Well, it’s taken 50yrs for the Kansas City Chiefs are once again the NFL Superbowl Champions, and once again, they didn’t do it the easy way. As has been the case this whole play-off series, the Chiefs founds themselves down by double digits again but were once again able to turn it around off the back of their electric QB Patrick Mahomes. In each of their past 3 play-off games, the Chiefs have been down by 24, 10 & again by 10, however they never let it faze them and simply back their offence to get it done.
The 49ers will be looking at this one as one that got away, as when they got the ball back with just 9 minutes to play and leading by 10, they would have felt confidant of holding on to the game by backing their running offence which has held them in good stead so strongly. Instead, they decided to put the ball into the hands of Jimmy Garoppolo, and were quickly 3 and out, gifting the ball back to the Chiefs. After some strong defence was limiting the Chiefs on offence, on a 3-15 play, Mahomes threw the Hail Mary down to Tyreek Hill for a huge 44m gain and from there they never looked back. Even when the 49ers got the ball back, again they simply weren’t able to move the ball on offence, as the Chiefs Defence got the sniff of victory and the momentum was going all their way.
Mahomes just kept moving the ball forward and the previously strong 49ers offence was unable to stop Mahomes and the Chiefs as they just marched the ball down the field. The lead-taking TD has a sniff of controversy as the Damien Williams looked to have stepped out of bounds before the ball broke the plane of the End Zone, however the on-field call of a TD meant it was going to have to be conclusive to overturn and the footage simply wasn’t.
The 49ers had one last chance to go for the win, and despite starting brightly, it was again snuffed out quickly and when Garoppolo was sacked for a turnover on downs, the game was run and won by the Chiefs, who in the ensuing two plays were able to cement the win and take the lead out to 10.
It’s a historical result for the Chiefs, for a number of reasons. It’s 50 years since they last tasted success in the Superbowl, coach Andy Reid’s 222nd NFL win gave him his first Superbowl win, meaning he’s no longer the most winnings coach without a Superbowl and ensures his Hall of Fame ascension when his time if ready, and Patrick Mahomes becomes the youngest QB to win the MVP, Superbowl and Superbowl MVP.
Where it was won?
Put simply, the Chiefs simply had the belief to know that if is came down to it, they could produce the goods when it mattered. It helps having a player of the calibre of Mahomes on your side, but having come back from double digits down 3 times, they knew that the game was never over.
They were held out well until 3qtr time by the 49ers defence, and Mahomes was having a mare of a game, having thrown 2 intercepts in the game, having not thrown one all play-offs and just 5 for the season to date. From there though he just stepped up, made the big plays and through Hill, Watkins Williams, and Kelce found willing receivers when necessary.
Their defence was also huge, both at the line on pass rush as well as in the secondary, stopping Garoppolo from hitting his passes meaning the 49ers just couldn’t get moving at all.
They put on 21 points in the last qtr to win the Superbowl after having has just 10 to 3qtr time. They were simply incredible
Where was it lost?
The 49ers will look back at this as a missed opportunity for sure. 20-10 at 3qtr time and Mahomes was largely held. Everything they would have wanted was coming together. So how did they lose it?
Well, a lot will be made of Kyle Shanahan’s refusal to use a time out late in the first half, when the Chiefs were punting with just 1:30 to play. They allowed the Chiefs to run off 40 seconds form the clock, reducing the 49ers chance to put further points on the board before half time. Considering they go close to getting within field goal territory with the time available, one wonders whether they could have scored with an additional 40 seconds available to them.
Secondly, the change in offence. In the National Championship game, Garoppolo only threw the ball 8 times and whilst that was unlikely to happen again at those levels, Jimmy G certainly did get a lot more of the ball this time. The thing was is that it’s when he got it that surprised, not the amount. Shanahan didn’t seem to trust him late in the first half when they could have looked to get more points on the board, yet had more trust in him in the last qtr when running the ball would have made a lot more sense. Now Garoppolo didn’t have a bad game, but in the last qtr he simply wasn’t able to connect with his receivers which meant the 49ers weren’t able to move the chains enough and utilize the clock to their advantage.
Patrick Mahomes, when from the shit to the shovel inside 15 minutes of play. His pass to Tyreek Hill for a 44yard gain when they were 3-15 with 7 mins to play in the last was a huge play and gave the Chiefs life. He rushed for a TD, threw for 2 in the last qtr and when all was said and done, he was the difference in this game. It shows a lot about a young kid who can deliver in the biggest moments like he has these play-offs when under the pressure he was. 3 times he’s managed to get his team across the line from losing positions. Fair to say, it’s a play-off run he’ll never forget………and he’s only bloody 23!!! God, when I was 23, I was captaining C-Grade cricket and trying to not get alcohol poisoning most weekend!!
So, that’s it. Another NFL season over with for another year, and despite it being the end of the season, there are still many questions abound:
-Are we seeing the start of a new dynasty in the Chiefs? At 23, Mahomes could lead this team for many years to come!
-Can the 49ers bounce back from this loss and go one further next season?
-Where will Tom Brady be playing next year? Will he stay a Patriot? Or
try his talents elsewhere?
Anyway, thanks for the support this year guys and looking forward to next season already