By Ken Foyle ‘20
Every year, over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl just to watch the favored team win by landslide. In a striking turn of events, an action-packed fourth quarter threw the odds for a loop, leading the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory in history.
This year, the NFC contestant was the San Francisco 49ers, who finished the regular season with a record of 13-3, coming in first in the NFC. They tore through both the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers in order to secure their Super Bowl spot.
The team was led by their strong defensive front made up of all stars like Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman and Arik Armstead. They allowed an average of a mere 19.4 points per game and an average of only 281.8 yards per game, which landed them the second best defense in the power rankings.
The ACF West Champion Kansas City Chiefs, on the other hand, were an offensive powerhouse, led by 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes alongside insanely quick and agile Tyreek Hill and Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce. They finished the regular season with a record of 12-4 and beat the Houston Texans 51-31 in the AFC Divisional round after trailing by 24 points in the first quarter.
They also defeated the Tennessee Titans, who were on a hot streak, in the AFC Championship.
Both teams were extremely deserving of their position in the Super Bowl, and the game was on track to be a tremendous match-up.
The Chiefs started off the game leading 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, but the 49ers were quick to bounce back, leaving the game heading into overtime tied at 10-10.
The 49ers controlled the Chiefs for the second quarter and for much of the third quarter, but the Chiefs were not going to let that dictate the outcome of the game.
Kansas City head coach and comeback king Andy Reid put together a quick fourth quarter drive that ended in a Travis Kelce touchdown pass, leaving the 49ers up by only three points.
The Chiefs’ defense stepped up and forced a 49ers punt, putting the football back in the hands of Pat Mahomes. He was able to orchestrate yet another touchdown drive, putting the Chiefs in the lead at 24-20.
With about two minutes left, the 49ers’ offense had possession, and in a moment of despair, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw a game-ending interception.
Kansas City’s red hot running back Damien Williams ended up breaking out a 38-yard touchdown run within the last minutes of the game.
This play hammered the nail in San Francisco’s coffin.
The final score of the game was 31-20, Kansas City wins.
Even though Mahomes was objectively the most important component of the Chiefs offense throughout the year, Damien Williams played the biggest role in securing the Super Bowl victory.
Williams was able to consistently gain four or five yards per run, which forced the 49ers to keep a closer eye on their run game. This allowed Pat Mahomes the little bit of wiggle room he needed to air out the ball and start racking up yards and completions.
Between the elaborate playcalling of Andy Reid and the raw talent of Pat Mahomes and crew, the Chiefs were able to expose the 49ers’ slow secondary and light them up deep downfield.