Super Bowl 2024 predictions: Neil Reynolds and Phoebe Schecter pick winners, scoreline and key players
Sky Sports NFL presenter Neil Reynolds and expert analyst Phoebe Schecter make their Super Bowl 2024 predictions.
Neil Reynolds and Phoebe Schecter have shared their hottest Super Bowl predictions ahead of the big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers during an exclusive chat with RadioTimes.com.
Sky Sports NFL presenter Reynolds will spearhead their coverage of Super Bowl LVIII from 10pm on Sunday 11th February, and he will be joined by former NFL coach and expert analyst Phoebe Schecter on the sofa for the big occasion.
While Taylor Swift may be dominating the headlines leading up to the encounter, quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy will each be determined to see their name up in lights by the end of the game – but how is this Super Bowl spectacle going to go?
RadioTimes.com brings you Neil Reynolds and Phoebe Schecter's Super Bowl predictions for 2024, including key players to watch and their predicted scorelines.
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Who will win the Super Bowl?
NR: I think this game comes down to the Kansas City defence against San Francisco's offence.
If the 49ers can get all of their weapons going – they're the first team in history to have four different players have over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in the season – they've got weapons all over the place.
If Purdy finds those weapons and they move up and down the field, then I think it's going to be hard for the Chiefs to score the points - and they don't score as prolifically as they used to.
If the Chiefs maintain their form that they've had on defence... They're the second-ranked defence in the NFL this year, it's a group that has grown even more in the playoffs. If that defence gets on top, then Mahomes will find a way to score enough.
It's been a much more pragmatic approach from the Chiefs this time around. It has been: avoid mistakes on offence, score just enough, rely on defence.
PS: The key battle is going to be the 49ers' offence versus the Chiefs' defence. The 49ers have such a complete offence and so many different styles of athletes they can use in many different positions.
And this Chiefs defence has really been the reason that they're even in the Super Bowl at all – they've carried them this whole season. Those match-ups are going to be incredible.
How many people even predicted that the Chiefs would be in the Super Bowl? And that was almost all the way up until the end of the season. Nobody thought that they would get here, but they know how to survive the season and then get hot in the post-season.
The games they have won, in the environments they played in, were not easy. At the media night this week, 49ers fans were over-roaring in the crowd, and I think the Chiefs love it.
And I love that specifically Travis Kelce wants to be that villain, he's like: come on, I want to have those boos, I want something that's going to fire me up on game day. And that's a dangerous, scary place to be.
Super Bowl key players to watch
NR: We are looking at an all-time great already in the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes. He's been to the AFC Championship Game, at least, in each of his six years as an NFL starter - this is his fourth Super Bowl appearance at the age of 28.
He's a magician, basically. He can throw from any arm angle. He can throw over-arm, under-hand, left-hand, right-hand. I mean, he bucks all the trends.
He's been so great for so long already, but this year, there were a few chinks in his armour, a bit of pressure affected him. The Chiefs offence was nowhere near as prolific. When he's under pressure, his numbers drop off.
When Mahomes was under pressure, he was the fifth-worst quarterback in the NFL this season. He can go from being an all-time, historically great QB, but if you can rough him up a bit and make him feel that physical pressure, he can drop down this year to one of the worst in the NFL, which is a really weird juxtaposition.
Mahomes had real trust issues with his wide receivers for much of the season, they had the most dropped passes of any team in the NFL. But it's all been tidied up. This is what the good teams do, the great teams do, Mahomes has tidied it up. No mistakes in the playoffs, lean on their defence, they've won five straight games and they're here again because they find a way, they know how to win.
PS: The 49ers are going to need Christian McCaffrey to be the engine. We've seen so many times where if he doesn't necessarily get into a rhythm early on, it can be a bit of a mucky road, that first half.
He's somebody that's really going to be engine of that team. It is going to be essential to get those points on the board early because you're going against another high-powered offence when it comes to the Chiefs.
Christian McCaffrey is going to have to have a Christian McCaffrey-style game, but he's definitely going to need to get everybody on board, because that opens up the passing game that allows you to play with all these different formations and motions. He's key for me.
Super Bowl score prediction
NR: The Chiefs have been there and they've done it. And they think they're going to be the first back-to-back champions in the NFL since 2004, so I'm picking Chiefs to win 20-17.
PS: I'm thinking the Chiefs to win 27-24. I just think the Chiefs have that experience. Mahomes is almost at his best level of play that we've ever seen him, which is terrifying to think of. And I think they'll find a way to slow down the four horsemen of the 49ers.