Chiefs Arrow ‘Niners: Kansas City Achieves Comeback Victory Versus San Francisco in Super Bowl

Abigail Jackson, Staffer

The Super Bowl isn’t always an exciting game. Sometimes it’s a blowout, like last year in Super Bowl LIII, when the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 and in 2014, Super Bowl XLVIII, when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos by a score of 43-8. Big wins are still exciting to watch, but they don’t keep you on the edge of your seat like the Super Bowl should. However, this year, the Super Bowl was far from boring. The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers traveled to Miami to compete in Super Bowl LIV.
I knew even before the game that it would be exciting. Throughout the regular season, both teams dominated in their divisions, with the Chiefs finishing 12-4 and the 49ers finishing 13-3. When the playoffs began, the 49ers sailed into the Super Bowl, but the Chiefs had a harder time, especially when they played the Texans in round 2. They were down 21-0 at the beginning of the second quarter, but they came back and won the game, 31-51.
It seemed like the sports world was very divided over who would win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs had Patrick Mahomes, the standout quarterback who keeps getting better, but the 49ers had Jimmy Garoppolo, who spent years with the Patriots, learning from Tom Brady. Both teams had outstanding defenses that helped their teams make it to the Super Bowl, and both teams have dedicated coaches that had been continuously praised leading up the the big game.
The game started out slow. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 3-7 Chiefs, and at the end of the second quarter, the score was tied at 10-10. I was disappointed that the score was so low, considering that these two teams have shown time and time again that they have strong offence. However, since the game was tied, I knew that both teams would come out of the locker rooms motivated and looking for a win.
That’s exactly what happened. The 49ers took the lead in the third quarter, scoring another touchdown and another field goal. The Chiefs didn’t score in the third quarter, and things looked bleak for them. Mahomes had thrown his first postseason interception in the third quarter, and they needed to score at least ten points, given the 49ers didn’t score again. There was a lot of pressure on the Chiefs going into the fourth quarter, and once it started, their chances of victory got even smaller. The 49ers had the ball first in the fourth quarter, and then Mahomes threw another interception, giving them even less time to come back.
With about seven minutes on the clock, Mahomes and his offense took the field. After throwing a 44-yard pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs scored a touchdown and only needed a field goal to tie up the game, which, based on their previous drive, was doable. The Chiefs’ defense quickly shut down the 49ers when they took the field, and then the Chiefs scored again on the following drive. After kicking the extra point, the Chiefs were leading the game 20-24. However, there was still 1:40 on the clock for the 49ers to have one last chance at winning the Super Bowl. Garoppolo threw a long pass to a seemingly open receiver, but the Chiefs defense was able to hold them off and force a punt from the 49ers. On the Chiefs’ final drive, running back Damien Williams had a 38-yard touchdown run to secure the win and put the Chiefs ahead 20-31.
Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers coach, is no stranger to blowing leads in the Super Bowl. He was the coach of the Falcons when they went to Super Bowl LI and blew a 28-3 lead and lost to the Patriots 28-34. After that game, Shanahan was criticized for not calling running plays in order to run down the clock and give the Patriots less time to come back and win. He faced similar criticism this year after losing to the Chiefs, especially regarding the plays following Mahomes’ second interception. However, it really just came down to defense: the Chiefs scored 21 points in seven minutes, and the 49ers couldn’t keep up.
Overall, the Super Bowl lived up to my high expectations. The game wasn’t decided in the first half, meaning every second of the game mattered and every play impacted the final score. I’m glad that the Chiefs won, and I can’t wait to see what happens next season.