The Kansas City Chiefs are back-to-back Super Bowl champions, needing 15 extra minutes to upend the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in Super Bowl LVIII.
And, just like in their last two championships in the Patrick Mahomes era, the Chiefs had to overcome a double-digit deficit to win. As was the case in Super Bowl LIV, also against the 49ers, and last year in a Super Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City trailed by 10 points before finding the right answers on both offense and defense at just the right time.
This year, it was an early deficit the Chiefs faced, with the 49ers scoring the first 10 points of the game. Kansas City then had just three points entering the half, but surged ahead with a big third quarter.
Mistakes and miscues by San Francisco were a theme in that period, and were throughout the second half while Kansas City, save for one errant pass by Mahomes that was intercepted and an overtime penalty on Trent McDuffie, played a mostly clean game down the stretch.
A Chiefs punt late in the third quarter ricocheted off a 49ers special teamer, and after a recovery by the kicking team Mahomes found Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a touchdown strike one play later. San Francisco scored on its next drive, but its extra point was blocked to keep it a three-point game.
The next four combined drives ended in field goals for each team, including one to open overtime for the 49ers. That left the door open for the Chiefs to win the game with a touchdown, though, and that’s exactly what they did.
After a drive that featured a fourth-down conversion and multiple Mahomes scrambles for first downs, the eventual Super Bowl MVP found Mecole Hardman all alone in the front right corner of the end zone for the championship-clinching touchdown.
“The biggest thing for me is the way we did it,” Mahomes said. “The battle throughout the middle of the season, to continue to have that mindset of we’re going to continue to believe, it truly is special.”
Mahomes completed 34-of-46 passes for 333 yards, two touchdown and an interception on his way to his third Super Bowl MVP award, and he also led the Chiefs in rushing with 66 yards. Travis Kelce was the game’s leading receiver with nine grabs for 93 yards, including a clutch 22-yard pickup on the game-tying drive at the end of regulation.
“I know this is one of the greatest teams of all time,” Kelce said. “To go back to back, it’s another tier of team.”
49ers quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 255 yards and one touchdown on 23-of-38 passing.
The Chiefs’ latest championship win was rife with historical milestones. They’re the first repeat champions since the New England Patriots in the 2003-04 seasons. With four Super Bowl victories, Kansas City is now tied with the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants for the third most Super Bowl titles, and Mahomes is fifth quarterback with three or more Super Bowl wins, joining the club with Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman.
Sunday’s game was also just the second overtime game in Super Bowl history. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco’s head coach, was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in the first instance back in Super Bowl LII, another game his team lost. He’s now 0-3 in his Super Bowl appearances, twice as a head coach and once as an offensive coordinator.
“What a game,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “It could have gone either way, it was just one of those games. I feel fortunate to have been on the positive side.”
The Chiefs will celebrate their championship with a parade through Kansas City, Missouri on Wednesday, Feb. 14. That will begin at 11 a.m. and will finish with a rally outside Union Station.
As for next season, odds are already out for who will win Super Bowl LIX, and the Chiefs have the second-shortest odds, only behind the 49ers.
For more on the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII, check out 580 Sports Talk Monday from 2-6 p.m. on 580 WIBW.