Chiefs post Super Bowl overtime victory against 49ers, 25-22
After an up-and-down year for both teams, the 2023-2024 NFL season ended with one of the most competitive championship games in league history, featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.
A rematch of Super Bowl LIV in 2020, this game was one of the most anticipated finales in NFL history. San Francisco looked to avenge their Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs four years ago. Kansas City had its eyes set on becoming the ninth team in league history and the first in 19 years to win back-to-back Lombardi trophies. Both teams found a way to overcome rocky endings to the regular season and punch their tickets to Las Vegas.
On the opening drive of the game, the Niners marched down the field, going 46 yards in four plays, before star running back Christian McCaffrey fumbled the ball away to Kansas City. The rest of the first quarter remained stagnant, featuring multiple three-and-outs and punts. After both teams’ slow starts, San Francisco executed a ten play, forty-six yard drive that lasted until the second quarter, culminating in a Super Bowl record 55-yard field goal from kicker Jake Moody, putting the 49ers up, 3-0.
The Chiefs seemed to wake up on the next drive. After converting just their second first down of the game, quarterback Patrick Mahomes hit wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a 52-yard bomb to set Kansas City up on the 49ers’ nine yard line. However, disaster struck. On the next play, running back Isiah Pacheco fumbled, and San Francisco recovered the ball on the eight yard line, killing any momentum for the defending champs.
After trading more punts, the defensive slugfest finally saw its first touchdown. On a trick play, San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy threw a backward pass to receiver Jauan Jennings, who then threw the ball back across the field to McCaffrey, who raced behind his blockers into the end zone for the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVIII, making the score 10-0.
Kansas City would respond with a gutsy, 13-play drive resulting in a twenty-eight yard field goal from kicker Harrison Butker just before time expired in the quarter. This made the score going into halftime, 10-3 in favor of San Francisco.
After halftime, any adjustments made by either offense did not seem to work. Kansas City received the ball, but Mahomes would throw an interception to Niners defensive back Ji’Ayir Brown on their own 44 yard line. This mistake would prove negligible, however, since San Francisco was unable to score any points despite the momentum and the short field.
The teams would trade three more punts before Kansas City saw its second score of the game. A record-breaking, 57-yard field goal from Butker, breaking Moody’s record from the quarter before, making the score 10-6.
San Francisco would go three-and-out on their next drive and punt back to the Chiefs before they did the same. However, the punt would be touched by a 49ers’ special teams player and muffed by returner Ray-Ray McCloud. After the immediate scrum for the ball, the Chiefs would recover it at the San Francisco nineteen yard line. This mistake would prove costly, as Mahomes hit receiver Marques Valdez-Scantling for a touchdown on the very next play, giving Kansas City its first lead of the game, 13-10 late in the third quarter.
The following drive, San Francisco responded with a twelve play, seventy-five yard touchdown drive ending with a ten-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to Jennings, but after the extra point was blocked, the 49ers only led by three points, 16-13 early in the fourth quarter.
Coming down the stretch, the teams would trade field goals to open the next two drives. A twenty-four yarder from Butker to tie it for Kansas City, 16-16, then a fifty-three yarder from Moody to retake the lead for San Francisco, 19-16. With less than two minutes left in regulation, Mahomes was able to orchestrate an 11-play, 64-yard drive to try and steal the win, but after an incomplete pass to star tight end Travis Kelce in the end zone, with six seconds remaining Kansas City had to settle for another Butker field goal from twenty-nine yards out, tying the game 19-19 and forcing overtime.
For the second time in NFL history, the Super Bowl had to be decided in overtime (the first was Super Bowl LI in 2017).
San Francisco won the coin toss and received the kickoff to begin the overtime period. The strong, 13 play, 66-yard drive looked promising before stalling out on the Kansas City nine yard line. A 27-yard Moody field goal pushed the 49ers back out in front, 22-19.
Kansas City had to match the field goal to extend the game or win by scoring a touchdown. If they failed to do either, they lost.
Three plays into the drive, Kansas City faced a fourth down with one yard to go in order to extend the drive. Mahomes was able to scramble for a gain of eight yards and convert for a first down. Over the next eight plays, the Chiefs moved the ball fifty-five yards down to the San Francisco three yard line. With six seconds left in overtime, Mahomes found Mecole Hardman wide open in the right flat who caught the ball and walked in for a touchdown as time expired. The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII in overtime, 25-22.
Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl LVIII Most Valuable Player after accounting for 399 total yards and two touchdowns. He led the Chiefs organization to its fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history and its third in the last five years.