How The Kansas City Chiefs Won The Super Bowl

Written by on February 3, 2020

PicturePatrick Mahomes threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes.
Credit score…Doug Mills/The New York Instances

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — After a 50-year wait, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs are Super Bowl champions as soon as once more, after Patrick Mahomes engineered a stirring fourth-quarter comeback Sunday to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, at a raucous Arduous Rock Stadium.

It was a recreation of momentum swings, however the final one went to the Chiefs, who entered the fourth quarter trailing by 10 factors however proceeded to attain three touchdowns over the course of simply 5 minutes 1 second of recreation clock, overwhelming a San Francisco protection that had merely been hoping to carry on to a lead.

“I imply we by no means misplaced religion — that’s the largest factor,” Mahomes stated in an on-field interview instantly after clock ran out.

Mahomes, 24, turned the youngest quarterback named Tremendous Bowl most dear participant, one yr after he had grow to be the youngest participant named league M.V.P.

Mahomes had regarded shaky for a lot of the sport, throwing two second-half interceptions as his workforce fell behind by 10 factors. However he was picked up by his protection within the fourth quarter as they harassed San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo right into a collection of dangerous throws and ineffective drives, permitting Kansas Metropolis’s offense to seek out its rhythm.

The comeback started with a 44-yard completion from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill on a vital Third-and-15 play within the fourth quarter, and included brief scoring passes to tight finish Travis Kelce and working again Damien Williams. Mahomes completed the sport having accomplished 26 of 41 passes for 286 yards, with the 2 touchdowns but in addition two interceptions. He received enormous contributions from Williams (133 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns) and large receivers Hill (105 receiving yards) and Sammy Watkins (98 receiving yards). Kelce, the workforce’s All-Professional tight finish, scored the landing that adopted Hill’s lengthy catch, and commenced the Chiefs’ rally.

The win gave Coach Andy Reid his first championship after a protracted profession outlined by groups that had been at all times good however might by no means fairly get to the highest. A Tremendous Bowl champion as an assistant coach with Inexperienced Bay, he led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Tremendous Bowl after the 2004 season as a head coach however misplaced the sport to the New England Patriots.

An ebullient Reid was emotional after the win, saying of the comeback, “While you’re down by a pair scores, you must leap in it.”

Comebacks have grow to be the Chiefs’ signature. Sunday’s victory was the third comeback of 10 or extra factors by Mahomes and the Chiefs throughout this postseason — an N.F.L. report — and it appeared inevitable as soon as Garoppolo and the 49ers’ offense started to falter.

Garoppolo, who managed the sport for 3 quarters, accomplished 20 of 31 passes for 219 yards and a landing, with two interceptions, one among which got here after the Chiefs’ comeback as San Francisco desperately tried to get itself again into the sport.

For Coach Kyle Shanahan of the 49ers, the loss needed to convey again dangerous reminiscences of the Tremendous Bowl three years in the past, when his Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-Three fourth-quarter lead and misplaced to the Patriots. Whereas this comeback was not fairly as excessive because the one engineered by Tom Brady that day, it was equally gutting, as Mahomes introduced his workforce again from its lowest level, changing a Third-and-15 cross with 7:13 left within the recreation.

To comply with the sport because it occurred, learn on:

Right here’s what you’ll want to know:

With the Chiefs seeking to run out the clock, Williams breaks round left finish as an alternative and races down the sideline for a 38-yard landing. Recreation. Set. Tremendous Bowl.

A Kendall Fuller interception of Garoppolo with 57 seconds left is simply the cherry on high, and an opportunity to douse Andy Reid in Gatorade as he lastly claims his first title as a head coach.

San Francisco has handed the ball again to Patrick Mahomes with simply 1:25 left and the Chiefs main, 24-20.

After a 16-yard cross to Kendrick Bourne had supplied some hope on the drive, Garoppolo’s subsequent three passes had been incomplete, with one being batted into the air, one practically being intercepted, and the third crusing properly out of his large receiver’s attain.

On 4th-and-10, he was wrapped up by Kansas Metropolis and tossed to the bottom for a turnover on downs.

This recreation is all however over.

That didn’t take lengthy.

Patrick Mahomes accomplished a 5-yard landing cross to Damien Williams and after the additional level, Kansas Metropolis finds itself main, 24-20, with 2:44 left. Williams got here near stepping out of bounds on the landing catch, however he reached the ball over the pylon to interrupt the aircraft of the objective line and the play was upheld after a evaluate.

The Chiefs trailed by 10 factors earlier than Travis Kelce’s landing catch with 6:13 left within the fourth quarter. They now simply have to carry on for lower than three minutes to safe the workforce’s first championship in 50 years.

The 60-yard drive had began with a couple of brief drives after which Mahomes regarded deep to his proper and related with Sammy Watkins for a 38-yard cross that put the Chiefs on the 49ers’ 10-yard line.

