Chiefs Defeat 49ers in Stunning Super Bowl Comeback

Written by on February 3, 2020

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The years because the Chiefs’ final Tremendous Bowl victory have felt like many years and the many years like centuries within the Kansas Metropolis space, the place season after season led to emotional wreckage. The playoffs unspooled as if booby-trapped. Good groups cratered. Higher ones collapsed. There are scars.

Deliverance arrived on Sunday evening. The Chiefs unleashed a half-century of frustration in a frenetic fourth quarter that their followers will bear in mind for eternity. A group that would by no means win the ultimate recreation, led by a person who had by no means gained it as a head coach, shocked the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, behind a quarterback who makes all things in football possible.

Stifled for the primary 50 minutes, Patrick Mahomes reprised his playoff sorcery, main three landing drives within the closing 6 minutes 32 seconds, to ship the Chiefs their first championship because the 1969 season. Simply as he did three weeks in the past, after they trailed the Houston Texans by 24 factors, and two weeks in the past, after they trailed the Tennessee Titans by 10, Mahomes spun a double-digit deficit right into a double-digit victory.

“He seen it in some guys’ eyes, they have been getting down, together with myself,” stated receiver Tyreek Hill, whose 44-yard reception on third-and-15 from the Chiefs’ 35-yard line propelled the comeback. “I used to be like, ‘Man, how are we going to tug this off?’ And he was like: ’10, you’ve obtained to consider, brother. Like the identical religion you’ve had all your profession, you’ve obtained to consider proper now. It’s going to occur, man. I can really feel it.’ He introduced the fellows collectively, and also you noticed what occurred.”

What occurred was one other occasion of Mahomes’s demonstrating how regular guidelines don’t appear to use to him. The identical quarterback who missed solely two video games with a dislocated kneecap, who flicks passes together with his off hand or with out wanting, shredded what by some metrics was the N.F.L.’s finest cross protection within the final 10 years.

Through the common season, San Francisco allowed 169.2 passing yards per recreation, the fewest within the league since 2009. Mahomes, chosen as the sport’s most dear participant, practically matched that complete within the fourth quarter, when he threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns, to Travis Kelce and Damien Williams. 5 instances this season the Chiefs have trailed by at the least 10 factors, and all 5 instances they gained.

“Doesn’t matter what the rating is,” Kelce stated. “We’ve obtained Pat Mahomes. We’ve obtained an unbelievable protection they usually’ll put their foot within the floor in opposition to anyone.”

At 24, Mahomes is the second-youngest quarterback to win a Tremendous Bowl, behind Ben Roethlisberger, who was 23 when he gained within the 2005 season. He’s additionally the third African-American quarterback to win, becoming a member of Doug Williams and Russell Wilson, and the youngest participant to have gained an M.V.P. Award, within the 2018 season, and a Tremendous Bowl.

“There’s a number of guys that might be the face of the N.F.L.,” Mahomes stated, including, “I simply attempt to be the very best Patrick Mahomes I might be and attempt to win soccer video games with the fellows that I’ve round me.”

On the conclusion of a centennial season for the N.F.L. outlined by the ascent of excellent African-American quarterbacks like Mahomes and this season’s league M.V.P., Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, in addition to the retirements of three under-30 stars who retreated due to long-term well being issues, the showpiece of the N.F.L. calendar was contested below a somber backdrop.

Every week that started with gamers and coaches absorbing the loss of life of Kobe Bryant, the N.B.A. star who perished with eight others in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash, ended with each groups assembling on the 24-yard line — for Bryant’s quantity — in a pregame second of silence.

It was an atypical Tremendous Bowl for different causes — the halftime present was orchestrated by Jay-Z, summoned to allay issues about managing social justice expressions, and the New England Patriots, who had appeared in 4 of the final 5, have been conspicuously absent.

By early within the fourth quarter, the 49ers had largely silenced Mahomes. They harassed him into throwing two interceptions. Earlier than Sunday, he had not been picked off even as soon as throughout his earlier 4 playoff video games.

However then the boulder fell atop the 49ers, one Chiefs landing after one other, one essential defensive stand after one other, till the partisan Kansas Metropolis crowd hugged and danced within the aisles and the Gatorade bathtub drenched Reid and cannons fired red-and-gold confetti within the form of the Lombardi Trophy.

Mahomes’s artistry fueled the comeback. However the origins of the victory are rooted in two calls from the primary half, when Reid went for it, twice, on fourth down within the crimson zone. These selections produced 10 factors and additional strengthened Reid’s acumen, his recognition that the reward in that state of affairs far outweighed the danger.

“I imply, we’re not right here to mess around,” fullback Anthony Sherman stated. “We’re right here to win this factor and do it on our shoulders. For a coach to have the ability to say to his group, ‘Hear, I’m going to depend on you and belief in you guys, go get it finished’ — we obtained it finished for him.”

They did so regardless of early play-calling wizardry from 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan, who was manipulating Kansas Metropolis’s linebackers with presnap deception and misdirection, establishing play-action passes and creating room in the course of the sector — exactly the place San Francisco needed the ball.

The 49ers evened the rating at 10-10 on a masterly design through which fullback Kyle Juszczyk motioned out earlier than doubling again inside off a well-concealed play pretend. Garoppolo whipped a low cross to Juszczyk over the center, and he darted in from 15 yards, the primary rating by a fullback in a Tremendous Bowl since Mike Alstott of Tampa Bay 17 years in the past.

His landing kindled a stretch of 17 consecutive 49ers factors. San Francisco led by 10 with lower than seven minutes remaining. However Mahomes, as ever, lurked.

The Chiefs’ resurgence had begun in 2013, after they employed Reid to reform a wayward franchise and modernize the offense. However the actual inflection level got here three springs later, when Common Supervisor Brett Veach, then a personnel govt, watching some Texas Tech movie, referred to as out to Reid that he had unearthed their subsequent quarterback.

Kansas Metropolis had not drafted one within the first spherical since 1983, favoring erstwhile 49ers like Joe Montana and Elvis Grbac to fill the place as an alternative.

However Mahomes, Veach and his employees believed, was a generational expertise. When the Chiefs traded as much as draft him, Mahomes stated, he said two objectives for himself: win the Lamar Hunt trophy, named for the founder and unique proprietor of the Chiefs and given to the A.F.C. champion, and win a Tremendous Bowl for Reid. Surrounded by teammates within the tunnel earlier than they ran out for warm-ups, Mahomes implored them, “Ain’t no higher time to be nice than at this time.”

He was, they usually have been. Overlook in regards to the Chiefs’ stock of postseason failures, Lin Elliott’s missed subject objective and Marcus Mariota’s landing catch and Dee Ford’s offsides and all these different instances they stepped on a rake.

The excruciating wait is over: for Reid, who has gained extra video games than all however 5 coaches in N.F.L. historical past, all of whom had gained titles, and for Kansas Metropolis.

The Chiefs, after 50 years, are champions once more.

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