On February 2nd, the San Francisco 49ers fell just short to the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Until their win on Sunday, the Chiefs’ only other Super Bowl win came 50 years ago, in Super Bowl IV in 1970. Chiefs’ fans packed the Power & Light District in Kansas City to watch the game and erupted when the whistle blew at the end of the fourth quarter. Many fans claimed they had waited their entire life for this moment.
However, it wasn’t all uphill. At halftime the game was tied at 10-10 and after a stellar halftime performance from Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, the 49ers took control.
To start the second half, the 49ers hit a field goal and capitalized on an interception thrown by Patrick Mahomes to take the lead, 20-10. The very next drive, Mahomes threw another interception. Although the interception only eventually led to a punt by the 49ers, this introduced a struggling Mahomes that has yet to be seen this season.
Mahomes had thrown only five interceptions this season in 484 pass attempts, and suffered no multi-pick games — until Sunday. This dropped Mahomes’ passer rating to 49.1, which greatly surpassed his career low of 62.7. “The third quarter didn’t go the way I wanted,” he said. “But I believed in my defense to get stops, and they did.”
All of a sudden, momentum shifted. Mahomes proved to not be fazed by his mistakes and threw a 44 yard bomb on third-and-15 to Tyreek Hill. They then scored a touchdown on a one yard pass to Travis Kelce, decreasing the 49ers lead to 20-17.
After a stop by the defense, the Chiefs got the ball back and once again Mahomes fired a long pass to put the Chiefs in the red zone. This one was a 38 yard pass to Sammy Watkins. This set the Cheifs up for an easy touchdown that came off of a five yard pass to Damian Williams. The Chiefs now led 24-20. Mahomes had stepped up to the challenge and confirmed that he deserved the hype he had received this season. Being behind for most of the second half did not faze Mahomes, who is 5-0 after trailing by double digits this season.
“I never [doubt Mahomes],” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I always think with him, keep firing. I’ve seen this before. Right when you don’t think he’s gonna do something, he rips your heart out with great plays. You saw that with Larry Bird. Larry Bird might’ve gone cold for a little bit but he kept shooting. That’s what you do with the great ones. This kid’s young, but he’s great. He’s gonna do nothing but get better.”
The touchdown came with 2:44 left, and the 49ers regained possession of the ball. Being down by 4, a field goal would not cut it, so the 49ers were desperately fighting for the go-ahead touchdown. However, the Chiefs’ defense once again stepped up and proved to be impenetrable, stopping Jimmy Garrapolo and the 49ers on a fourth-and-ten sack.
The Chiefs sealed the game on the next possession with a 38 yard touchdown run by Damian Williams. The game would end with the Chief’s winning 31-10.
As the final whistle blew, confetti rained onto the turf and Chief’s players stormed the field. Due to his ability to bounce back from his mistakes and keep his composure, Mahomes was named the Super Bowl MVP, making him the youngest quarterback ever to earn this accolade. While his performance was plausible, it wasn’t up to Mahomes’ high standard he has set this season. However, it was his poise and confidence in his team and himself that led his team to victory. Tyreek Hill, one of Mahomes’ favorite targets stated, “We were down 20-10 and he was telling us to believe in the fourth quarter. He brought the guys together and you saw what happened, man. We pulled it off.”