.

People can’t quit believing in Patrick Mahomes.

More from BetRivers:

Mahomes is 14-3 straight up and 12-5 against the spread (ATS) as a starter in playoff games.

For his career, he is 10-3 straight up and 11-1-1 ATS as an underdog.

Playing the total? It’s been bet up to 47.5, but …

Eleven of the 49ers’ past 14 postseason games have gone under the total points line. Six of the Chiefs’ past eight games have gone under the total points line.

Finally, still thinking about betting against Mahomes? The Chiefs have covered the spread in five straight games.

Side note: We’re ignoring strange props such as these (available at BetOnline):

How many patties will be on Andy Reid’s postgame burger?
Over/Under 1.5

How many planes will be seen during the national anthem flyover?
Over/Under 4.5

Our three best stabs at the props menu keep things pretty football-centric.


Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers wide receiver over/under 12.5 yards with his first reception.

San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy doesn’t need a safety-valve target so much as he needs a guy who catches intermediate routes well.

In his past three games, Aiyuk has nine catches for 125 yards (13.9 yards per catch). In the two games prior to that, he averaged 16.3 and 18.8 yards per catch.

The Chiefs will plan to stop Deebo Samuel’s runs and receptions as well as wheel routes to Christian McCaffrey. They will hope to flex their newfound toughness in shutting down the middle of the field — Aiyuk’s specialty.

The thought here is that there aren’t enough defenders to blanket everyone and that Purdy will find Aiyuk early for a tone-setting completion of 13-plus yards.

The bet: Aiyuk’s first catch over 12.5 yards (-105 at BetMGM).


Starting QBs alternate passing yards over/under.

The game script for these teams is likely for both to establish the run.

Strong lead ball carriers McCaffrey of the 49ers and Isiah Pacheco of the Chiefs will have a busy first half trying to grab the upper hand.

The clock will run.

Is there a world in which a Patrick Mahomes-led team is blown out in a postseason game? Leaning no. Therefore, here’s the way this prop will work:

Kansas City succeeds in pounding Pacheco; San Francisco stubbornly stays with McCaffrey — running and receiving.

Mahomes doesn’t need to throw downfield to keep the Chiefs close, or in front.

Purdy will have more pass plays in the second half and should have no problem reaching 200 yards by early in the fourth quarter.

In a close matchup, the quarterbacks should both settle in around 230-250 yards passing.

The bet: Same-game parlay, alternate passing yards. Purdy over 214.5; Mahomes under 293.5 (-120 at DraftKings).


Travis Kelce catching the football.

We know 13 is a lucky number for Taylor Swift . And we know that “49” is part of 49ers. And 4+9 is 13.

And we know that this is Super Bowl 58, and 5+8 is 13.

But Kelce is No. 87. And 8+7 is 15. And 15 is Mahomes’ number.

Is there a world in which Mahomes ignores Kelce? No.

This 7/70 same-game parlay is largely predicated on Kelce’s postseason resurgence after looking very old (think Nick Nolte in “North Dallas Forty” … Google it) in December.

But his past three playoff games have been a revelation. Kelce has 23 catches for 262 yards in those games.

Kansas City will need him to be great again. No cold hands, no Super Bowl cold feet.

Hot bet, people.

The bet: Same-game parlay: Travis Kelce over 6.5 receptions and 70-plus yards (+114 at DraftKings).

–Field Level Media

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers, Chiefs bring aces to Vegas in Super Bowl rematch

LAS VEGAS — Eight teams delivered back-to-back Super Bowl victories, and the Kansas City Chiefs are in line to become the first in 19 seasons to repeat as Lombardi Trophy winners if they can turn away the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

The same two teams met in the Super Bowl four years ago, with Chiefs coach Andy Reid again opposing 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

“The 49ers have a lot of talent. They’re a better team than the one we played (in 2020),” Reid said. The Chiefs won that game 31-20.

