When the dust settled and the 49ers and Chiefs emerged as the two teams left vying for Super Bowl supremacy, Raiders fans let out a collective groan.
Why did it have to be these two teams? It had to be our hated Bay Area rival taking on our most hated division foe? Why football gods, why!?
There have been many polls around the internet over the past few weeks asking Raiders fans who they’re rooting for in this catch-22 Super Bowl affair, and most of them show that Raider Nation hates the Chiefs just a wee bit more than they dislike the 49ers.
I’m here to tell you that there should be no debate. Raiders fans should be rooting against the Chiefs with all their might. And here’s why:
Only three quarterbacks in the 54-year history of the Super Bowl era have ever come back to win a Super Bowl after losing in their first Super Bowl appearance.
If Patrick Mahomes is unable to will his Kansas City squad to a Super Bowl win, there’s a major chance that he never wins one in his career. If he manages to outduel San Francisco and will his team to victory, this could be another long decade for the Raiders.
The only quarterbacks in NFL history to win a Super Bowl after losing in their first appearance are as follows:
- Kansas City Chiefs’ Len Dawson: Lost Super Bowl I and won Super Bowl IV
- Miami Dolphins’ Bob Griese: Los Super Bowl VI and won the following two Super Bowls
- Denver Broncos’ John Elway: Lost in his first three Super Bowl outings before winning his last two
In addition, the only other quarterbacks to even make it back to the Super Bowl after losing in their first appearance are Jim Kelly, Frank Tarkenton, and Craig Morton.
Now let’s take a look at all of the quarterbacks who lost their first Super Bowl appearance since 2000:
- Jared Goff
- Matt Ryan
- Cam Newton
- Colin Kaepernick
- Rex Grossman
- Matt Hasselbeck
- Jake Delhomme
- Rich Gannon
- Kerry Collins
- Steve McNair
Three of the ten players on this list won MVP awards, so it’s not exactly a compilation of slouches. And while there’s a chance that Goff, Ryan, or Newton is able to make it back to the big game, those odds are looking increasingly thin. For some reason, things just start to go haywire once a quarterback loses their first Super Bowl more often than not.
Mahomes is good enough to buck that trend, but the odds certainly wouldn’t be in his favor.
If the Chiefs run through the 49ers defense the same way they’ve sped right past their AFC competition throughout the playoffs, they may prove that defense no longer wins championships in the modern era. If this No. 1 ranked pass defense and top tier front seven can’t stop Andy Reid’s boys, what defense can?
But conversely, if the 49ers defense is able to shut down the Chiefs, they’ll set a template for other teams to stop Kansas City as well.
Last year, the Rams came into the big game with one of the NFL’s more historic offensive arsenals, but evil mastermind Bill Belichick schemed up a 6-1 defensive front that swallowed up Todd Gurley and held the Rams to only 3 points in a 13-3 Patriots win. This season, a lot of teams followed that formula, and that was a major factor in the Rams missing the playoffs altogether.
There’s almost no chance that San Francisco holds the Chiefs to a 3-point outing, but if they find a modicum of success against the Chiefs, it will set a precedent that other teams will be able to exploit in the future.
As the Raiders try to build their defense from the ground up, stopping the Chiefs attack has to be No. 1 on their priority list. It seems elementary, but there’s no way the Raiders will ever be able to truly contend for a championship if they can’t get past their division rival.
You don’t have to actually cheer for the 49ers tomorrow, just make sure you cheer against the Chiefs harder.
Now that you’ve read this article, who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
This poll is closed
San Francisco 49ers
Kansas City Chiefs