Claire Komarek, CBS Sports

We're just days away from Super Bowl LVIII, and the crew here at is doing our best to look at this game from every angle imaginable. So, just as we did for the AFC and NFC title games, we're going to use this space to do a tale-of-the-tape-style breakdown to determine which of the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers has the edge at each position.

Quarterback: Chiefs

With all due respect to Brock Purdy, this one isn't very close. Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback of his -- and possibly any -- generation. He could retire tomorrow and make the Hall of Fame, and he's only going to add to his legend as the years go by.

Running back: 49ers

Isiah Pacheco has been great for the Chiefs, but like the quarterback position above, this one isn't very close, either. Christian McCaffrey is the NFL's best running back, bar none. He led the league in rushing this year for the first time in his career, and he has been the league's best pass-catching back for a while now. Pacheco's a good, solid runner, but McCaffrey is so much more than that.

Wide receivers: 49ers

Again, we have a battle that is not at all close. Rashee Rice was really good and really, really fun this season, but he still has a ways to go to catch up with either Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk, and the Niners have both of those guys. The further down the depth chart you go, the less confidence you have in any Kansas City wideout's ability to actually catch the ball, while the 49ers have a reliable No. 3 receiver in Jauan Jennings, who both makes plays on third down and is dynamite as a run blocker.

Tight end: Chiefs

This is SO close. Travis Kelce at his best is the best tight end in the league. But he wasn't at his best for much of this season. George Kittle was actually named First Team All-Pro. But since the calendar flipped to January and the playoff lights turned on, Kelce has looked a lot like his old self, racking up 23 catches for 299 yards and three scores in three AFC playoff games. Kittle has been (and usually is) much less involved as a receiver with six grabs for 108 yards and a score in San Francisco's two NFC playoff contests, but he is a monster run blocker who is key to everything San Francisco does offensively. We gave the nod to Kelce here due to his track record and greater importance to Kansas City's pass offense, which is where tight ends make most of their impact these days. But going with Kittle wouldn't necessarily be wrong here, either.

Offensive line: Chiefs

If we could split this one up into tackles and interior linemen, we'd give the edge to San Francisco on the outside (Trent Williams alone wins that one for the Niners) and Kansas City on the inside. K.C. tackles Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith struggled for large portions of this season with injuries and ineffectiveness, and the line as a whole was not as good in the run game as it was in each of the previous two years. But San Francisco's pass protection has been somewhat leaky this season, including in the two playoff games, while Kansas City's has been rounding into shape. Given the strength of the Joe Thuney-Creed Humphrey-Trey Smith trio, we'll lean in K.C.'s direction here.

Defensive line: 49ers

The Chiefs have a strong defensive line with some quality players surrounding Chris Jones, with George Karlaftis chief among them. But they don't have anything like the Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave game-wrecking crew the Niners sport up front. So, even with Chase Young not living up to what the 49ers expected he could be when they traded for him, San Francisco still has the edge here -- especially when you throw in players like Randy Gregory, Kevin Givens and Javon Kinlaw.

Linebackers: 49ers

These two teams set up their linebacker groups in vastly different ways. San Francisco has a pair of superstars in Fred Warner (the best linebacker in football) and Dre Greenlaw, while Kansas City has a group of role players who each has their own niche in Nick Bolton, Willie Gay Jr., Drue Tranquill and Leo Chenal. We'll roll with the superstars having the advantage, even if the way K.C.'s linebacker corps works in concert with each other is quite impressive.

Defensive backs: Chiefs

The defensive backfields have entirely turned over for these two teams since the last time they played in the Super Bowl, right down to Charvarius Ward going from Kansas City to San Francisco. The Niners probably had the edge last time around, but even with Ward now on the other side, Kansas City has the deeper, more reliable group of DBs this time. L'Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie are a lockdown duo; Justin Reid and Mike Edwards have been terrific up the middle; and role players like Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson, and Deon Bush have all stepped up. San Francisco's starting defensive backs are quite good, but we've seen teams pick on Ambry Thomas at times this year, and any injury that forces Deommodore Lenoir back outside from his slot position and brings Isaiah Oliver onto the field could mean trouble.

Specialists: Chiefs

Kansas City's return game was an adventure at times this year, but Harrison Butker has to be considered much more reliable right now than 49ers rookie Jake Moody, and Tommy Townsend finished the season less than a yard behind Mitch Wishnowsky in net punting average, so we'll give the edge to the Chiefs.