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REACTION: Chiefs defeat 49ers in overtime, win second consecutive Super Bowl


For the third consecutive game, the Kansas City Chiefs entered as the underdog and, again, came away with the victory.

After winning the coin toss, the Chiefs elected to kick off to start the game. The 49ers took the ball down the field with ease, putting themselves in position to score on the opening drive.

However, on a first and 10 from the Kansas City 29-yard line, running back Christian McCaffrey fumbled, and Chiefs’ rookie defensive end George Karlaftis jumped on it, putting an end to the drive.

The Chiefs’ offense was ineffective on their first drive, going three-and-out.

Back-to-back penalties on second down by All-Pro tackle Trent Williams set the drive back, and the Niners would be forced to punt three plays later. 

After getting the ball back, defensive end Chase Young put the drive behind the chains when he sacked Patrick Mahomes, recording 1.5 sacks in the first quarter. The Chiefs could not overcome the sack and had to punt three plays later.

On the following drive, San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy completed multiple throws with impressive accuracy to move his offense down the field.

The drive went sideways on the final play of the quarter when the Kansas City defense forced a four-yard loss on a Christian McCaffrey run on second and 10.

On the second play of the second quarter, rookie kicker Jake Moody drilled a 55-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead and claim the Super Bowl record for the longest-made field goal. Moody also holds the College Football Playoff record for the longest-made field goal (59 yards).

At this point in the game, the 49ers had over 100 yards while the Chiefs had less than 20, but the score did not reflect the stats.

Kansas City’s offense finally woke up when Mahomes threw a deep ball to Mecole Hardman Jr. for a 52-yard gain, getting all the way to the 49ers’ nine-yard line.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, the drive yielded no points due to an Isiah Pacheco fumble on the next play, which was recovered by San Francisco’s Javon Hargrave.

Starting their drive from their own eight-yard line, the 49ers got a nice boost when Purdy ran for nine yards, then an additional 15 yards on a horse collar tackle.

The drive did not materialize into anything, as the penalty was the only first down on the drive. 

After a 51-yard punt, the Chiefs started their next drive at their own 20. 

Chase Young again got after Mahomes, forcing a desperation pass that resulted in a questionable intentional grounding call that set up 2nd and 20. The Chiefs could not amend the penalty and were forced to punt three plays later. 

The 49ers finally put together a consistent drive with no penalties, negative plays, or turnovers, and on a 2nd and 10 from the Chiefs’ 21-yard line, coach Kyle Shanahan drew up a double pass.

Purdy threw the ball to receiver Jauan Jennings on the left sideline, who then threw it across the field to McCaffrey on the right side of the field. 

McCaffrey had good blocks in front of him and took it into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game, putting his team up 10-0.

The Chiefs were then able to put together a fairly clean drive, going 65 yards in 13 plays on their final drive of the half.

They got all the way to the 49ers’ nine-yard line but couldn’t get into the end zone. 

Harrison Butker gave the Chiefs their only points of the half when he hit a chip shot 28-yard field goal to make the halftime score 10-3.

After Usher stepped off the stage, Mahomes stepped up in the pocket on a third and 12 and forced a throw downfield, resulting in an interception by Ji’Ayir Brown.

On what would not be their first missed opportunity, nor their last, the 49ers scored no points on the next drive, which started 44 yards from the end zone.

The missed opportunity was the first of three consecutive combined three-and-outs by the two teams. 

After getting the ball at their own 14, the Chiefs went on a nine-play, 47-yard drive that got them to the 39-yard line of San Francisco.

Moody’s Super Bowl record lasted all of two and a half quarters before it was broken by a 57-yard field goal by Butker, which cut the score to 10-6.

It became evident that the Niners’ offense had begun to sputter when they went three and out for a third straight time, gaining a grand total of three yards in those drives.

The next big mistake from San Fran came after Kansas City’s ensuing drive, where the Chiefs went three and out.

Still up 10-6, the 49ers were set to get the ball back late in the third quarter, but as the punt landed, it hit Darrell Luter Jr.’s heel. 