Trying to hold the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’s arms, the 49ers completely fell down on the job.

They began with a 5-yard run by Emmanuel Sanders. After a Jimmy Garoppolo cross was batted down on the line of scrimmage by Chris Jones, the Chiefs put stress on him once more, forcing the San Francisco quarterback to easily throw the ball away on third down.

Patrick Mahomes now has the ball on his workforce’s 35-yard line, trailing by solely Three factors, with 5:10 left within the recreation.

The 49ers’ drive took simply 1:03 off the clock.

The comeback could also be starting. Now now we have to see how Coach Kyle Shanahan responds.

Lining up on the San Francisco 1-yard line, Patrick Mahomes rolled to his proper and threw to Travis Kelce for a landing that together with the additional level has the Chiefs trailing, 20-17, with 6:13 left within the recreation.

Earlier within the drive, San Francisco efficiently challenged a name of a whole cross, leading to a Third-and-15, however Mahomes, below intense stress from San Francisco defenders, launched a ball down the sphere to a wide-open Tyreek Hill for a 44-yard acquire that put the Chiefs simply exterior the purple zone.

One other try and Hill sailed properly out of the large receiver’s attain, and Mahomes was chased into throwing the ball away by Arik Armstead on second down. That arrange a Third-and-10. Mahomes threw incomplete to Kelce in the long run zone, however Tarvarius Moore, who delivered an interception earlier within the recreation, was accurately known as for cross interference, with the 20-yard penalty placing the ball on San Francisco’s 1-yard line.

At that time it was only a matter of time, and Mahomes put the factors on the board with only one extra play.

Should you’re searching for a motive for San Francisco to be nervous, it comes from Patrick Mahomes’s performances simply on this postseason. In a divisional spherical recreation towards the Houston Texans, Mahomes and the Chiefs fell behind by 23-Zero within the second quarter before winning, 51-31. Within the A.F.C. championship recreation towards the Tennessee Titans, the Chiefs fell behind by 17-7 before winning, 35-24.

With slightly below seven minutes to play, the 49ers are main by 10 factors. However Mahomes has the ball and an opportunity to attain. And with Mahomes, scoring performs have a tendency to return in a rush.

Given a bonus drive by means of the interception, the 49ers weren’t in a position to do something with it. They gained solely 17 yards on 5 performs, with Jimmy Garoppolo being pushed out of bounds for a 4-yard acquire on a third-down play the place San Francisco had wanted 14.

Garoppolo has been efficient all recreation for San Francisco, finishing 18 of 22 passes, however he uncorked one stinker on this drive, together with his cross crusing throughout the center of the sphere with no receivers anyplace close to it. Fortunately for the 49ers, no Chiefs gamers had been anyplace close to, it both.

After a stable punt with no return, Kansas Metropolis has the ball again on its 17-yard line.

Patrick Mahomes rushed one other cross and the 49ers made him pay once more. Throwing to Tyreek Hill in site visitors was dangerous, and the ball was knocked into the air, the place the second-year security Tarvarius Moore grabbed it for San Francisco’s second turnover of the sport. It was the primary interception of Moore’s skilled profession.

The Chiefs had as soon as once more been steadily shifting the ball down the sphere with a collection of brief performs when defensive deal with DeForest Buckner broke up the momentum with a 9-yard sack wherein he spun Mahomes to the bottom.

Mahomes recovered from the sack to scramble for a 13-yard acquire, organising a Third-and-6. However the ill-fated cross try and Hill handed the ball again to San Francisco.

On the finish of the third quarter, the 49ers are main the Chiefs, 20-10, however Patrick Mahomes has Kansas Metropolis shifting the ball on a drive that had begun with San Francisco’s defensive position repeatedly pressuring him within the backfield.

The fourth quarter will start with Kansas Metropolis having a primary down at its 46-yard line, and whereas Nick Bosa and the remainder of 49ers’ defensive linemen seem to have worn down the Chiefs’ offensive line, Mahomes has but to look all that bothered by it past throwing the ball away on the primary play of the present drive.

Mahomes has loads of giant comebacks in his profession, together with in this postseason, so he’s positive to show this recreation right into a struggle. But when there’s one factor that was careworn amongst 49ers gamers and coaches greater than the rest this week, it was that Coach Kyle Shanahan won’t ever take his foot off the gasoline pedal. Not after his Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-Three result in the New England Patriots in Tremendous Bowl three years in the past.

Raheem Mostert plowed the ball into the tip zone from the 1-yard line and San Francisco, because of a vital interception, is main Kansas Metropolis, 20-10, with 2:35 left within the third quarter.

The 49ers’ protection arrange the 55-yard drive when Fred Warner intercepted a cross by Patrick Mahomes, and the 49ers had been instantly aggressive, with Jimmy Garoppolo finishing a 16-yard cross to Deebo Samuel.

