Power Ranking the Four Potential Super Bowl Matchups

And then there were four. Just the Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, and 49ers remain. In college basketball, they call that The Final Four, in professional football, they call that two teams that are going to be very disappointed. But the other two teams, the ones that won’t be disappointed, will square off against each other in the 57th edition of the Super Bowl. That part isn’t up for debate, it’s going to happen. But what is up for debate is which matchup we want to see on February 12th. Everybody will have their own preference for Super Bowl matchups, but in case you haven’t made your mind up regarding that already, let me give you a power ranking of the four potential matchups.

1. Chiefs vs Eagles

This is an unusual year because there isn’t one dominant storyline that we all want to see play out on the sport’s biggest stage. No Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes passing of the torch no former protégé taking on the man who taught him everything he knows. But, this matchup does have the most intriguing storylines. The top potential storyline has to be the chance that the Super Bowl turns into the Kelce Bowl. Both Travis Kelce and Jason Kelce are incredibly popular thanks to their stellar play on the field and equally-stellar personalities off of it. To see those two square off in the Super Bowl would be incredible and would provide plenty of entertainment in the two weeks leading up to the game. But the Kelces aren’t the only intriguing aspect of this matchup. There’s obviously the Andy Reid situation. Not only did he coach the Eagles for 14 years, but he also took them to a Super Bowl as well. I’m not sure how he feels about that organization, but that connection would obviously be a huge storyline. There are also some smaller coach-related things to take note of like the fact that Nick Sirianni was an assistant coach in Kansas City for four years, right up until Reid took over, and the fact that Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy actually played the final season of his career in Philly. There’s also a handful of player connections going back to their college days like Jalen Hurts and Creed Humphrey, who played together in Hurts’s one year at Oklahoma, and even Chad Henne and Brandon Graham, who overlapped each other in Henne’s final year at Michigan in 2007. The last reason thing that makes this matchup the best potential one is that it’s the matchup we’ve been wanting all season. The Chiefs and Eagles are the respective one seeds in their conferences and have been two of the best teams in the league all year, those are the kinds of games that fans want to see when it comes to the Super Bowl.

2. Bengals vs Eagles

Picking between this and the other potential Bengals matchup was a tossup, but I ultimately went with this pairing for one particular reason. That reason is that Joe Burrow and Hurts have already faced off in the playoffs before, although they were wearing different uniforms. You may remember the 2019 College Football Playoff Semi-Final matchup between the LSU Tigers and the Oklahoma Sooners (unless you are an Oklahoma fan and have probably used one of those devices from Men in Black to forget about that horrible couple of hours). LSU absolutely dominated Oklahoma 63-28 in what used to be the biggest blowout in the CFP’s brief history until a few weeks ago. I think a potential rematch between the two quarterbacks in that matchup would be fantastic television. The story of Hurts trying to avenge that loss with a more even playing field in terms of roster construction would be a great selling point for the game and the reason I have this potential matchup ranked second. There is a bit of player familiarity with this matchup as well, courtesy of the New Orleans Saints. Trey Hendrickson, Vonn Bell, and Eli Apple all spent time with the Saints, where they were teammates with C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Gardner-Johnson’s time with them was brief, just two years with Hendrickson and one year with Bell and Apple, but it could be an interesting plotline. But again, the on-field product would also be very compelling, most notably the battle on the outside between Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, arguably the best wide receiver duo in the league, and James Bradberry and Darius Slay, arguably the best cornerback duo in the league. This would undoubtedly be a fun matchup to watch, as all of these would be, but the story between the two quarterbacks is what elevates this pairing to the second spot.

3. Bengals vs 49ers

I don’t claim to know what all Bengals fans are thinking, but I’d bet that most of them, at least the older ones, are hoping for this matchup. That’s because this pairing has happened twice before in the Super Bowl with the 49ers winning both games, which happened all the way back in 1982 and 1989. So, this would be a great bit of revenge for Cincinnati if it could finally get one over on San Francisco. This would also be a great chance for the 49ers to assert this dominance over a team from the opposing conference, even though the previous wins are over 30 years old. A win could also make the 49ers the first franchise to ever beat the same team three times in the Super Bowl as there is only one other three-time Super Bowl matchup (the Cowboys and the Steelers) and that one is not a sweep. Either way, this game would be a much bigger part of history than usual and would give each team more of a reason to reach back into its history and bring back legends such as Joe Montana and Anthony Munoz. Aside from that, there is also an Ohio State connection that could add some intrigue. Burrow, who went there before transferring to LSU, overlapped with Nick Bosa in 2016 and 2017, which is also conveniently the same period when Bosa played on the same defensive line as Sam Hubbard. Now, Burrow and Bosa may not even have interacted with each other back then but I’m sure that Bosa and Hubbard did so that could be a fun story. This game also would be about how Burrow and his elite group of weapons can handle the best defense in the league while a strong Bengals’ defense tries to stop an equally dangerous 49ers’ offense. That would definitely be fun to watch. If you’re a fan of NFL history then maybe this potential matchup is a bit higher for you, but for me it slots in at number three.

4. Chiefs vs 49ers

I don’t hate this matchup despite the fact that it does come in last for me. But that’s simply because we’ve seen this one already very recently. Mahomes won his first Super Bowl by beating the 49ers three years ago, but enough players from that matchup have left their teams since then to make it less interesting. Jimmy Garoppolo, the starter in that game, is still on the team but is injured so he won’t get a chance to exact revenge for that loss. And even though I’m a fan of Brock Purdy, he doesn’t have the star power to compare to Mahomes (although no one really does). And even other key players such as Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, and JuJu Smith-Schuster weren’t around for that game so they won’t have a personal stake in the rematch. What this game does have going for it is the best versus best storyline. The Chiefs had the best offense in the league this year and the 49ers had the best defense, so seeing those two units square off against each other would be fascinating. Although other games pitting the best offense against the best defense didn’t end up being too entertaining (*cough cough* Seahawks versus Broncos *cough cough*), that doesn’t mean this one will follow suit. It’s also typically the defense that gets the better hand in those matchups, at least recently, so that would provide some adversity for Mahomes and his crew to overcome. If that matchup hadn’t taken place three years ago, or been more iconic when it happened the first time, then it would be ranked much higher for me, but, since that isn’t the case, it occupies the regrettable last spot, although I would still be incredibly excited to watch this game if it does happen.