In the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs appeared to be in a dire situation, trailing by ten points against a top-flight defense from the San Francisco 49ers. On the back of heroics from Patrick Mahomes and others, Andy Reid’s team was able to rise from the depths and, when the clock struck triple zeroes, it was the Chiefs that emerged victorious with a 31-20 victory.
The evening began relatively slowly from an offensive perspective, with the Niners eventually breaking the seal with a field goal. It was the Chiefs that struck first from a touchdown standpoint, though, with Mahomes getting to the edge and turning the corner to score with his legs.
Kansas City then pushed the edge to 10-3 before the halftime break but, not to be outdone, the Niners answered with fullback Kyle Juszczyk catching a touchdown pass for San Francisco’s first touchdown of the evening.
Following a memorable halftime show, San Francisco grabbed the wheel and took full control of the proceedings. First, San Francisco knocked down a field goal to take the lead and, with 2:35 left in the third quarter, Raheem Mostert crossed the goal line to give the Niners a ten-point edge.
Mahomes and company were looming but, after the Kansas City quarterback uncorked an interception, the Niners appeared to be in a fantastic position with a 20-10 lead and the ball in the closing period.
The Chiefs produced the (first) defensive stop they needed, however, setting up a touchdown from Mahomes to all-world tight end Travis Kelce to climb within a three-point deficit.
Kansas City was then able to capitalize on the momentum, holding San Francisco down and forcing a punt to give Mahomes the ball back with renewed energy. The results were strong, first with a deep ball to Sammy Watkins to put the Chiefs in business.
The drive ended shortly after with Mahomes finding Damien Williams to fully erase the ten-point deficit and give Kansas City a 24-20 lead with just 2:44 to play in Miami.
Still, San Francisco had a chance to come back behind Jimmy Garoppolo and there was a bit of upward momentum in the early portion of the ensuing drive. In the end, though, Garoppolo was sacked on fourth and ten, giving the Chiefs the ball back needing only a single first down to secure a victory.
In on-brand fashion, Kansas City got more than a first down, with Williams taking the ball to the house to give the Chiefs an 11-point lead that was virtually insurmountable.
It should be noted that, well, the Chiefs would’ve been in better shape if Williams simply fell down after securing the first down. In the end, though, Garoppolo wasn’t able to lead the miracle comeback and Kansas City secured its first Super Bowl in five decades.
Mahomes was not his best for much of this game, to the point where it was the first time this season in which he uncorked a pair of interceptions. Still, he made plays when needed, finishing with 286 yards, two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to lead the Chiefs to victory. Williams was strong on the ground, gaining 104 yards and the game-breaking touchdown, with Tyreek Hill adding 105 yards receiving and Watkins contributing five key catches for 98 yards.
For the Niners, it was a brutal conclusion to an otherwise fantastic season, and San Francisco will almost certainly lament the game went in the fourth quarter. In some ways, it was a storybook ending for the Chiefs, with the team needing to overcome yet another sizable deficit in the postseason to grab the title, and the Mahomes era now has a title to go along with his individual brilliance.