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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Super Bowl LVIII: Kansas City Chiefs become back-to-back Super Bowl champions

Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, 25-22 


By CAROLYN (CARI) FENN — sports@theaggie.org


As football season officially comes to a close, the Kansas City Chiefs become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years. The last team to accomplish this type of win was the New England Patriots, following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The game was thrilling as the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in overtime.  

The game was challenging as neither team had much luck scoring touchdowns in the first two quarters. This caused them to turn to field goals instead. It wasn’t until the Chiefs scored a touchdown in overtime with a three-yard pass by quarterback Patrick Mahomes to wide receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. that they advanced. Nonetheless, even with a loss, the 49ers put on a strong performance that had the Chiefs trailing for most of the game. 

After a scoreless first quarter, the 49ers made the first points of the game, taking a 3-0 lead after a 55-yard field goal by kicker Jake Moody. The field goal gave the 49ers a lead and Moody the record for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history. The previous record was 54 yards, held by Steve Christie of the Buffalo Bills after Super Bowl XXVIII.

The 49ers continued to extend their lead against the Chiefs with a trick play that ended in running back Christian McCaffrey scoring a 21-yard touchdown. Quarterback Brock Purdy threw a cross-field throw to wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who then passed it back across the field to McCaffery, who made his way to the endzone. This stellar compilation solidified the 49ers lead over the Chiefs by double digits with a score of 10-0.

While it appeared as if the 49ers were going to shut out the Chiefs for the whole first half of the game, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker was able to get the Chiefs on the scoreboard with a 28-yard field goal. At the end of the first half, the score was 10-3, with the 49ers leading.

During the first half, the 49ers appeared to be the stronger team, as the Chiefs were unable to find their rhythm and connect the way they had throughout the season. From fumbles to poor defense, the Chiefs struggled to get points on the board. 

Midway through the third quarter, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker broke 49ers kicker Moody’s short-lived record for the longest Super Bowl field goal. The 57-yard field goal also narrowed the 49er’s seven-point lead to a mere four-point lead. Then, in the last three minutes of the game, the Chiefs capitalized on an error by the 49ers’ wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud as quarterback Mahomes was able to throw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling to give them a 13-10 lead. 

The real competition for the Super Bowl title began during the fourth quarter of the game, with neither of the teams securing a comfortable lead to win the title. The 49ers returned early in the fourth quarter with Purdy connecting with Jennings to score a six-yard touchdown. Moody missed the extra point, giving the 49ers only a three-point lead, 16-13

The rest of the quarter consisted of back-and-forth field goals between kickers Moody and Butker until the quarter ultimately ended 19-19, causing the game to go into overtime. 

It was only the second time in Super Bowl history that a game was tied after regulation, and the first time being played under the new overtime rules that ensured both teams got possession of the ball. 

In overtime, the 49ers won the coin toss and gained first possession of the ball, securing a three-point lead with a 27-yard field goal by Moody. Yet, in the end, the Chiefs were able to complete their impressive comeback after the touchdown by Hardman Jr., making the Chiefs the Super Bowl Champions yet again.

While the 49ers played a stronger first half than the Chiefs, two key mistakes in the second half seemed to have cost them the Super Bowl title. The first mistake was the failed punt return by return specialist McCloud that gave the Chiefs a touchdown. The second was the decision to take first possession after winning the coin toss in overtime. Due to the new rule allowing both teams a chance to have possession of the ball in overtime, the decision ended up costing the 49ers the game as they were only able to score a field goal. 

Despite the 49ers’ lead in the game making them likely to win the Super Bowl, the Chiefs were able to make a comeback and win it all, with Mahomes securing his third Super Bowl win after just five seasons in the NFL.

As the Chiefs begin to create a dynasty similar to the one established by the Patriots under legendary quarterback Tom Brady in the early 2000s, they aim for a three-peat victory, something that not even the great Brady accomplished during the Patriots’ reign. As for how long the Chiefs can keep pulling Super Bowl victories, only time will tell. 

Written by: Carolyn (Cari) Fenn — sports@theaggie.org


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