It took another big comeback, but the Kansas City Chiefs took home football’s ultimate prize on Sunday Night at Pro Player Stadium in Miami.
Trailing the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 20-10 going into the final fifteen minutes of play, the Chiefs ran off three touchdowns in the final seven minutes of game time, powering to a 31-20 victory in Super Bowl LIV.
The Niners got on the board first in this one, thanks to a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould to take a 3-0 lead. Kansas City answered, though, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run by Patrick Mahomes to go ahead 7-3.
Kansas City extended their lead in the second quarter on a 31-yard Harrison Butker field goal to move the lead to 10-3, but the Niners answered with their first touchdown of the night, as Jimmy Garoppolo connected with fullback Kyle Juszczyk to tie things at 10-10 going into the locker room at halftime.
Just before the half, there was a bit of a strange sequence for the Niners. They got the football back with a minute to go and all three of their timeouts. Niners coach Kyle Shanahan appeared to slow play it a bit, starting out with a run and not calling his timeouts right away. The Niners appeared to be in business after a long pass from Garoppolo to George Kittle, but Kittle was called for offensive pass interference, and the Niners elected to kneel out the first half clock from there.
All the scoring in the third quarter was done by Kansas City, as they got a 42-yard field goal from Gould and a 1-yard touchdown run from Raheem Mostert to take a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter.
As the final quarter reached its midway point, the Chiefs were still down by 10 points, but then the Kansas City offense went to work. A 10-play, 83-yard drive culminated with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Travis Kelce to cut the deficit to 20-17, and the Chiefs’ next drive ended with a 5-yard pass to Damien Williams to put Kansas City ahead, 24-20.
The Niners had an opportunity and got to midfield, but then had an awful sequence where Garoppolo overthrew an open Emmanuel Sanders on what would have been a touchdown, and then got sacked on fourth down on a play that probably should have been whistled dead for delay of game. After the Chiefs got the football back, Williams iced things with a 38-yard touchdown run to provide the final margin at 31-20.
Mahomes, who was eventually named the game’s Most Valuable Player, didn’t get off to a great start in this one, throwing his first two career postseason interceptions. He finished his night with a flourish, though, and for the evening completed 26-of-42 passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Damien Williams played a big role in support, rushing the ball 17 times for 104 yards, including the clinching touchdown.
For the Niners, the defense just wore down in the fourth quarter the way they had done to so many other teams this season. The game was in Garoppolo’s hands late, and he didn’t rise to the challenge the way that Mahomes did.
The victory for the Chiefs gives them their second Super Bowl championship, and their first since they won Super Bowl IV 50 years ago at the expense of our Minnesota Vikings. It’s also the first title for Andy Reid, who has finally gotten his ring.
Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs and our friends at Arrowhead Pride on their team capturing the biggest prize in professional football, defeating the San Francisco 49ers by a final score of 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV.
And, with that, the offseason is officially underway.