Only four head coaches have at least three Super Bowl wins, and each of the previous three instances of a coaching rematch in the Super Bowl has gone to the victor of the first matchup.

That would be a positive omen for Reid.

The 65-year-old is closing in on all-time legends on the career wins list and is 2-2 in Super Bowls, including a victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. He gives an immense amount of credit to two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and a reconstructed defense. In three career games against the 49ers (regular season and postseason), Mahomes is 3-0 with 1,023 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions.

“I think the quarterback is as hard to beat as anyone who’s ever played the game,” Shanahan said. “The things he can do from a talent standpoint and then you pair that up with his scheme with Andy, how Andy runs a team with Mahomes’ experience now. That’s why no matter what type of game it is, whether it’s low-scoring, high-scoring, whether they’re struggling or not, they always have a chance.”

Mahomes, 14-3 in 17 career playoff games, is the youngest quarterback to start four Super Bowls in league history at age 28.

Winning on Sunday would give Mahomes three Super Bowl wins — something five other quarterbacks have accomplished — and keep him ahead of Tom Brady’s record pace of seven wins in 10 appearances. Brady was 30 when he started his fourth Super Bowl.

“I mean, I’m not even close to halfway (to Brady’s Super Bowl wins record),” said Mahomes, who took his only Super Bowl loss and one of his two AFC Championship Game defeats head-to-head vs. Brady. “So right now, it’s doing whatever I can to beat a great 49ers team and trying to get that third ring. And then, if you ask me that question in like 15 years, then I’ll see if I can get close to seven. But seven seems like a long ways away still.”

The 49ers won’t see many familiar faces on the defense of the Chiefs, which retains only defensive tackle Chris Jones and replaced 10 other starters on the crew that started Super Bowl LIV. But these aren’t the yesteryear 49ers, either.

San Francisco’s remodeling includes changes at quarterback and running back. Christian McCaffrey, acquired via trade from the Carolina Panthers, tied for the NFL lead with 21 total touchdowns in the regular season to become an MVP finalist alongside quarterback Brock Purdy.

Mr. Irrelevant as the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy stormed to stardom with a 21-5 combined record in the regular season and playoffs the past two seasons. He underwent elbow surgery after getting hurt in last year’s NFC Championship Game, and now he has the 49ers in their eighth Super Bowl, tied for second most. San Francisco is shooting for a sixth Lombardi Trophy, which would match the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for the record.

Purdy comes packing direct advice from Joe Montana, who downplayed the need for San Francisco’s quarterback to steal the show.

“You’ve got a good team around you, just go through the reads and what Kyle’s calling and trust in Kyle,” Purdy said of Montana’s guidance. “You don’t need to be this superstar or anything. If you go out and do your job, you’ve got a good team around you and you guys can win that way.”

Shanahan’s father, Mike Shanahan, won back-to-back Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos following the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Kyle Shanahan lost his only title opportunity as a head coach in the first matchup with Reid, and he was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons in Atlanta’s defeat at the hands of Brady and the Patriots after the 2016 season.

“I’ve been able to coach in two Super Bowls and to lose either of them, both of them are heartbreaking,” Kyle Shanahan said.

Purdy and McCaffrey aren’t the only key factors facing Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who can become the first four-time Super Bowl champion coordinator in NFL history. The Chiefs’ defense has some serious chops, ranking second in the NFL in points per game (17.3 average) but is well behind the 49ers in turnover margin. San Francisco was plus-10, and Kansas City was minus-11.

However, the Chiefs’ defense has been better this postseason, holding the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens to a combined total of 41 points.

“We focus on the points allowed, our third down, red zone, turnovers, two-minute, all the situational things,” Spagnuolo said. “Let’s face it: The No. 1 job of any defensive unit is to limit the amount of points that are scored. That gives your team a chance to win.”

Jones and cornerback Trent McDuffie were named first-team All-Pros in 2023.

