The Kansas City Chiefs are officially Super Bowl LVIII champions.
In the second Super Bowl ever to require overtime, Patrick Mahomes added to his growing legend and crowded trophy case.
Needing a touchdown to win the game, Mahomes found Mecole Hardman just outside the end zone for an easy score.
THE CHIEFS ARE BACK-TO-BACK SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS! pic.twitter.com/ZzfhTyUXg9— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2024
Brock Purdy led the San Francisco 49ers on a brilliant 12-play drive after receiving the overtime kickoff. But the Chiefs' impressive defense forced San Francisco to settle for a Jake Moody field goal deep in Kansas City territory. That sliver of hope was all Mahomes needed.
The NFL’s most dominant quarterback added his third Lombardi Trophy thanks to a winning drive with his back against the wall. For almost any quarterback, Mahomes’ performance would have been legacy-altering.
But in perhaps the ultimate testament to his greatness, Mahomes’ latest victory — his third Super Bowl win, and third Super Bowl MVP win — merely buttresses his already staggering legacy.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle. The Chiefs and 49ers each forced a turnover — the Chiefs got Christian McCaffrey to fumble on the game’s opening drive, while the 49ers forced an Isiah Pacheco fumble deep in their territory.
Neither team capitalized on their big defensive play, as no first-half points came from turnovers. Instead, the early scoring came on a Super Bowl record 55-yard Moody field goal and a trick-play touchdown for the 49ers, along with a late-half Kansas City field goal, tightening the game to 10-3 heading into the third quarter.
Receiving the second-half kick-off, Kansas City squandered their opening opportunity. After a mishandled pitch on the first play of the drive resulted in a 12-yard loss, rookie Ji'Ayir Brown intercepted an errant Mahomes pass. But once again, San Francisco failed to create points off the turnover.
Chiefs Storm Back
Instead, the Chiefs ripped off 10 consecutive points. Harrison Butker broke Moody’s Super Bowl record with a 57-yard field goal before a freak error changed the course of the game.
San Francisco forced a third-quarter punt, but the ball bounced off a 49ers special teamer’s foot. The Chiefs recovered the loose ball, and Mahomes found Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a TD on the subsequent play.
The 49ers had no plans to go quietly into the night, however.
Purdy led the 49ers down the field and, early in the fourth quarter, found Jauan Jennings for a touchdown. The touchdown catch made Jennings the second player in Super Bowl history to record a passing and receiving touchdown, along with Nick Foles.
A failed extra-point attempt and a Chiefs’ field-goal drive, tying the score at 16-16, set the stage for Purdy to lead his team down the field on a winning drive. And following the two-minute warning, Purdy had a golden opportunity to help close the game out on third-and-4. But after the ball was deflected at the line of scrimmage, San Francisco had to settle for three points.
On the subsequent drive, an 11-play onslaught, Mahomes showed what makes him elite, helping set up Butker for a chip-shot field goal to send the game to overtime.
Shanahan's Growing Struggles
The loss is simply more of the same for the 49ers and coach Kyle Shanahan. Though well-respected for his ability to build an organization and call an offense, the pinnacle of success in the NFL continues to evade Shanahan. His two losses as a head coach in the Super Bowl, both at the hands of Andy Reid’s Chiefs, are only the latest in a series of miscues on the biggest of stages.
The 49ers will likely face many of the same questions that haunted them after their Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs in 2020.
NFL's Greatest Dynasty?
Securing their third Super Bowl victory in the past five seasons and their second consecutive championship, the Chiefs cemented their legacy as the NFL’s latest dynasty.
No NFL team has won three consecutive Super Bowls. But next season, the Chiefs will have an opportunity to prove their mettle by completing the most dominating stretch of football in league history.
A three-peat would likely guarantee them the title of "NFL's Greatest Dynasty" and would go a long way in building Mahomes' case as the best player in league history.