Chiefs win Super Bowl over 49ers 25-22 in OT


The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions, again. Patrick Mahomes engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive to conclude overtime of Super Bowl LVIII, leading the Chiefs to their second consecutive NFL championship, this one a 25-22 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Kansas City became the first team since the 2003-04 New England Patriots to win back-to-back titles in what was just the second overtime game in NFL history.

Mecole Hardman caught a 3-yard pass from Mahomes, one of only three players to win three or more Super Bowl MVPs, to end the 13-play walk-off scoring drive just one possession after the 49ers' Jake Moody kicked a 27-yard field goal to conclude a 13-play, 66-yard drive that put San Francisco ahead of Kansas City to start the extra period.

The championship-winning drive, which included a fourth-and-1 scramble from Mahomes and clutch 7-yard catch from tight end Travis Kelce, was a must-score for K.C. The NFL's new playoff overtime rules -- both teams are guaranteed at least one possession in the extra period -- were in effect for the first time with the Chiefs needing to answer the Niners.

Scoring sparked late with 34 points posted after halftime as defense dominated the first 30 minutes. The Niners started with a 10-0 advantage as coach Kyle Shanahan went into his bag of tricks with wide receiver Jauan Jennings throwing a touchdown to Christian McCaffrey in the second quarter. Jennings was dynamite for San Francisco, also grabbing a late go-ahead score, while McCaffrey fumbled on the game's first possession but finished with 160 total yards.

The Chiefs avoided a first-half shutout with a late field goal from Harrison Butker, but it was a sluggish effort until the break with Kelce logging just one catch. The offensive malaise continued after Usher's halftime performance with Mahomes throwing an interception to start the third quarter. It was clear Kansas City needed some sort of break to truly push San Francisco.

The Super Bowl turned on a dime later that period. Butker drilled a Super Bowl-record 57-yard field goal, and the Chiefs converted a fumbled punt -- off the heel of Niners special teamer Darrell Luter Jr. -- in the red zone into a touchdown. Mahomes found Marquez Valdes-Scantling across the goal line on the next play. Kansas City had been held out of the end zone until that point, it took its first lead of the game at 13-10.

Jennings' touchdown receiving (followed by a missed extra point) concluded a 75-yard drive that put the Niners back on top 16-13 as the wideout joined former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles as the only players to throw and catch a touchdown in a Super Bowl.

The Chiefs drove down to the 3-yard line but settled for a 24-yard field goal from Butker to retie the game before Moody responded with a 53-yarder. However, Mahomes successfully executed a 2-minute drill as Butker added a 29-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

Butker and Moody put together historic performances combining to go 7 of 7 on field goals in the game. Moody previously set the Super Bowl record with a 55-yard field goal to start the second quarter before being bested by Butker.

Mahomes was exceptional, completing 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while picking up 66 yards rushing on nine carries. He spread the ball around -- eight pass-catchers had at least two receptions -- slowly but surely overcoming a threatening 49ers defense that knocked him off his spot consistently in the first half.

Mahomes, with his third Super Bowl MVP, now sits alongside Tom Brady (five) and Joe Montana (three) atop the mountain while becoming just the third player to win the award back-to-back joining Bart Starr (I-II) and Terry Bradshaw (XIII-XIV).

Kelce finished with 93 yards on nine receptions -- doing much of his work in the second half and overtime -- while Hardman and Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught Mahomes' touchdowns. 

Niners quarterback Brock Purdy completed 22 of 38 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown with star WR Deebo Samuel only gaining 41 total yards while battling through injury.

The Chiefs are the first repeat champions since the 2003-04 Patriots, snapping the largest such drought in NFL history.

Mahomes now has 15 playoff wins; only Brady and Montana have more in NFL history. 

All three of Mahomes' Super Bowl wins have come after Kansas City trailed by 10+ points. 

This is the fourth Super Bowl championship in Chiefs history. 

The Chiefs are the fifth team to win three Super Bowls in a five-year span. 

Kelce is the third player in NFL history to lead three Super Bowl championship teams in yards receiving. 

Andy Reid is tied with Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh for the third-most Super Bowl titles by a head coach in NFL history. 

Why the Chiefs won

Kansas City was down, but never out. Even as the offense struggled in the first half, the defense was able to hold up its end of the bargain by keeping San Francisco's offense at bay. Steve Spagnuolo's unit also didn't let the game get out of hand, even as the offense was giving the ball away at times. After both of the Chiefs turnovers on offense in this game, the defense responded by forcing punts on the ensuing 49ers drives and allowed just 20 yards of total offense on those possessions. Even in overtime, the defense bent, but didn't break as they limited the 49ers to a field goal despite getting pushed back to the nine-yard line. Chris Jones was the star of that drive, immediately pressuring Purdy on a third-and-4 snap that led to the field goal attempt. 

Of course, the star on offense for the Chiefs was the Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes. The now three-time Super Bowl champion led his team through its initial struggles and was simply masterful down the stretch. With less than two minutes in regulation, he made the necessary plays to keep his team alive, including two clutch third-down completions. Overtime was more of the same from Mahomes, utilizing both his legs (headlined by a fourth-and-1 run to move the chains) and his arm to propel his team to victory. 

Why the 49ers lost

The 49ers simply let the Chiefs hang around, which is a death sentence with Patrick Mahomes on the opposing sideline. There were ample opportunities for Kyle Shanahan's team to put Kansas City away in this game, but it could never deliver that key blow to secure it a Super Bowl title. The first drive of the game featured a missed scoring opportunity with Christian McCaffrey fumbling at the Chiefs 27-yard line. The Niners also had two turnovers in this game that resulted in zero points scored by the offense. After building up a 10-3 lead at the half, the offense began the second half with three consecutive three-and-outs that combined for -2 total yards of offense. What made that worse was the minimal time those drives took off the clock, allowing Kansas City time to chew away at the lead. 

The muffed punt that bounced off of cornerback Darrell Luter Jr.'s ankle was also the big break that the Chiefs needed as they scored on the very next play to take the lead for the first time in the game. That opened the floodgates for Mahomes and company and sent Kyle Shanahan on a familiar path of blowing Super Bowl leads. 

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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