By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Kansas City Chiefs are on top of the football world, and it took a furious late comeback to pull it off. Patrick Mahomes led three consecutive touchdown drives in the final seven minutes of the game as the Chiefs pulled off a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers to capture their first Super Bowl championship since the 1969 season.
Mahomes won his first Super Bowl MVP award as part of the victory. It wasn’t a perfect night for the 2018 NFL MVP, who went 26-for-42 (61.9 percent) passing for 286 yards, two touchdown passes, and two interceptions. But with the clock ticking in the fourth and the Chiefs needing a comeback, Mahomes made some massive plays in the moments that mattered.
Facing third-and-15 on the K.C. 35-yard line and a 20-10 deficit with 7:13 left in the game, Mahomes fired a 44-yard pass to a wide open Tyreek Hill, a play that flipped the field and gave the Chiefs life. A pass interference flag in the end zone on the 49ers’ Tarvarius Moore set up first-and-goal from the 1, Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a touchdown on the next play, and the comeback was on.
San Francisco bled just 1:03 off the clock on their ensuing possession, as head coach Kyle Shanahan called passes on second and third down. Both fell incomplete. Mahomes got the ball back and hit Sammy Watkins for a 38-yard catch to set the Chiefs up at the 10. Mahomes flipped a swing pass to running back Damien Williams, who broke the plane of the goal line as he went out of bounds to give him a touchdown and a 24-20 lead for the Chiefs.
Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had his final opportunity for a big play when the Niners faced third-and-10 with just 1:40 left. He overthrew an open Emmanuel Sanders inside the 10-yard line, a play that had a chance to be a deep touchdown on a more accurate pass. Williams tacked on another touchdown two plays after the Chiefs sacked Garoppolo on fourth down, and that was the game.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid won his first Super Bowl title in 21 seasons as a head coach, his seventh with Kansas City. Shanahan, meanwhile, is likely to face criticism for the 49ers’ fourth-quarter collapse and clock management at the end of each half. Garoppolo, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 for 52 yards on a touchdown drive in the third quarter, which came off a Mahomes interception, but never lit up the scoreboard again.
Kansas City has an interesting offseason ahead of them. According to Ian Rapoport, Mahomes is set to become the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history with a new contract and $40 million per season is possible. So their roster is inevitably going to look different. But as long as they have Mahomes, they should be in the Super Bowl mix for a long time.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.