The Kansas City Chiefs waited 50 years to get back to the Super Bowl and win it all. They took down the mighty San Francisco 49ers 31-20 on Sunday.
It was a tale of two different stories during the game. The 49ers got off to a hot start defensively as they shut down Patrick Mahomes multiple times with turnovers and pressure. That all came crashing down in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs had trouble finishing offensive drives and stop the 49ers offense. “Mahomes Magic” came alive and made two big pass plays to set them up with touchdowns.
With all that entailed with the game throughout, there are multiple storylines that appeared thanks to the game.
Patrick Mahomes Slow Start, Claims MVP
The front seven of the 49ers applied a ton of pressure on Mahomes. Mahomes would throw two interceptions and fumbled twice during the game. It seemed as though the 49ers had an answer for everything being thrown at them. Something changed in the fourth quarter. Mahomes happened.
He made a critical pass to Tyreek Hill on third and 15 midway through the fourth quarter. That led to a quick touchdown. He would make another beautiful pass to an open Sammy Watkins setting up another score. Mahomes made play after play in the fourth quarter to battle back from a 20-10 deficit.
His fourth quarter heroics led to an MVP award being presented to him. While there will be some argument about whether he deserved it or not, they would not have been in the game without him. His pass plays kept drives alive as he willed the team to a win.
Was Damien Williams Robbed of an MVP?
An interesting topic to bring up to say the least. Damien Williams had one of his better games of his career. Mahomes led the team in rushing in the AFC Title game. This time, Williams took control of the running game. He ran for 104 yards including a game-clinching 38 yard touchdown. He also caught four passes for 29 yards in the win.
His importance on the last scoring drive they had was critical. He sealed the game with that run to the outside. He was critical in pass blocking and screen passes. Mahomes had a lot of pressure in his face and needed Williams to bail him out a few times.
An argument can be made that if he wasn’t so effective in the running game, the Chiefs would not be in the game. The team stuck with the run even when they were down by double digits. They believed in Williams. That should count for something. Williams could make a case for being MVP.
Andy Reid Finally Wins the Big One
Big Red produced a big win. Andy Reid made his second appearance in the Super Bowl as head coach after losing his first with the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid made sure he got the win the second time around. He won over 200 total games before winning his first title.
He has been known for making bad play calls in big games. This time around was different. Reid went for it on fourth down twice and converted on both. Those were gutsy calls that he might have not made 10-15 years ago. He knew how much he needed this game and took risks. It paid off with a Super Bowl title.
Kyle Shanahan Blows Another Super Bowl Lead
Kyle Shanahan missed on some moments in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Chiefs. On the three and out drive that led to the Chiefs taking the lead, they got a nice five yard run on first down. The next play was a passing play. His play calling once again hurt the team.
It happened when he was offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. A 28-3 lead burned up in flames because of poor playcalling decision by Shanahan. It happened again on Sunday.
It’s tough because we know how important and innovative of a play caller Shanahan has been all season. Fans and analysts want to point the finger at somebody and Shanahan seems to be the easy target. There are plenty of talent on the 49ers. They need to put it all together for four quarters. Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will be tasked with figuring it what went wrong.
Is Jimmy Garoppolo Elite?
In the simplest terms, it doesn’t appear that he is. Yet. At one point, Jimmy Garoppolo completed 18 out of 21 passes. That success didn’t continue on. He missed on an open receiver down the field on the last drive that could have either resulted in a score or being down near the goal line. That pass hurt a lot for 49er fans.
Experts would say that for the first three quarters, Garoppolo was outplaying Mahomes. Garoppolo just didn’t step up when the team needed him the most. He was rattled by the defense and made some bad passes. It was a frustrating experience for the 49ers fan base. They had the game in their hands halfway through the fourth quarter. The offense didn’t do anything. Garoppolo just couldn’t move the ball down the field.