The Chiefs lean on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to erase the No. 1 receiver on the opposing team, as he did with Miami’s Tyreek Hill in the wild-card round and Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs in the divisional playoffs.

Figuring out which 49ers playmaker is most dangerous is a crapshoot. In addition to Purdy clearing 4,000 passing yards, San Francisco had McCaffrey top 2,000 yards from scrimmage, while three of his teammates went over 1,000 total yards (wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle).

“They’re the best I’ve ever seen,” Jones said. “This is the biggest challenge we’ve faced so far.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

February 6, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is displayed on Super Bowl LVIII signage on The Sphere. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs, QB Patrick Mahomes willing villains if it’s price of winning

LAKE LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Chiefs head coach Andy Reid leads his team back to the practice field on Wednesday for the first of three consecutive on-field workouts before Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

“We try to have fun within the intensity of the game within the week,” Reid said Wednesday morning at Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort prior to practice. “There is time to focus in and there is time to mess around. We don’t have to keep it uptight when they’re coming into practice.”

Players were off Tuesday but are scheduled through Saturday’s final walkthrough to return to their typical game-week routine. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes reminded teammates of the importance of physical and mental rest before taking “the business trip” seriously when they clock back in Wednesday.

Reid said players were informed of the temptations in the near vicinity, even though the Chiefs and 49ers are at neighboring resorts 35 minutes from The Strip. An NFL security representative was on the scene to speak to players about rules and regulations with regard to gambling and other “distractions” in Las Vegas.

“It’s a normal week now,” Mahomes said on Wednesday. “We’re going to get back to practice and do what we do for a normal gameday.”

The Chiefs won’t be distracted on Sunday. After wrapping up video review of the challenger, Reid said he’s confident this version of the 49ers is superior to the San Francisco team that lost to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV. To Reid, it boils down to star power with two MVP finalists Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey.

Reid and the Chiefs have 14 playoff wins since 2018 and are appearing in the Super Bowl for a fourth time in six seasons. But it’s Kansas City’s first without franchise matriarch Norma Hunt, a point Reid and others have made this week.

“She leaves a great legacy behind. I think this is the first one she hasn’t been here for,” Reid said. “That speaks for itself, but her heart was the biggest thing. A great person.”

Because of their track record in games like this one, Mahomes and the Chiefs are being cast as villains in some circles, much in the same way the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees and New England Patriots were often rooted against.

Still a fan favorite, Mahomes said he doesn’t enjoy or embrace being the bad guy.

“I just like winning,” he said. “If you win a lot and it causes you to be the villain, I’m OK with that. At the end of the day, I’m going to enjoy playing the game and try to win as much as possible.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

A toe injury is not a concern for 49ers tight end George Kittle (85), who said he's ready to face the Kansas City Chiefs. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers TE George Kittle ready to go toe-to-toe with Travis Kelce

LAKE LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Spending a moment of facetime with 49ers tight end George Kittle at the team hotel, it becomes abundantly clear he isn’t sitting out Super Bowl LVIII.

The only starter for San Francisco to miss every practice last week, Kittle plans to be on the field to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday evening. He’s fighting a toe injury but would love not to be mentioned on the first official injury report of the week Wednesday. Kittle maintains there is “no concern” about his injury entering the game.

He’s averaging a team-leading 18 yards per catch in two playoff games with six receptions for 108 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown.

Missing a chance to duel with Chiefs tight end and good friend Travis Kelce runs a distant second to claiming a Super Bowl ring for Kittle, the 2023 All-Pro first teamer at the position. But he’s not shying away from his appreciation of sharing the spotlight with his “Tight End University” sidekick.

“I’m a huge fan of Travis Kelce and the fact I’ve been able to become friends with him, peers with him, run Tight End (University) with him, just get to know him, it’s been awesome,” Kittle said. “For someone I’ve looked up to, looked up to his game, watched so much of his film. Anything that he says is nice about you; it feels great. He’s a fantastic football player. He’s probably a first-ballot Hall of Famer. So anything you can get from Travis Kelce, it’s awesome. And the fact you’re friends too, it makes it a little bit sweeter as well.”