After two performs went nowhere, Garoppolo discovered Kendrick Bourne over the center for a 26-yard acquire and a cross to Kyle Juszczyk received San Francisco to the 1-yard line.

They gave the ball to Mostert, Juszczyk delivered an enormous block, and the 49ers now have a two-score lead.

The information shouldn’t be all good for San Francisco, nonetheless. Joe Staley, the workforce’s beginning left deal with and its longest-tenured participant, is out of the sport with a hand harm. His return is questionable.

Patrick Mahomes made a fully brutal mistake, throwing a cross on to linebacker Fred Warner for an interception, at hand the ball again to San Francisco shortly after the 49ers had taken the lead.

The Chiefs had simply survived a strip-sack fumble wherein Nick Bosa was in a position to slap the ball out of Mahomes’s hand as he streaked previous him. Mahomes, seeking to make one thing occur in a recreation the place he has typically settled for dinks and dunks, tried to make up for the sack by making an attempt a deep cross to Tyreek Hill and Warner didn’t even have to maneuver to grab the turnover, returning it Three yards after which celebrating together with his teammates by streaking into the tip zone for a bunch picture.

The 49ers offense takes over at their very own 45-yard line.

San Francisco continued to combine issues up with the run and the cross, and after a drive stalled out on the sting of the purple zone, they took the lead with a 42-yard area objective by Robbie Gould.

Gould is now an ideal 15 for 15 on profession makes an attempt within the postseason, and the 49ers are main, 13-10.

Jimmy Garoppolo received issues began on the drive with two passes to Emmanuel Sanders that mixed for 20 yards. One other end-around to Deebo Samuel went for 14 yards, however regarded as if it’d go for much more when he received a step on a couple of defenders alongside the sideline.

With 53 speeding yards, Samuel, a rookie large receiver who is commonly used within the working recreation, has set an N.F.L. report for a large receiver in a Tremendous Bowl. He broke the earlier report of 45, set by Percy Harvin of the Seattle Seahawks within the Tremendous Bowl following the 2013 season.

San Francisco would get yet another first down on the drive, with a cross to Kyle Juszczyk, however they weren’t in a position to advance previous Kansas Metropolis’s 24-yard line and wanted Gould to bail them out on the drive.

Kansas Metropolis is understood for its ultrafast large receivers, however aside from a 28-yard completion to Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs haven’t had another cross acquire greater than 11 yards. The Chiefs’ second-longest play of the primary half approaching a 14-yard run by Damien Williams.

To see Patrick Mahomes lowered to a collection of brief passes was stunning, however San Francisco linebacker Kwon Alexander stated in the course of the week that his workforce had what it took to face as much as fleet large receivers like Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman and Watkins.

“What the reply to hurry? Pace,” Alexander deadpanned earlier than saying, “Nah, the reply to hurry is smartness and being on high of your recreation and doing all your job.”

He added: “Once we go on the market we play with one another as a workforce. We’re going to play quick, run, hit, cowl, do no matter we’ve received to do to get this ring.”

With gamers as quick as Hill, Watkins and Hardman, any catch is a possible landing, so there’s ample time for Alexander’s phrases to ring hole within the second half.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira restored sparkle and spectacle to the Tremendous Bowl halftime present on Sunday evening with headlining units heavy on Latin delight, a yr after the pop-rock band Maroon 5 performed an anodyne set with the rapper Travis Scott that appeared to please no one.

Lopez, 50, took an athletic, dance-heavy spin by way of hits from her 21-year profession in pop music, from “Jenny From the Block” to “On the Ground,” with a visitor look from the Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin for his monitor “Mi Gente.” Lopez spun atop a pole for “Ready for Tonight” (exhibiting off abilities from her position in “Hustlers”) and introduced out a youngsters’s refrain for “Let’s Get Loud” that included the singer’s daughter, Emme.

Shakira, 43, likewise reached again by way of her discography, which started in her native Colombia within the early 1990s and broke by way of in america along with her 2001 album “Laundry Service”: “She Wolf,” “Every time, Wherever” and “Chantaje.” She seized an electrical guitar for “Empire” and crowd-surfed earlier than “Hips Don’t Lie.” The Puerto Rican pop sensation Unhealthy Bunny, draped in a silver coat, joined her to carry out his verse from Cardi B’s “I Like It.”

At one level within the first half it appeared as if Kansas Metropolis is likely to be working away with the sport. The Chiefs had taken benefit of a Jimmy Garoppolo interception to kick a area objective, which put Kansas Metropolis up by 10-3, and with a Patrick Mahomes-led offense, any lead is a commanding lead.

Undeterred by the early deficit, San Francisco Coach Kyle Shanahan caught to his run-heavy assault, finally softening up the Chiefs’ protection to the purpose the place Garoppolo was in a position to tie the sport at 10-10 by throwing to fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a 15-yard catch-and-run.

