Super Bowl LIV was one of the first Super Bowls that I cared to watch. Being a Houston Texans fan, there isn’t much to look forward to in the postseason. But this year, with a former Red Raider starting in the big game, for once I had a team I wanted to win.
With the game starting, the San Francisco 49ers won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half. Starting the Super Bowl with the ball, Patrick Mahomes II hit the field to run the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. After going three and out, Mahomes looked a little nervous, as expected from a 24-year-old quarterback. After a few incomplete passes, Mahomes and the Chiefs headed to the sideline.
The 49ers were the first to get on the scoreboard with a field goal, giving them a 3-0 lead. This wasn’t too surprising as the Chiefs have had slow starts this entire postseason. Despite the 49ers taking the early lead, Mahomes found a way to get the Chiefs on the board.
One of the more stressful parts at the start of the game was when Mahomes ran with the ball on third down. Although he got the first down, the ball popped loose after Mahomes destroyed a San Francisco defensive back. The ball rolled out of bounds, staying the Chiefs’ possession and Mahomes ended the drive with a touchdown run to give Kansas City a 7-3 lead going into the second quarter. This was the first example of Mahomes showing how clutch he is.
The second quarter started in favor of the Chiefs. The Kansas City defense pressured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into making a horrible pass off his back foot. While Mahomes could probably make that throw, Garoppolo is not Mahomes. The pass resulted in an interception.
Following the pick, the Chiefs moved the ball down the field quickly. After getting within a yard of a first down, head coach Andy Reid called a high risk, high reward play to go for it despite being in field-goal range. The Chiefs converted, but the drive still ended in a field goal, putting them up by a touchdown.
To end the half, the 49ers torched the Chiefs’ offense. It was kind of embarrassing because the majority of San Francisco’s game was dominated by the run. You would think it would be able to be stopped, but it couldn’t. With a dive in the endzone, the 49ers tied the game up.
With one more drive before the half ended, the 49ers prepared the move the ball down the field. For some reason, they didn’t seem to care about putting more points on the board as they ran the ball and didn’t call a timeout to stop the clock. A timeout was finally called, but it was by Kansas City for some reason. This was odd. A pass interference call on 49er tight end George Kittle wiped out a major gain that would have put the 49ers in prime scoring position, so the 49ers ended the drive by playing it safe and taking a knee, going into the half with a tie game, 10-10.
Starting the second half, the 49ers exposed the Chiefs’ defense once again, but ended their drive with a field goal, taking the lead, 13-10. When Kansas City got the ball back, Mahomes still looked nervous which was out of character of him. Once again, he is a quarterback who is in his second season as a starter so it’s understandable. The drive ended in an interception that was thrown directly to a San Francisco linebacker’s chest.
This throw had me worried. First, Tyreek Hill had two to three defenders within an arms-length so the throw was forced. Even if the pass was completed by threading the needle, it was not a good option. Also, Hill is not a tall dude, he is effective with his speed. So even if the lobbed the pass over the linebacker, he was expecting Hill to snag the ball. Despite the interception, I still didn’t doubt Mahomes.
Following the interception, the 49ers picked the Chiefs’ defense apart again. This was reoccurring in the first three quarters. This time, the 49ers added seven to the board to give them a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter. This marked 17 unanswered points by the 49ers.
At this point, I started to stress. The Chiefs’ defense could not stop the 49ers’ offense. Although they did make some key stops to force field goals rather than giving up six, the 49ers did not punt a single time in the first three quarters. No matter how good Mahomes played, the defense needed a few big stops in the fourth to take home the Lombardi Trophy. Luckily enough for Chiefs fans, that’s exactly what they did.
The first big play of the fourth quarter was an interception thrown by Mahomes. Unlike the other pick, this was not his fault. The pass was straight to wide-open Hill, but the pass went off his hands and into the defensive back’s arms.
After the second interception of the game for Mahomes, the Chiefs’ defense had their star quarterback’s back. With nine minutes left on the clock, the 49ers punted for the first time of the game. From there, Mahomes and the Kansas City offense went off.
Mahomes finally aired one out for the first time of the game for either team, throwing a 44-yard pass to Hill, the longest pass of the game. Mahomes then found his right-hand man, Travis Kelce, in the endzone but the pass was not caught. The Chiefs still moved forward though as defensive pass inference was called putting Mahomes and the offense on the one-yard line. Kelce still recorded a touchdown in the Super Bowl, scoring on the next play to make it a three-point game, 20-17.
The Chiefs’ defense then put the pressure on Mahomes after forcing another three and out. Even playing in the biggest game of his career with millions watching, Mahomes showed why he is the best quarterback in the NFL. Highlighted with a 38-yard pass to Sammy Watkins, the drive ended with a touchdown pass from Mahomes to Damien Williams. The call was reviewed and Williams found the endzone by a hair, giving the Chiefs a 24-20 lead.
This is where things got real. With a little over three minutes on the clock, Garoppolo and the 49ers tried to replicate Mahomes’ clutchness, but three consecutive incomplete passes forced a fourth down with 1:25 left of play. Despite a possibly missed delay of game, the defense made its way through the defensive line and sacked Garoppolo for a turnover on downs.
With the win practically secured, the Chiefs ran the ball to run the clock out. Well, then Williams wanted points and recorded a 38-yard rushing touchdown to put the nail in the coffin, giving the Chiefs an 11-point lead with a minute left in the Super Bowl.
If you thought that couldn’t be topped, Chiefs’ cornerback Kendall Fuller intercepted a pass to officially secure the win.
Mahomes was named the Super Bowl MVP following the game. In the past two seasons, he was named the NFL MVP, a Super Bowl Champion and a Super Bowl MVP. Not bad for the former Red Raider. The win also snapped Reid’s streak without a ring as he was the winningest coach without a Super Bowl win.
This game had me stressed at the start but it also gave me the best ending to a football game that I have seen. Like I said in my Super Bowl prediction, you should never, and I mean never, bet against Patrick Mahomes.