Kansas City Chiefs Win Super Bowl LIV 31-20

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The Lombardi Trophy is the prize that goes to the Super Bowl winner. This year, the trophy returned to Kansas City for the first time in 50 years.

By Sourav Dhar, Sports Editor

A new NFL champion was crowned on Sunday, Feb. 2, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. This was a landmark achievement for the Chiefs, with this being their first Super Bowl win since 1969.  Head coach Andy Reid–regarded as one of the best coaches in history– was able to win his first Lombardi Trophy as a head coach after years of playoff failure.

Kansas City quarterback and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) Patrick Mahomes completed 26 passes on 42 attempts for 286 yards, tossing two touchdowns and two interceptions. Chiefs running back Damien Williams rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, and star Kansas City receiver Tyreek Hill caught nine passes for 105 yards. Another Chiefs wideout, Sammy Watkins, almost broke the 100-yard milestone, recording 98 yards receiving on five receptions. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland finished with the most tackles for Kansas City defensively, with seven, and added an interception.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 20 completions on 31 attempts for 219 yards, tossing one touchdown while throwing two costly interceptions. Running back Raheem Mostert rushed for 58 yards on 12 carries, while rookie receiver Deebo Samuel had 53 yards rushing on only three carries. In the receiving game, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne led all Niners receivers with 42 yards on just two receptions, while fullback Kyle Juszczyk had 39 yards receiving and a touchdown. Samuel also had 39 yards receiving on five catches, wideout Emmanuel Sanders finished with 38 yards, and tight end George Kittle recorded four catches for 36 yards. Defensively, safety Jimmie Ward was San Francisco’s leading tackler, finishing with 11. Linebacker Fred Warner also added seven tackles and an interception, and defensive end DeForest Buckner had one-and-a-half sacks.

After the national anthem was sung by Demi Lovato, the Chiefs got the ball to start the game, but their first drive ended in a three-and-out; San Francisco was able to drive down the field for the first points of the game from a Robbie Gould 38-yard field goal, putting the Niners up 3-0. From there, Kansas City took 15 plays to find paydirt, with Mahomes scoring the first touchdown of the game on a one-yard run to put the Chiefs up 7-3, which would be the end of the scoring for the first frame of the game. 

The 49ers had control of the ball to start the second quarter, but Garoppolo heaved a deep pass that was intercepted by Breeland to give Kansas City the ball back. However, despite taking nine plays to drive down the field, the Chiefs had to settle for a Harrison Butker 31-yard field goal to increase the lead to seven, making the score 10-3. San Francisco rebounded from the turnover, though, and a 15-yard pass from Garoppolo to Juszczyk tied the game at 10 apiece, and after a Chiefs punt, the teams went into halftime evened up.

After Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed during the halftime show, the 49ers received the ball to start the second half, and drove 60 yards for another field goal from Gould, this time from 42 yards. The Chiefs, looking to counter, drove to their own 39-yard line, but Mahomes threw his first interception straight into the hands of Warner. It only took six plays after that for the Niners to score again, this time from a Mostert one-yard run, increasing San Francisco’s lead to 20-10, which is where the scoring for the third quarter would end. 

On Kansas City’s next offensive series, Mahomes threw another interception, this time to defensive back Tarvarius Moore in San Francisco territory. The Chiefs defense forced a punt, though, and Mahomes’s offense drove 83 yards in a little under three minutes, finding tight end Travis Kelce for a one-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to three, 20-17. Kansas City’s defense came up clutch once again, forcing a three-and-out, and Mahomes only needed seven plays to find the endzone again, hitting Williams from five yards out to take the lead with 2:44 left in the game, with the score now 24-20 in favor of the Chiefs. San Francisco could only get to the Kansas City 49-yard line before the Niner offense stalled, and Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark came up with a crucial sack on fourth down to give the ball back to the AFC champions. In an effort to bleed the clock, the Chiefs went with a running-based attack, but Williams took off for a 38-yard touchdown to effectively seal the result of the game, putting the score at 31-20. In a desperate attempt to get the ball down the field, Garoppolo heaved a deep pass that was intercepted by cornerback Kendall Fuller to end the game, crowning Kansas City as the new NFL champions.

This Super Bowl marked the end of the NFL’s centennial season, and is the second Super Bowl win in Kansas City’s franchise history.