San Francisco’s protection rewarded Garoppolo’s landing cross by forcing a punt on what initially regarded like a powerful Kansas Metropolis drive, and the 49ers seemed to be in place to take a lead within the last seconds of the half, when Garoppolo discovered George Kittle for a protracted completion in Kansas Metropolis territory. However Kittle was flagged for offensive cross interference, which left the sport tied 10-10 because the workforce’s headed into the locker room.

Whereas every workforce had a flip with momentum, the 49ers ended up with a light yardage benefit, 178 to 155. The Chiefs, although, largely managed the clock, having possessed the ball for 17:13 of the half’s 30 minutes.

Mahomes is 12 of 18 for 104 yards, working for the Chiefs’ lone landing, whereas San Francisco has accounted for practically half of its yardage on the bottom, with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman and Deebo Samuel combining for 89 yards on 11 carries.

After an prolonged halftime with a efficiency by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, San Francisco will obtain the ball to start out the second half.

Kevin Draper is already looking forward to the halftime present:

A lot of musical artists, together with Rihanna, reportedly declined to carry out in the course of the Tremendous Bowl halftime present final yr in help of Colin Kaepernick. Within the low season, the N.F.L. signed a deal for Jay-Z’s leisure firm, Roc Nation, to grow to be the league’s “dwell music leisure strategist.” Roc Nation helped recruit Shakira and Jennifer Lopez to carry out for this yr’s present.

In response to criticism for partnering with the identical league that many imagine blackballed Kaepernick, Jay-Z stated, “We’re two grownup males who disagree on the tactic however are marching for a similar trigger.” Learn our story on the Roc Nation and N.F.L. relationship here.

In what may very well be Kansas Metropolis’s last drive of the primary half, the Chiefs had been compelled to punt the ball away after a disappointing finish to a drive that had began properly.

Kansas Metropolis had gotten three fast first downs by means of passes to Damien Williams and Blake Bell, and a brief run by Williams after which a 10-yard cross to Tyreek Hill.

A Williams run and a sweep by Mecole Hardman then mixed for minus-Four yards, and on Third-and-14, a brief cross to Williams resulted in only a 1-yard acquire.

San Francisco will get the ball again on their very own 25-yard line following a touchback, with 59 seconds left within the half.

Kyle Juszczyk, the 49ers’ throwback of a fullback, took a brief cross and rumbled towards the objective line, diving into the tip zone for a 15-yard landing that together with Robbie Gould’s further level has this recreation tied, 10-10.

San Francisco has proven an excessive dedication to the run all postseason, and at this time is not any exception. An 80-yard drive consisted of 38 yards on the bottom, with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman discovering scads of room to run towards Kansas Metropolis’s protection. That softened up the protection, because the Chiefs tried to compensate towards the run, and Jimmy Garoppolo took care of the remaining, with passes to Deebo Samuel and Juszczyk accounting for the ultimate 26 yards of the drive.

That Garoppolo appeared so aggressive after having thrown an interception on his earlier drive was a welcome signal for San Francisco.

Given a free drive by means of an interception, Patrick Mahomes continued to be aggressive, throwing deep to Sammy Watkins for a 28-yard acquire to start out the drive and changing a fourth down with an choice toss to Damien Williams. However the Chiefs needed to accept a 31-yard area objective by Harrison Butker, which put them forward by 10-3.

The three performs after the Watkins catch mixed for under 9 yards, however the Chiefs, for a second consecutive drive, didn’t let fourth down scare them. Mahomes raced to the sideline earlier than tossing the ball to Williams for a 3-yard acquire and the conversion. That was it, nonetheless, as two incomplete passes and a brief run resulted in a 4th-and-7 at San Francisco’s 13-yard line, which despatched out the sphere objective unit.

The Chiefs are all of a sudden in terrific form to start out the second quarter after getting the ball again to its offense by means of an interception.

After Deebo Samuel opened the quarter with a brief loss on a run, Mike Pennell pressured Jimmy Garoppolo into an ill-advised cross, and cornerback Bashaud Breeland made Garoppolo pay for it by leaping up for an interception.

Kansas Metropolis will start its drive by itself 44-yard line.

Ken Belson clears it up:

In an advert for the streaming service Hulu, Tom Brady mocked the priority about his future — which he stoked final week with a cryptic publish to his social media accounts. Hulu leaned into the concerns.

Brady can grow to be a free agent subsequent month for the primary time in his lengthy profession. Patriots followers might worry the worst, with Brady reportedly garnering curiosity from the Raiders and Chargers. However one factor seems sure: No person must be stunned if Brady is taking part in soccer subsequent season.

“They are saying all good issues should come to an finish,” Brady stated Sunday’s advert whereas strolling into Gillette Stadium, the house of the Patriots. “So it’s time to say goodbye as TV as we all know it.”

Cue nervousness.

“However me? I’m not going anyplace.”

The primary quarter ended after Jimmy Garoppolo had begun his workforce’s newest drive with an 18-yard cross to Emmanuel Sanders that received San Francisco to their very own 43-yard line.

