MIAMI — That’s all, folks. NFL 100, the centennial celebration of the greatest game on earth, ends with one of the most spectacular Super Bowls ever. The wait is over—the Kansas City Chiefs are the champions of football.
Super Bowl LIV featured two teams, San Francisco and Kansas City, that had won eight games in a row along the way. The 49ers started the season 8-0, and the Chiefs rolled into Super Sunday as the winners of eight in a row.
Something had to give with these two contrasting styles. When the 49ers get the lead, they usually run to victory. The Chiefs start slow, falling behind by 10 or 24 points before they rally to win; on Super Bowl Sunday they fell behind 20-10. The Chiefs are the first team in NFL history to win three playoff games after initially trailing by double digits in each game.
With San Francisco leading 20-10 with 7.13 to play in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, the Chiefs’ quarterback Pat Mahomes, facing a 3rd and 15, drew a line in the sand and lit up the 49ers. At his own 35, in shotgun formation, Mahomes hit speedster Tyreek Hill for 44 yards to the 49ers 21.
The 49ers had been the most dominant team in football on third down, holding opponents to 33%. Mahomes on 3rd down and 10 went deep to the end zone to tight end Travis Kelce. Interference was called on Tarvarius Moore—first and goal Chiefs. Mahomes then, on first and goal, hit Kelce for a touchdown 20-17.
The Chiefs defense then shut the 49ers down, three and out, and Mahomes with his super cape flowing in the Miami night hit running back Damien Williams with the go-ahead touchdown of five yards. Williams dove for the pylon. Suddenly now, after back-to-back Mahomes touchdown passes, the Chiefs led 24-20.
The 49ers still had time to answer the sudden shift in momentum, but the Chiefs defense was not about to give up the lead. Again they stuffed Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense. Running back Williams finished the 49ers with a 38-yard run up the left sideline—touchdown Chiefs, 31-20.
Kansas City, a 1½ point favorite, does it again, rallying from 20-10 to win their ninth straight game and Super Bowl LIV. Mahomes and the Chiefs do it again by playing for 60 minutes. Coach Andy Reid in his second Super Bowl—one of the game’s best coaches after 21 years, 207 regular-season wins and 15 playoff wins—finally wins the big one.
Mahomes, in his third NFL season, was the NFL’s MVP in the 2018 regular season, throwing 50 TD passes. At age 24 he is a Super Bowl champion and the youngest ever Super Bowl MVP.
The Chiefs are the 13th NFL team to have multiple Super Bowl wins and the first to do it 50 years apart.