The Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 19 years, downing the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime in Las Vegas. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs have won Super Bowls in three of the past five seasons.
The game was a rematch of the Super Bowl four years ago, when the Chiefs pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 31-20.
Kansas City Chiefs defeat San Francisco 49ers in OT in Super Bowl LVIII
Sunday’s contest began slowly – very slowly – with the first points not coming until Jake Moody booted a Super Bowl record 55-yard field goal 12 seconds into the second quarter. The first four drives of the game had ended with a San Francisco fumble, then three consecutive punts by the two teams.
The game didn’t open up until the second 15 minutes, when the 49ers got their 3-0 lead and the Chiefs appeared to be ready to answer after a 52-yard pass, but a Kansas City fumble a few plays later was recovered by the Niners at their 8.
After the Chiefs fumble came two more punts, but then the 49ers took a 10-0 lead thanks to a smart trick play. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings, a star quarterback in high school, took a pass-like lateral on the left side of the field and then threw all the way across field to All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who found a hole in the Chiefs defense and a path for a 21-yard sprint to the end zone with about 4:30 left in the half.
The Chiefs were able to get a short field goal just before intermission. Harrison Butker’s 28-yard boot cut the 49ers lead to 10-3 with 20 seconds left in the second quarter. It capped a 15-play drive by the Chiefs. None of the 13 teams failing to score in the first half has ever won the Super Bowl.
What little scoring momentum had appeared in the second quarter disappeared early in the third and the special teams had the more noteworthy plays.
Moody’s longest field goal record also vanished when Butker hit from 57 yards with 5:01 left in the period to get the Chiefs within four at 10-6.
With 2:32 left in the third quarter, another special teams play helped the Chiefs nab their first lead. San Francisco’s Darrell Luter Jr. tried to pick up a punted ball that hit a teammate’s foot but it slipped through his fingers and the Chiefs grabbed the ball at the 49ers’ 16-yard line. On the next play, Mahomes zipped a pass to a wide-open Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a touchdown and a 13-10 lead.
The Chiefs’ defense, normally stingy in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, gave up a touchdown with 11:22 left in the contest when Purdy hit Jennings for a 10-yard score. The extra point was blocked, however, and San Francisco had only a field goal lead, 16-13.
Butker tied the score five and a half minutes later, capping a 13-play Kansas City drive with a 24-yard field goal.
Moody put the Niners ahead 19-16 with another field goal from beyond 50 yards, a 53-yarder with just 1:53 left.
The game headed to overtime when the Chiefs drove 64 yards and Butker nailed a 29-yard field goal with three seconds left.
It was only the second time the Super Bowl went to overtime. In the 51st Super Bowl in 2017, the New England Patriots rallied from a 28-3 deficit and won by a touchdown.
The 49ers scored on the first drive of overtime, settling for a 29-yard field goal with a quick pass rush from the Chiefs caused Purdy to overthrow his receiver on third and four at the Kansas City 9-yard line.
Needing at least a field goal to extend the game, Mahomes worked his magic, mixing key completions with a big run for a first down. On the winning play he found Mecole Hardman Jr. open at the goal line for a touchdown.