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan did not provide an update on cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle) or linebacker Oren Burks (shoulder) on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t talk to trainers unless he’s required to submit an injury report under league rules.

San Francisco defensive coordinator Steve Wilks used the term “unacceptable,” and Shanahan called a few plays out for a lack of collective effort in the NFC Championship Game win over the Detroit Lions.

In particular, Wilks said the two rushing plays that resulted in points were most problematic. Jahmyr Gibbs ran 15 yards for a score by cutting against the grain and easing by defensive end Chase Young, who was caught moving at half-speed. That was after a 42-yard touchdown run in the first quarter by wide receiver Jameson Williams.

“Our guys take a lot of pride in what they do,” Shanahan said. “They work hard every day, practice, games, since I’ve known them. So, I don’t expect it to be any different on Sunday.”

49ers defensive lineman Javon Hargrave said players bowed their heads in shame and vowed to not allow the narrative to become a talking point again.

“I think the most important thing is just how we felt about it as a team,” 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw said. “I agree to the fullest extent. I felt like we could play harder and I felt like I could play harder too. So, you’ve got to look at yourself too. That’s really what it boils down to.”

49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel dismissed the Eagles as a rival in the NFC. Not because of proximity or division separation. Because San Francisco pasted Philly, 42-19, in their December meeting.

“I consider rivalries close games,” said Samuel, who caught two TD passes in the win.

The 49ers lost to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game last year, 31-7, before Philadelphia was defeated in the Super Bowl by the Chiefs.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs preparing for Super Bowl LVIII to feel like road game

LAS VEGAS — If Opening Night at Super Bowl LVIII was any indication, the red-clad Chiefs are walking into a road-game environment at Allegiant Stadium Sunday afternoon.

“I love the boos more than I love the cheers,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said of the partisan San Francisco crowd on Monday night. “Keep ’em coming, Niners’ gang. Keep ’em coming.”

Virtual home-field advantage in the Super Bowl might beat the literal road game feel of the one Super Bowl Patrick Mahomes has lost. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers were on their home field in Tampa in Super Bowl LV.

The Chiefs are 3-0 in these playoffs with one home game, winning at Buffalo and Baltimore after a wild-card win over the Dolphins.

“We’re not overly concerned about who’s going to be in the stadium,” Chiefs center Creed Humphrey said. “We’re there to play the game. At the end of the day, it’s going to be 11 on 11. We’ve kind of gone on the road, playing in away stadiums the last two games, it’s one of those things we’re if we’re in a hostile environment, we’re ready to roll.”

Kelce said “ain’t no jitters. I’m fired up,” when asked if the raucous 49ers’ fanbase will impact the Chiefs on Sunday.

The Chiefs have only two remaining defensive starters from their Super Bowl LIV triumph over the San Francisco 49ers. And the 49ers’ roster is flooded with change, including Brock Purdy at quarterback and Christian McCaffrey at running back, two players among the five NFL MVP finalists in 2023.

“More weapons,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said of the biggest difference in this iteration of the 49ers. “Christian McCaffrey. You’ve got Deebo (Samuel) playing at a high level. You’ve got one of the best tight ends in the league (George Kittle). Brock Purdy. They’re a completely different team now.”

But Jones said the Chiefs are better on defense for the same reasons.

“Grittier, we’re younger, we’re faster,” Jones said.

Kelce said nobody puts higher expectations on the Chiefs than the team’s leaders. Kansas City’s record-setting tight end.

“That expectation has become a demand at this point. The years we haven’t won it since we won our first one, they’ve felt like the biggest losses of my life,” Kelce said. “Having that mentality, year in, year out, putting the expectations on yourself.”

