By Luke Streett || Contributing Writer
This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs squared off in Super Bowl LIV. Throughout the season, both teams were seen as two of the best competitors in the league; therefore, this Super Bowl matchup was surrounded by a lot of hype. Going into the big game, the 49ers had proven themselves to be the best team in the National Football Conference (NFC), after a dominant regular season and playoff run, including an absolute beatdown of the Green Bay Packers to win the NFC and advance to the Super Bowl. The team was led by a dominant defense including veteran star and Super Bowl champion Richard Sherman, as well as a future superstar in rookie Nick Bosa. The Chiefs, on the other hand, experienced a rocky start to their season when they lost star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and star receiver Tyreek Hill to injury. The team’s overall health improved toward the end of the season, leading to an incredible run to win the American Football Conference (AFC). Perhaps the most amazing moment of their season occurred during their first playoff game, when after trailing 24-0 in the second quarter to the Texans, the Chiefs managed to score touchdowns on seven straight drives and secure a 51-31 victory.
Going into the Super Bowl, experts disagreed over whether or not the Chiefs’ unstoppable offense would be able to score on the 49ers’ impenetrable defense. Throughout the first half, the 49ers defense dominated to make the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes look like an average quarterback. San Francisco showed very little on the offensive side of the ball, leading to a 10-10 tie at halftime.
In the third quarter, the 49ers took the lead and seemed to be in control of the game. Undrafted running back Raheem Mostert carried the ball with success and lead long drives that put the 49ers in the driver’s seat. Early in the fourth quarter, Mahomes threw his second interception of the game, very uncharacteristic of a player his caliber. The 49ers celebrated in front of the cameras, showing off their defensive prowess against one of the best quarterbacks in the league in what looked like a victory.
That changed, however, on a crucial third down for the Chiefs on the ensuing drive. Chiefs coach, Andy Reid, dialed up a play that would give his team a chance to change the game. Mahomes finally delivered after missing throws all night. He completed the game-changing pass to star receiver Tyreek Hill for a forty-four yard gain. This drive ultimately resulted in a Travis Kelce touchdown. The Chiefs defense also stepped up in a big way, holding the 49ers offense to very few points in the fourth quarter. After having established a rhythm on their previous drive, the Chief’s offense proved to be unstoppable. The Chiefs charged down the field and took the lead with only a couple minutes left. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tried to lead the 49ers down the field, yet a just-missed touchdown pass seemed to squash their chance of victory. After regaining possession, Chiefs running back Damien Williams busted a forty-yard run that sealed the 30-21 victory for Kansas City.
Patrick Mahomes came home with the MVP of the game, deservedly so. Last year, in his first season as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Mahomes won the regular season MVP. This Chiefs Super Bowl run will be remembered for the resilience of the team, which allowed the team to cap off the season with a late fourth-quarter Super Bowl comeback led by Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes, a player taking over the NFL, is now being regarded as a top NFL quarterback after only two seasons as a starting quarterback. It is safe to say that Chiefs fans will be happy for years to come as long as they have Patrick Mahomes behind center.
Junior Luke Streett is a Contributing Writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.