The Kansas City Chiefs offense that carried this team through the postseason was held to only 10 points through three quarters. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked as rattled as he has in his young NFL career — and the Chiefs defense was put in a bad spot after his second turnover of the game led to a 20-10 deficit.
The Chiefs went on to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and sealed the game with a big sack on fourth down — all in a 6:17 span. The Chiefs won like they’ve had all year: with quick-strike offense and situational defense. The 2019 Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions — a feat that should seal head coach Andy Reid’s legacy as a Hall of Fame coach.
After an uninspiring three-and-out from the Chiefs offense to begin the game, the 49ers put together a solid drive, but settled for a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. Kansas City responded by going 75 yards in 15 plays, concluding with a 1-yard touchdown run from Mahomes to take a 7-3 lead into the second quarter.
On the second play of the second quarter, Chiefs defensive tackles Chris Jones and Mike Pennel got enough pressure on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to force an interception to cornerback Bashaud Breeland. The offense would convert that turnover into a 31-yard field goal by Harrison Butker.
San Francisco answered with an 80-yard drive that ended on four straight first-down conversions and a 15-yard touchdown catch by 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk to tie the score at 10.
The Chiefs looked to strike before halftime — but ended up punting in opposing territory with roughly a minute remaining. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan appeared to be content with the first half result and attempted to run out the clock — but a big gain on a third-down dump off pass forced him to reconsider. Garappolo then completed a 42-yard pass to tight end George Kittle to set up a potential field goal — but a penalty for offensive pass interference brought the play back. The 10-10 score would hold into halftime.
The 49ers moved the ball well right out of halftime and eventually converted a 42-yard field goal. The Chiefs were pinned into a third-and-long situation on the following drive, and an inaccurate pass to Tyreek Hill by Mahomes was intercepted by linebacker Fred Warner. San Francisco took full advantage with a quick 55-yard drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown run by running back Raheem Mostert.
With the Chiefs trailing in a 20-10 game, Mahomes and the offense began to close into scoring territory as the fourth quarter began. An inaccurate slant pass to Hill on third down was tipped up into the air and intercepted by 49ers cornerback Tarvarius Moore. With a little less than 12 minutes remaining in the game, San Francisco took over — but stalled on a short drive and punted it away with nine minutes to go.
The Chiefs deployed their high-tempo offense on the ensuing possession — but ended up in a third down with 15 yards to convert. Mahomes was able to find Hill 44 yards downfield to convert the first down. The drive was finished off with a one-yard touchdown reception by tight end Travis Kelce to shrink the deficit to three points. The drive took 10 plays to go 85 yards and only 2:40.
The Chiefs defense was able to come up with a big three-and-out on the next 49ers drive. With Kansas City taking over at their own 35-yard line with 5:10 remaining, the offense was able to get to the San Francisco 10-yard line with a 38-yard reception where receiver Sammy Watkins beat cornerback Richard Sherman down the field. That big play setup running back Damien Williams to take a 24-20 lead with a five-yard touchdown reception.
The 49ers offense would gain possession of the ball with 2:39 left and 85 yards away from the end zone. They were able to advance into Chiefs territory and had a chance for a big play down the field — but Garoppolo overthrew receiver Emmanuel Sanders on third down. The fourth down play turned into a sack after the Chiefs defensive line collapsed the pocket and defensive end Frank Clark secured the quarterback for the turnover on downs.
All the Chiefs needed to do is run out the clock with a 24-20 lead — but Damien Williams put an exclamation point on the victory with a 38-yard touchdown run.
Stats of note
- Patrick Mahomes finished with 226 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions — which resulted in a 63 passer rating. His rushing performance — 38 yards and a touchdown — was key.
- The 49ers were able to run on the Chiefs defense for six yards a carry on 20 attempts. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel led the way with 53 yards and 17.7 yards per rush.
- The Chiefs offense struggled to convert on third downs with a 1/6 result — but they did convert both of their fourth down attempts.
- Wide receiver Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs with seven catches and 97 yards — including a 44-yard play that sparked the comeback.
- 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played an efficient game with 18 completions on 22 attempts. His 195 yards, touchdown and an interception gave him a 99.8 passer rating.