Kelce has 23 receptions for 262 yards and three touchdowns in the 2023 postseason. He said he went out to his way to make sure teammates understood where he was investing his time and attention since his courtship of a certain famous female singer became a banner storyline around the Chiefs.

“I’ve juggled the perception of my focus. Being aware of that, I never wanted to make the people on this team, the people in this Kansas City Chiefs’ building feel like I wasn’t focused on the task at hand. That’s winning football games,” Kelce said. “Being able to juggle that, making sure everybody realizes my focus is in the right area, especially when I’m in the building, I think that’s been the biggest point.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Jan 28, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan looks on before the NFC Championship football game against the Detroit Lions at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan anxious to shed pain of Super Bowls past

LAS VEGAS — Kyle Shanahan followed in the footsteps of his famous father, Mike Shanahan, to the coaching ranks, but this profession and the pain that comes with it wasn’t always the plan.

“I was in his ear all the time, asking questions. I always loved football, just a fan of the game,” Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday, a day off from the practice field ahead of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

By middle school, Kyle Shanahan had already been to three Super Bowls — all losses — before finally experiencing the jubilation of a Lombardi Trophy celebration when Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos had their breakthrough with back-to-back title in 1997-98.

“Back then, I didn’t think it was possible for the AFC to win a Super Bowl,” he said.

Kyle Shanahan was a senior in high school and still had visions of playing in part because of after-school route-running sessions with Broncos wide receivers Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey, father of 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.

“Looking back now, thinking I was going to be a player, that was crazy,” Kyle Shanahan said of dropping a childhood dream to be an NFL wide receiver.

Kyle Shanahan said he mimicked everything Smith and Ed McCaffrey did, down to their cleats and shoulder pads. But it was a few years later he realized coaching would be the best — and perhaps easier — path.

“I remember telling (his dad) in eighth grade I wanted to play in the NFL,” Kyle Shanahan said. “He told me to make a plan and stick to it. It’s a little bit easier than playing. I think it just naturally happened.

“He never really was training me to be a coach. Just a dad. He’s the same way you’d want him to be — direct. Maybe you didn’t like what he had to say, but he was telling the truth.”

The 49ers are in the Super Bowl for what is Kyle Shanahan’s third time as a coach. He was on the losing end of Super Bowl LI with the Falcons as offensive coordinator, when Atlanta infamously blew a 28-3 lead to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. A day later, Shanahan was shaking hands in San Francisco as head coach of the 49ers.

Following the 2019 season, the 49ers blew a second-half lead and lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs, and Shanahan started to relate more closely to his father’s pain of losing the big one.

“I’ve broken my arm, collarbone, a lot of injuries that are painful. Those are right there,” he said. “Anyone who loses a Super Bowl knows. Seeing my dad after he was a (losing) coordinator and how hard it was on him in Denver. Anytime you get that close, it hurts.

“All football games are hard to lose, you put so much into it. You are trying to get to this last week. And we did get to the last week, this is going to be our last Wednesday, our last practice Friday, our last game on Sunday.”

Shanahan’s players in San Francisco will attest to the piles of preparation that go into any game, let alone the biggest game of their lives coming up this Sunday.

“This man, his meetings sometimes you kick up your feet because you know you’re about to be there an hour,” safety Tashaun Gipson said Tuesday. “Coach Kyle is so detailed. He’s going to go over every single aspect of it. I tell people this all the time: I don’t think he even thinks about anything else. All football. That’s the kind of coach you want to play for. We’ve got to get one for Kyle.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (38) celebrates as cornerback Trent McDuffie (22) recovers a fumble against Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers (4) and wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) for a turnover during the second half in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed expected to join team in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS – Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is expected to join teammates Tuesday after missing Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night media responsibilities for what head coach Andy Reid labeled “personal reasons.”

Teammate Trent McDuffie smiled and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo added unofficial confirmation that Sneed would be back with the team when asked about his status Monday night.