There weren’t many surprises within the opening quarter, with San Francisco shifting the ball properly on the bottom and Kansas Metropolis surviving a couple of passes from Patrick Mahomes that missed their mark because of a stunning begin from Damien Williams, who already has 32 speeding yards.

The sport has but to have a turnover and the Chiefs have a light benefit in time of possession: 8:31 to six:29.

Displaying a fast burst together with his legs, Patrick Mahomes ran the ball in from 1 yard, placing Kansas Metropolis forward, 7-3, with 31 seconds left within the first quarter.

The drive had been prolonged because of the Chiefs’ exhibiting some aggressiveness on fourth down, going for it on 4th-and-1 from the San Francisco 5-yard line with a direct snap run to Damien Williams. Mahomes’s landing run was the prize for that call.

Time and again on the drive, Mahomes received the Chiefs many of the approach to a primary down with a cross, and Damien Williams picked up the remainder of the yardage with a run.

As soon as Kansas Metropolis received into the purple zone, San Francisco received its first sack of the sport, with DeForest Buckner and Earl Mitchell monitoring Mahomes down for a 1-yard loss.

Two performs later, when no choices introduced themselves, Mahomes raced up the proper facet of the sphere for a 10-yard acquire, fumbling the ball out of bounds on the finish of the play because of an enormous hit by Jimmie Ward, who was briefly injured on the play.

It regarded like Ward’s hit, which stopped Mahomes simply in need of a primary down, had compelled Kansas Metropolis to accept a area objective, however after Coach Andy Reid had a change of coronary heart, pulling his kicking workforce off the sphere, the Chiefs received their first lead of the day.

The longest play of the 75-yard drive went for simply 14 yards.

From Kevin Draper, who’s seeing the identical factor you’re seeing:

Should you assume there’s a flag being thrown on each 49ers offensive possession, properly, you’re not alone, as a lot of Chiefs defensive gamers are sporting brilliant yellow gloves. They aren’t new for the Tremendous Bowl; gamers like Tyrann Mathieu and Jason Kelce have worn all of them season, as have gamers on a lot of different groups. There doesn’t appear to be any soccer causes for the colour, just fashion ones.

Robbie Gould’s 38-yard area objective has the 49ers forward, 3-0, with 7:57 left within the first quarter.

The 49ers had received precisely the beginning they needed to open their first drive, earlier than finally stalling out.

After a run to start out the drive went for a 1-yard loss, George Kittle picked up a primary down with an 11-yard catch.

That received the Chiefs on their heels, which arrange one among San Francisco’s signature deceptive running plays. The ball was pitched to large receiver Deebo Samuel, who took the ball on a sweep and raced down the sideline for a 32-yard acquire.

After a couple of runs by Tevin Coleman, who’s again after dislocating his shoulder within the N.F.C. championship recreation, they ran one other deception play, with Samuel seeking to cross earlier than working up the center for a primary down.

The drive was prolonged after a dropped third-down cross because of Frank Clark’s being whistled for offside, however it finally stalled out, ending in Gould’s area objective.

San Francisco went 62 yards on 10 performs and took 5:58 off the clock.

Kansas Metropolis’s first drive went nowhere, and the 49ers formally look sensible for deferring on the kickoff.

After Mitch Wishnowsky’s kickoff was returned 29 yards by Mecole Hardman, Kansas Metropolis began its first drive of the sport at their very own 26-yard line.

They began off properly with a 7-yard run by Damien Williams, however Patrick Mahomes then threw two incomplete passes, leading to a three-and-out.

San Francisco gained the coin toss with Richard Sherman’s name of tails and the workforce deferred the selection. Consequently, Kansas Metropolis will begin with the ball and can defend the west finish zone. (That directional makes extra sense should you’re within the stadium however you’ll get the dangle of it.)

The 49ers will obtain the ball to start out the second half.

Kickoff is anticipated at 6:39 p.m. Japanese.

The singer Demi Lovato carried out a stirring model of the nationwide anthem, drawing enormous cheers in Arduous Rock Stadium, and if individuals wager on the size, it appeared to return in round 1 minute 50 seconds.

The wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson dealt with introductions for each groups, skipping previous itemizing each identify and simply going with the celebs. However Johnson, who was often called the Folks’s Champion in his W.W.E. profession, gave a particular shoutout to George Kittle of the 49ers, whom he known as “the Folks’s tight finish.”

In the course of the week, Kittle talked repeatedly in regards to the thrill of assembly Johnson once they labored on the planning and filming of the introductions, saying his “coronary heart was racing” when he discovered himself “chest to chest” together with his favourite wrestler.

Kittle’s love of wrestling runs deep. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, one among Kittle’s greatest mates on the workforce, stated he wouldn’t be stunned if Kittle retires to a profession in skilled wrestling some day.

