The Kansas City Chiefs roared back to win a thrilling, topsy-turvy Super Bowl, holding their nerve as the San Francisco 49ers lost theirs.
Once again faced with a double-digit deficit, MVP Patrick Mahomes kicked into gear and led the Chiefs to a 31-20 win at Hard Rock Stadium.
It sealed the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory since 1970 and a first Lombardi Trophy for popular head coach Andy Reid.
With the game perfectly poised at 10-10 at half-time, San Francisco seemingly took control, with Jimmy Garoppolo overcoming an early interception and Deebo Samuel puncturing holes in the Chiefs defense as the 49ers rattled off 14 consecutive points.
It had looked all over. San Francisco led 20-10, Mahomes had been harassed and bullied by Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Co as the 49ers’ defense imposed their will.
The headlines were being written: Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and so on.
But then, like the greats do, Mahomes took over. He was aided by a strong defense, who stepped up when it mattered, as the Chiefs continued their happy streak of scoring freely when it really matters.
A little under nine minutes remained, but three swift Chiefs drives ended in touchdowns. Mahomes found tight end Travis Kelce from six yards to give hope. Then, after the defense forced a three-and-out, Mahomes connected with running back Damien Williams to put the Chiefs ahead, the touchdown given after a review. The 49ers turned over possession on downs, then running back Williams fled 68 yards for his second score – he rushed for a bruisining 104 yards – to give Kansas City the excuse to wildly celebrate.