In photos posted on Instagram by Bella Wu, Sneed’s girlfriend, the couple appeared to be at a Kansas City hospital for the delivery of Sneed’s second child. Sneed is the father of a 6-year-old son from a previous relationship.

Reid said during the playoffs, pointing particularly to Sneed’s shutdown showing against Dolphins All-Pro Tyreek Hill, that there wasn’t an NFL cornerback playing at his level in 2023.

“You saw, one catch (Hill) had,” Reid said. “You don’t see Tyreek get knocked down very often, but Sneed did that. I have a hard time believing there’s another corner as good as him in this league.”

Sneed, 27, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March and is considered a strong candidate for the franchise tag.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

San Francisco 49ers' Brock Purdy (13) is set to become the third-youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Gold mined: Kyle Shanahan, 49ers struck it rich with QB Brock Purdy

LAS VEGAS — As Mr. Irrelevant, he had a parade, a prodigious haul of swag and a few massive believers.

As an NFL quarterback in his second season, Brock Purdy started two NFC Championship Games and is playing Sunday for a Lombardi Trophy and a little bit more national attention.

“I would say he’s doing a pretty good job of getting it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday at Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night.

It’s been quite a roller coaster to get back to Las Vegas, where Purdy brings a 21-5 record as a starter to the Strip and a Super Bowl LVIII matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The third-youngest QB starter in Super Bowl history, Purdy is embracing everything about his next game and the opportunity to spark another parade.

“I got drafted last,” Purdy said Monday with a wry smile. “Staying grounded and more than anything, just staying grateful. Not what I didn’t do or where I didn’t go. But, ‘Hey, I get to go play for the 49ers.’ I want to be a part of this, I want to be a part of it forever. Even though I was overlooked two years ago in the draft, I’ve got an opportunity to go win a Super Bowl with the 49ers.”

When Purdy’s NFL journey began down the street at Caesars Palace, the 49ers turned in the card for the 262nd and final pick in the 2022 draft to little fanfare. He was the ninth of nine quarterbacks selected.

San Francisco hardly kicked the door down to reel in Purdy. Niners general manager John Lynch had many chances to select him sooner with five picks on the third and final day of the draft (Nos. 134, 172, 187, 220 and 221) before the draft-capper was announced.

Mr. Irrelevant no more, Purdy stood out to coach Kyle Shanahan very early in his rookie training camp. That’s not revisionist history.

“We had a fourth-round grade on him,” Shanahan said Monday. “You always go through and predict where guys are going to get drafted. We had a lot of holes at the time. Quarterback wasn’t really one of them.

“We knew his measurables and stuff were smaller (than the prototype quarterback). The first day of rookie minicamp he walks out and I told our coaches, ‘OK, he’s going to be fine.’ We called him Baby Bosa. He had these shortie shorts on and big, thick legs kind of like (San Francisco edge rusher Nick) Bosa.”

Team owner Jed York confessed this week Shanahan told him in August 2022 he was pretty sure the “third-sting quarterback is our best quarterback,” which turned the stomach of the CEO who invested massive draft capital and salary for the 49ers to acquire the No. 3 pick in 2021 and select Trey Lance.

San Francisco traded three first-round picks to go up from No. 12 to No. 3 and select Lance, a relative neophyte out of North Dakota State. Shanahan said now with the benefit of hindsight it was “definitely a mistake.” After two seasons and four total starts, Lance was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in August after the 49ers were fully comfortable that Purdy’s surgically repaired right elbow was fully healthy.

Two years later, Shanahan isn’t just willing to put Purdy among the best quarterbacks he’s ever coached.

“Better. He’s better,” Shanahan said.

The numbers prove his point. Among quarterbacks with at least 20 starts (regular season and postseason combined) the past two seasons, Purdy leads the NFL during his starts with an .808 winning percentage, 9.2 yards per attempt, a 3.36-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (47-14) and a 111.2 passer rating.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media