From Kevin Draper:

The Chiefs ought to really feel at residence right here in South Florida, because the Tremendous Bowl crowd is overwhelmingly pro-Kansas Metropolis. Each time a Chiefs participant entered the sphere for pregame warm-ups the group roared. The 49ers — except Jerry Rice when he was introduced as a part of the NFL 100 workforce — had been greeted with boos. (Invoice Belichick received extra boos than anybody, however that’s hardly a shock in Miami.)

Strolling across the stadium concourse, Patrick Mahomes jerseys dominated, although there is also a large Travis Kelce contingent. San Francisco followers are primarily sporting Jimmy Garoppolo’s No. 10 and Nick Bosa’s No. 97.

Vivid Seats, a web-based ticket market, estimated the group could be 63 p.c Chiefs followers to 37 p.c 49ers followers, however within the stadium it actually appears extra pro-Kansas Metropolis than that.

Although it may be tough to inform visually as a result of each groups put on purple.

To honor Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend who died along with eight others in a helicopter crash final week, the gamers for each the 49ers and the Chiefs lined up on the 24-yard traces and took half in a second of silence shortly earlier than 6 p.m. at Arduous Rock Stadium. The 24 was a reference to one among Bryant’s jersey numbers.

Bryant’s imprint on gamers — notably San Francisco’s Richard Sherman — was obvious all week, as many mirrored on what Bryant’s so-called Mamba Mentality had meant to them and the way his demise had affected them.

Sherman, who first met Bryant at a Nike picture shoot throughout Sherman’s time with the Seattle Seahawks, arrived on the stadium at this time sporting Bryant’s No. Eight jersey from the 2004 N.B.A. All-Star recreation. Bryant wore No. Eight for 11 of his N.B.A. seasons and No. 24 for 9.

“He was a pal of mine,” Sherman stated at Monday’s Tremendous Bowl Opening Night time occasion. “He was a mentor. He meant lots to this world. He had a optimistic influence and there’s nothing that I can say that may quantify his influence on myself and others.”

Whereas many gamers mentioned Bryant as a job mannequin for them, Sherman’s connection ran deeper, primarily based on their friendship. Sherman described Bryant’s affect as having affected a call he made on the lowest level of his profession.

“I assume my greatest Mamba Mentality second of my profession was getting up from a torn Achilles and strolling off the sphere,” Sherman stated. “I noticed him do it. I noticed him make two free throws and stroll off with a torn Achilles, and as soon as I tore mine, I knew I needed to stroll off.”

In asserting the second of silence, the N.F.L. additionally devoted it to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Chris Doleman, who died on Tuesday.

If the 49ers construct a giant lead in at this time’s recreation, don’t count on San Francisco Coach Kyle Shanahan to let up for a second. The “scars” of a collapse wherein one among his former groups, the Atlanta Falcons, gave up a 28-3 fourth quarter lead to lose a Super Bowl nonetheless linger

Each he and his gamers described a sure degree of paranoia about ending video games properly, which Shanahan freely admitted was a results of the Falcons’ having blown such an unlimited lead towards the New England Patriots within the Tremendous Bowl that adopted the 2016 season — the final season earlier than Shanahan joined the 49ers.

“I feel anybody can study plenty of stuff from that recreation,” Shanahan stated. “I imply, regardless of how a lot you stand up on somebody, you’ve received to maintain shifting the chains to maintain the ball from going again.”

Shanahan stated on the finish of his workforce’s 27-10 divisional spherical win over Minnesota he “freaked out” as a result of Robert Saleh, his defensive coordinator, had pulled his starters with a 17-point lead within the last two minutes.

“Oh my god, he nearly killed us,” stated Richard Sherman, San Francisco’s veteran cornerback.

Sherman stated the Vikings had accomplished two passes and transformed one first down when Shanahan had seen sufficient.

“He was like: ‘What the heck is occurring? Get them again in there,’” Sherman stated. “My gloves had been off, I used to be about to ice my knees, and it was like, ‘Get your gloves again on.’”

Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers’ beginning quarterback — and a backup on the New England workforce that got here again to beat Shanahan’s Falcons — didn’t see something odd about his coach’s unwillingness to let that occur once more.

“I feel that’s only a good head coach,” he stated. “You type of wish to have that as a result of on this league loopy issues can occur. I imply, 28-3, all of us noticed that one. You at all times must be prepared, so I like that mentality.”

From a Fox Sports activities government:

The Chiefs are formally sticking with Damien Williams at working again, with the veteran LeSean McCoy headlining Kansas Metropolis’s record of inactive gamers for at this time’s recreation.

McCoy, a six-time Professional Bowler, gained simply 465 yards in his first season in Kansas Metropolis. Coach Andy Reid repeatedly stated his workforce had no accidents to report this week, however McCoy, who was rested even when wholesome in the course of the common season, is being disregarded of what would have been his first Tremendous Bowl.

