On Sunday, February 2, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers went head to head in Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers and Chiefs came in relatively evenly matched, with 15-3 and 14-4 records, respectively. Though the 49ers are one of the most successful NFL teams of all time, they hadn’t achieved a Super Bowl win since 1994. The Chiefs, on the other hand, came into the game with only one Super Bowl win in franchise history, exactly 50 years ago. The 49ers had a Super Bowl reputation to uphold, and the Chiefs brought the fire of a team with something to prove.
The game started off as a slow, close competition. At halftime, each team had just ten points from one touchdown and one field goal each. Despite the tied score, the 49ers seemed to have the upper hand in the first half. The Chiefs did, however, show a spark with an exciting fourth down conversion leading to their touchdown.
In the second half of the game, the 49ers seemed to be picking up momentum. Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers quarterback, had recovered from throwing an interception, and the 49ers offense seemed ready to surge ahead. After a dominant quarter, the 49ers came away with a 20-10 lead.
It seemed that the 49ers were carrying their momentum into the fourth quarter, and perhaps towards the win. But instead of panicking, the Chiefs offense got to work. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes came alive, playing like an entirely different player than he previously had. His one yard pass to Travis Kelce in the end zone put the Chiefs within three points of the 49ers.
The drama heightened on the Chiefs next drive when Chiefs running back Damien Williams barely got the ball into the end zone. The play was under a high-stakes video review, but the call stood, and the Chiefs went up 24-20. With 2:44 on the clock, the 49ers had their last possession to recapture the lead. But, Garoppolo faltered, first being sacked for a nine yard loss, then throwing another interception. The Chiefs took it back the other way to seal the deal, 31-20.
Regardless of the loss, it was one of the most impressive seasons for the 49ers in recent memory, and improvement result in a Super Bowl title next year.