Returner Ray-Ray McCloud III was unable to recover the ball, but Chiefs’ Jaylen Watson did, giving the ball back to the offense inside the red zone.

Kansas City wasted no time, scoring in one play on a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Up for the first time in the game, the Chiefs’ defense did not hold the 13-10 lead, as San Francisco went down the field and scored in 12 plays, one of which was a fourth and three conversion in the red zone.

Jennings joined Nick Foles as the only players in Super Bowl history to throw a touchdown and catch one when he caught a pass from Purdy inside the ten and fought his way to the end zone, putting the Niners back on top 16-13 after the extra point was blocked.

The Chiefs responded with a 12-play drive that ate up 5:36, but they were unable to score a touchdown and had to settle for a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 16-16.

The 49ers had another good drive moving and perhaps looked like they were in position to run out the clock and kick a game-winning field goal, but the Chiefs’ defense made a third down stand, forcing a 53-yard Jake Moody field goal. 

Moody again cashed in a long field goal, putting San Francisco up 19-16 with 1:53 left.

Kansas City’s next drive featured 7-12 yards chunk plays, but San Francisco’s defense tackled well and kept the Chiefs in bounds to keep the clock running.

Facing a third and seven at the 49ers’ 33-yard line with 16 seconds, tight end Travis Kelce finally made an impact play when he took a pass on a short crossing route all the way down to the 11-yard line.

With ten seconds, the Chiefs tried going back to Kelce in the end zone, but linebacker Fred Warner had good pass coverage, forcing the incompletion. 

With six seconds left, coach Andy Reid sent out the field goal unit to attempt to force overtime.

Butker again made the short kick, sending the game to overtime with a score of 19-19.

For just the second time ever, the Super Bowl went to overtime, this time being the first with the new postseason overtime rules, which state each team must get the ball at least once. 

After the game, 49ers players said they didn’t know the new rule, and Kyle Shanahan said, “None of us have a ton of experience with it.” Perhaps this is why San Francisco questionably elected to receive the ball first when they won the overtime coin toss.

Aided by a defensive penalty that kept the drive going, Purdy led another drive into Kansas City territory, but the 49ers were unable to punch it into the endzone and had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Jake Moody to put San Fran up 22-19.

Patrick Mahomes walked onto the field 75 yards from another Super Bowl victory, and he delivered. 

On their first set of downs, the Chiefs faced a fourth and one, where Mahomes picked up eight yards with his legs. 

After getting his team to the San Francisco 32-yard line, Mahomes again took off running, gaining 19 yards this time and getting down to the 13-yard line.

Two plays later, Mahomes found a wide-open Mecole Hardman in the end zone for a 3-yard game-winning touchdown pass.

The 49ers will look back on this one with plenty of regrets. A fumble in field goal range on the opening drive, failing to score after getting an interception in Kansas City territory, fumbling a punt which immediately resulted in seven points for the Chiefs, and taking the ball first in overtime.

A blocked extra point didn’t help either, but that certainly did not decide the game. 

Tight end George Kittle was a no-show, only recording two catches for four yards, however, one of which did convert a fourth down that eventually resulted in a touchdown. 

In the third quarter, it became evident that the Niners had no short pass game. Perhaps the short game was supposed to go through Kittle and the Chiefs made a point to cover him tightly, but nonetheless, it was non-existent. 

When Purdy had time, he made impressive throws, but when the pass rush got to him, it was rare that he had a check-down to get the ball, too.

There were too many predictable run plays called and a couple of pass plays where a run may have caught the defense off-guard.

The Chiefs showed that they are still the team to beat, even if they are deemed to be underdogs. They are now the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in 2003-2004. 

Mahomes picked up his third Super Bowl MVP award with his performance of 333 pass yards and three touchdowns.

Once again, as we face the harsh reality of the offseason, it will be the Kansas City Chiefs who are being chased by the rest of the NFL. 

Next season, the Chiefs will look to become the first NFL franchise to win three Super Bowls in a row and the first American sports team to achieve this since the 2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers won three straight NBA titles.

Demetri Manousos is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].

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