Whereas not stunning, essentially the most vital inactive for Kansas Metropolis is guard Andrew Wylie, who has not performed since Week 15 due to ankle and shoulder accidents. Steven Wisniewski will proceed to fill in because the workforce’s beginning left guard.

The 49ers’ record of inactives is generally bench gamers, with large receiver Dante Pettis being essentially the most distinguished participant who won’t be suiting up.

Tiffany Hsu of The Instances wrote in regards to the business onslaught we are able to count on at this time:

Greater than 80 advertisements will play within the business breaks of at this time’s recreation, together with marketing campaign spots from a billionaire president and a billionaire presidential candidate, protected humor and visible gags from T-Cellular and Reese’s, and flashbacks to the 1980s (MC Hammer, Molly Ringwald and Winona Ryder all make appearances).

The commercials will hit the standard beats, with a tear-jerker from Google, a jumble of celebrities from Arduous Rock and a cute canine named Scout from WeatherTech. However there will even be a number of firsts, together with a debut from Fb that includes Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone. A spot from Sabra hummus almost certainly has the primary look of drag queens in a Tremendous Bowl business, in a banner yr for L.G.B.T. illustration.

Different notable advertisements will embody a spot from the N.F.L. about police shootings, a topic it has struggled to deal with amid protests in recent times by the previous 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Cup, given to the primary professional soccer champions, is the holy grail of American sports activities memorabilia. It’s also missing, and has been since nearly as quickly because it was awarded to the Akron Execs in 1920.

Invoice Pennington of The Instances spent months making an attempt to trace it down. He writes:

It may very well be in somebody’s attic or chock-full of pencils on a schoolkid’s desk.

“At this level, the probabilities are usually not excellent that anybody will ever discover it,” Joe Horrigan, the previous longtime government director of the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame.

It gave the impression of a problem.

And so started the mission to unravel this whodunit, this where-is-it, a quest that hinged on discovering that one who, when proven the one current, shadowy picture of the trophy, would say: “I’ve seen that. My mom makes use of it as a doorstop.”

It was a journey that meant knocking on doorways, poring over library collections, monitoring down interview topics in 12 states and spending a minimum of one dusty afternoon looking behind the drywall of a number of deserted Ohio buildings.

Invoice’s article on the search is kind of a story. You’ll love it.

The N.F.L. has ceaselessly confronted criticism for its incapacity to raise individuals of coloration to move teaching positions, and the league’s Rooney Rule has typically been described as insufficient. At present there are solely 4 head coaches of coloration within the league, an inventory which may have grown longer if two high-profile coordinators had not been so busy teaching this recreation.

Whereas Eric Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, and Robert Saleh, the defensive coordinator of the 49ers, had been each talked about as high candidates for practically each head teaching emptiness, they had been each left standing as soon as all of the seats had been stuffed. Of the 5 jobs that modified arms, just one went to an individual of coloration: Ron Rivera, who’s Hispanic, was employed by the Washington Redskins.

With no remaining vacancies, Bieniemy, who’s black, and Saleh, who’s Arab-American, in all probability must wait one other yr for his or her first head-coaching jobs. That has brought on blended emotions for the individuals they work with.

Coach Andy Reid of the Chiefs stated that he’s Bieniemy’s greatest fan, and that he already considers his protégé to be a head coach.

“I actually don’t assume he must work on something to grow to be a head soccer coach,” Reid stated. “I feel he’s able to go. He simply wants that chance to get in and go.”

John Lynch, the final supervisor of the 49ers, expressed related sentiments about Saleh, who gained a Tremendous Bowl as a high quality management coach with Seattle on his approach by way of the teaching ranks earlier than rising to defensive coordinator with San Francisco in 2017.

“There’s a facet of you that’s upset for a pal,” Lynch stated. “There’s a facet of you that’s like: ‘Sure! We get him for one more yr!’”

George Kittle, the 49ers’ third-year tight finish, appears to save lots of his greatest work for overmatched gamers within the opposing workforce’s secondary. And he admits that’s by design.

Kittle’s most essential play towards a defensive again this season got here in Week 14, when he dragged his workforce into vary for a profitable area objective towards the New Orleans Saints regardless of Marcus Williams, a security, hanging on for expensive life from Kittle’s face masks. However Kittle’s most enjoyable play of the season — a minimum of from his perspective — got here throughout a Week 15 loss to the Atlanta Falcons when he demolished a cornerback on a goal-line run — and was filmed laughing maniacally whereas rolling round in the long run zone.

It was a scoreless recreation early within the second quarter when the 49ers lined up at Atlanta’s 2-yard line for a working play and Kittle, who stands 6 ft Four inches and weighs 250 kilos, noticed that the one participant in entrance of him was Ricardo Allen, a 5-9, 186-pound cornerback. Kittle stated defensive backs typically take low-cost photographs at bigger gamers within the open area, however that this example gave an unlimited benefit to the offensive participant.

