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Happy midweek, everyone, and happy Valentine's day! What a fitting holiday, coming right after the Super Bowl, now that we can all appreciate our love for the NFL season. John Breech is busy celebrating with some Joe Burrow-themed valentines, we think, so you've got me, Cody Benjamin, to deliver all the latest from around the league.

This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let's get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you're signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don't want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)

We've got Prisco's first edition of 2024 power rankings, lessons from the Super Bowl, offseason predictions and more:

1. Prisco's Power Rankings: Chiefs enter 2024 up top

Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs USATSI

Before hopping on the "Pick Six NFL Podcast" to forecast the upcoming offseason (listen and subscribe here), Pete Prisco has reassessed all 32 NFL teams now that the 2023 season is officially complete. You can probably guess where he has the Super Bowl contenders in his first edition of 2024 power rankings following their overtime showdown on Sunday:

This Chiefs team was certainly beatable this season, yet here they are again as champions. They need to do some offseason work, mostly notably finding a big-play receiver, adding tackle help, re-signing Chris Jones and L'Jarius Sneed, and hoping Andy Reid doesn't walk away. But with Mahomes they will be right back in the thick of it again.

The Chiefs end the season as the top team in my Power Rankings, which seemed a long shot when they lost to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day. But that just shows you the value of having that guy under center.

The 49ers are in the second spot, with the top spot once again slipping out of their hands. Coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the best in football, but he has now blown two 10-point leads in Super Bowl losses to Mahomes. That has to sting. The 49ers will be contenders in the NFC again next season, but two tough losses in the Super Bowl will be tough to get past. Super Bowl hangovers are real for the losers by the way. Just ask the Philadelphia Eagles this past year.

2. Super Bowl fallout: Chiefs parade, key lessons to learn

Super Bowl LVIII is in the books, but that doesn't mean we're done with title-game coverage. Check out the latest:

3. Reasons why 49ers can return to the big game

Brock Purdy Getty Images

It's not easy for Super Bowl losers to return to the big game the following year, at least according to NFL history; only eight times has that occurred since Super Bowl I in 1969. But what if you're a 49ers fan desperate for some hope? We've got three reasons San Francisco is a justified betting favorite to get back to the Super Bowl:

  1. Brock Purdy is just settling in: Barely 24, just one-and-a-half seasons into a starting role, Purdy has proven to be one of the game's most efficient signal-callers. Better yet, he's not a stationary player, incapable of creating on his own. From his first start through the Super Bowl on Sunday, he's helped extend plays with an underrated elusiveness, suggesting all the physical tools are there for continued top-10 production under center.
  2. The all-star foundation is locked up: It's a minor miracle -- in actuality, a testament to general manager John Lynch's roster-building -- that San Francisco enters the offseason projected to be barely over the 2024 salary cap, all while only one (1) full-time starter under the age of 30 is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Every pivotal piece of their title-contending puzzle -- Christian McCaffreyDeebo SamuelBrandon AiyukTrent WilliamsFred WarnerCharvarius Ward, etc. -- is under contract through at least 2024. And the same can basically be said for the staff.
  3. They've conquered heartbreak before. It's not like Kyle Shanahan and Co. are strangers to this kind of exit. Shanahan has now weathered three different double-digit blown leads in the Super Bowl, first as a coordinator and now twice as a head coach. He's proven his mettle. Many of his veterans, meanwhile, have also come back from NFC title-game defeats. If the talent is still intact, we also have evidence that this franchise's resilient spirit will keep San Francisco in the hunt.

4. Projecting what's next for top Chiefs, 49ers free agents

Now that the Super Bowl is over, it's time to look ahead at pivotal pieces of this year's title contenders. Both the Chiefs and 49ers have some key veterans set to hit free agency in March. Where could they end up? We assessed the top 10 pending FAs from both sides to forecast next steps, including one of the most important players from this year's championship:

Chiefs DL Chris Jones

The five-time Pro Bowler was once again instrumental to a Chiefs title run in 2023, capping a year that began with a holdout through Week 1. His renegotiated contract, averaging payouts of $20 million per year, will void in March, and he'll surely be seeking another raise, fresh off the third double-digit sack season of his career. While other clubs would pay a fortune to have his disruptive presence in the trenches, K.C. values him too much to let him flirt with another exit.

Projection: Signs three-year, $90 million extension with Chiefs

5. Draft plans: Eagles, Patriots eyeing big-name upgrades

Jayden Daniels USATSI

Free agency comes first, but the 2024 NFL Draft is also right around the corner. Check out some of our latest preview material:

6. Extra points: Cowboys hire DC, Jefferson unsure on Vikings 

Hungry for more headlines? We've got you covered: