Connor Van Hulzen — Staff Writer
The Kansas City metropolitan area breathed a deep sigh of relief Sunday night. For the first time in 50 years, the Kansas City Chiefs became Super Bowl champions. Behind the arm of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the legs of running back Damien Williams, and a newly dominant defense, the Lombardi trophy returned to Kansas City.
In a game which was touted as having potential to be an offensive shootout, both teams’ defenses wound up delivering the most punishing blows. Both Mahomes and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions and were limited to less than 300 yards passing.
The defenses were so suffocating in fact, that Garoppolo was held to a 69.2 passer rating and Mahomes—who was voted the MVP of the Super Bowl—had a subpar 78.1 passer rating. Only once over the course of the regular season and playoffs did Mahomes post a lower passer rating.
The fourth quarter began with a score of 49ers 20, Chiefs 10. Fourth quarter heroics from Patrick Mahomes, Damien Williams, and Kendall Fuller turned the tide in favor of the Chiefs.
The beginning of the fourth quarter, however, was not indicative of what was to come. The Chiefs’ first offensive drive ended in an interception—though the Kansas City defense stood pat and prevented the 49ers offensive from surmounting a successful drive.
On Kansas City’s next drive, Patrick Mahomes returned to his MVP form. He drove his team down the field before hitting tight end Travis Kelce for a one-yard score to cut deficit from 10 to three. The next offensive drive for the Chiefs was again turned into the Mahomes show, as he delivered again—hitting Williams for a five-yard touchdown.
A 24-20 lead with under three minutes to go was reason enough for the Chiefs to start celebrating and picturing the Lombardi trophy in their hands. They were not done just yet, though.
The Kansas City defense came up clutch, stopping the 49ers offense and forcing a turnover on downs with just over a minute remaining on the clock.
The second play of the following drive all but sealed the deal for the Chiefs. Damien Williams, an undrafted, unheralded, underrated running back, sprung loose and scored a 38-yard touchdown leaving only a minute and change for the 49ers to hope and pray for something to break their way.
Cornerback Kendall Fuller had other plans. Intercepting a Jimmy Garoppolo pass with under a minute left on the clock was the nail in the coffin. One set of kneel-downs later and the Kansas City Chiefs had won the Super Bowl.