“I’m in a 3-point stance and I do know it’s a run play,” Kittle stated, recalling the second earlier than the snap. “He’s going to get completely all of my effort on a run play, and he doesn’t know if it’s a cross or a run and he doesn’t know if he must be bodily with me.”

Kittle stated his laughter was the results of interested by how a lot enjoyable it will be to observe movie of the play. He described what occurred — what’s know as a pancake block — because the “very best feeling in soccer.”

As Kittle, an enormous fan {of professional} wrestling and one of many recreation’s extra boisterous characters advised Ben Shpigel for a story about the 49ers’ running game: “You are taking a man, you drive him backward, you set him on his again and you are feeling the exhale of his breath and he loses his wind. It’s type of snatching his soul.”

The Chiefs’ protection went by way of a drastic makeover final low season. Justin Houston left through free company, Dee Ford was traded to San Francisco, Eric Berry was out of soccer — but Kansas Metropolis’s protection confirmed vital enchancment.

The largest motive for the uptick was Tyrann Mathieu, the All-Professional security recognized to many followers because the Honey Badger.

Mathieu earned that nickname throughout his time at Louisiana State for his wild demeanor on and off the sphere, however this previous week he expressed some unease with the persona.

“I really feel like I received caught up in that Honey Badger character and it started to eat me,” he stated.

A calmer, gentler, extra mature Mathieu was all around the area in his first season in Kansas Metropolis, piling up 70 tackles, 4 interceptions and two sacks whereas being named first-time All-Professional for the second time. His potential to contribute towards the run and the cross helped paper over a few of his workforce’s defensive shortcomings.

Coach Andy Reid stated Mathieu was every little thing the workforce needed and extra, describing the seven-year veteran as an excellent chief, whereas acknowledging that the Honey Badger character was not fully gone.

“We simply unlock the cage and let the Badger out on recreation day,” Reid joked. “He loves taking part in, man. I imply he brings it each play. He does it in observe. He does it within the recreation. He’s enjoyable to be round.”

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Tyrann Mathieu. Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, George Kittle and Nick Bosa. In a Super Bowl that is predicted by oddsmakers to be among the closest in league history, there isn’t a scarcity of stars who might attain the subsequent degree of fame by main their workforce to an N.F.L. championship at this time.

Whereas the sport shouldn’t be fairly the offense versus protection narrative that some have tried to promote — San Francisco really scored extra factors than Kansas Metropolis this season, and the Chiefs allowed fewer than the 49ers — it’s nonetheless a captivating matchup of the 49ers, a workforce that constructed itself on a well-balanced attack on either side of the ball, and the Chiefs, who’ve tried to seek out the proper complementary items to provide Mahomes, their star quarterback, the support he needs to appreciate his sky-high potential.

The story traces on this recreation are plentiful and have led to a collective shrug about which workforce is definitely the underdog. Formally, the Chiefs are favored by both 1 or 1.5 factors, relying on the place you look.

Kansas Metropolis, which performed in two of the primary 4 Tremendous Bowls, is again within the recreation for the primary time since Len Dawson led the Chiefs to a win over the Minnesota Vikings after the 1969 season. The workforce’s 50-year hole between appearances set a report, and it was largely outlined by the franchise’s incapacity to discover a quarterback. The Chiefs used a first-round choose on the sport’s most essential place solely 4 occasions in that 50 years, failing badly with Pete Beathard (1964), Steve Fuller (1976) and Todd Blackledge (1983) earlier than lastly scoring with Mahomes in 2017.

The 49ers, who constructed a dynasty with Joe Montana within the 1980s, had it proceed seamlessly with Steve Younger within the 1990s, and briefly appeared to have discovered a next-generation quarterback in Colin Kaepernick within the 2010s, appeared in six Tremendous Bowls in these 50 years, profitable 5 of them. They usually turned one thing of a quarterback manufacturing unit for the Chiefs, with Steve DeBerg, Montana, Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac and Alex Smith all beginning in San Francisco earlier than ending up in Kansas Metropolis.

As ridiculous as that quarterback connection is, it might be trumped by the parallels between the beginning left tackles in at this time’s recreation. San Francisco’s Joe Staley and Kansas Metropolis’s Eric Fisher were both first-round picks out of Central Michigan — the one first-round picks in Chippewa historical past — they usually each went by way of radical bodily and positional transformations in school, gaining 75 kilos or extra to get able to compete on the professional degree.

Each groups characteristic All-Professional tight ends in George Kittle (San Francisco) and Travis Kelce (Kansas Metropolis), and each defenses have wildly gifted veteran leaders of their secondary in Richard Sherman (San Francisco) and Mathieu.

The locations the place they differ are quarterback, the place Mahomes is a way more explosive participant than Garoppolo, and defensive position, the place San Francisco’s gaggle of 5 former first-round picks, led by a dominant rookie in Bosa, is extra ferocious than something Kansas Metropolis’s protection can provide.


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