Mahomes magic extends Chiefs dynasty in style

Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy in celebration of the Chiefs win in SB LVII. This is the Chiefs’ second straight Super Bowl win since beating the Eagles in SB LVI last year. // Photo courtesy of John Locher AP

The 58th Super Bowl saw the National Football Conference’s (NFC) first-seeded San Francisco 49ers face the American Football Conference’s (AFC) third-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. The first Super Bowl hosted by Las Vegas in the history of the National Football League (NFL) was full of narratives — superstar turned anti-hero quarterback Patrick Mahomes II led the Chiefs to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in five seasons despite his worst statistical regular season, while Mr. Irrelevant quarterback Brock Purdy piloted a powerful 49ers offense in their first appearance since 2020. 

These two teams had bad blood as the Chiefs sent the 49ers home four years ago in Super Bowl 54. Offensive mastermind Andy Reid coached a middling offensive unit starring 2023 First Team All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. 

Excluding Mahomes, Kelce is the only returning offensive skill position starter after the Chiefs traded away receiver Tyreek Hill in the 2022 offseason. The Chiefs boasted the No. 2 ranked defense this season, led by First Team All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones. 

Head coach of the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan, aimed to prove his strategy of surrounding a solid quarterback with elite offensive weapons is capable of winning a  championship. San Francisco has developed All-Pros in wide receiver Tyshun “Deebo” Samuel, tight end George Kittle and left tackle Trent Williams to support Purdy. Adding MVP candidate running back Christian McCaffrey at the 2022 trade deadline has been paramount to their success. The 49ers defense features returning First Team All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner and 2022 Defensive Player of the Year defensive end Nick Bosa. The Chiefs deferred after winning the coin toss, giving the ball to Purdy and the San Francisco offense to start the game. The opening drive saw McCaffrey fumble on his third touch. 

This move was only McCaffrey’s third fumble in over 400 touches combined this regular and postseason. Kansas City could not capitalize on the turnover as the 49ers defense forced a punt. The teams remained scoreless at the start of the second quarter. Purdy could not connect with wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Samuel in two end zone targets, and the 49ers settled for a Super Bowl record 55-yard field goal by rookie kicker Jake Moody.Fumbles on the next Chiefs drive yielded phenomenal field position for the 49ers, but penalties forced a punt. After Kansas City punted, Purdy drove 46 yards down the field before a trick play saw wide receiver Jauan Jennings complete a pass to McCaffrey for a 21-yard touchdown to mount a 10-0 lead. 

Tech’s finest kicker, Harrison Butker, knocked a 28-yard field goal for the Chiefs’ first three points to end the second quarter 10-3. The Chiefs received the ball after halftime, but their first play of the third quarter lost 12 yards on a toss to running back Isiah Pacheco — two plays later, safety Ji’-Ayir Brown intercepted Mahomes on a pass intended for Kelce. 

The 49ers could not capitalize off the turnover, punting to the two-yard line after three downs. The Mahomes and Kelce connection started to heat up in the resulting possession while Mahomes rushed for 22 yards in a drive. It ended with Butker making a new Super Bowl record 57-yard field goal as the Chiefs trailed 10-6. 

The third quarter ended with a mistake on a punt by the 49ers, which set Mahomes up to find wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 16-yard touchdown. Kansas City had their first lead at 13-10.

The 49ers retaliated with grit; Kittle gave the extra effort on a fourth down, and Jennings broke two tackles in a 10-yard touchdown. The 49ers reclaimed the lead 16-13 as the extra point was blocked. Three consecutive drives ended in field goals, putting the game at 19-19. Purdy took a knee to send the Super Bowl into overtime, the second in the game’s 58-year history.

Warner called the tails coin flip, and the 49ers received the overtime kickoff. Ironically, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in the overtime of Super Bowl 51. 

However, Atlanta’s offense never touched the ball in overtime as the New England Patriots won the coin toss and scored a touchdown in their drive. 

This postseason marks the first under the new overtime rules that were changed after the Buffalo Bills offense did not see a play in their 2022 Divisional Game against the Chiefs. The NFL amended the rules to ensure each offense would get an attempt at scoring.

The 49ers took advantage of their possession with 13 plays and 66 yards in an almost eight seven-and-a-half-minute-long drive but could not claim a touchdown. The 49ers were not  out of the woods yet, settling for a 27-yard field goal. 

Two-time MVP Mahomes conducted a fearless drive NFL fans know all too well — 13 plays later, Mahomes completed a three-yard touchdown to wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. to clinch Kansas City’s fourth Super Bowl. 

Mahomes continues his love story with Kelce and Reid to add a third Super Bowl MVP and championship, ending Shanahan and the 49ers’ season again in heartbreaking fashion and adding to his impressive legacy as he looks to overtake Patriots QB Tom Brady’s record-setting
seven Super Bowl victories. He also becomes the first quarterback to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady did it in 2004 and 2005, breaking a 19-year long drought without a repeat Super Bowl champion.