The game was tied 10-10 at the half, and the San Francisco 49ers came out of the locker room with physicality. The 49ers pushed the Chiefs around throughout the third quarter, picking apart their defense en route to a 20-10 lead.
All the momentum in the world was on the side of San Francisco, and it forced the Chiefs to third-and-15 from their own 35 with just over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. That’s when Patrick Mahomes, stepping back as he was pressured by the 49ers defense, saw a wide-open Tyreek Hill to his left 44 yards down the field.
Mahomes launched the ball like only Mahomes can, and it seemed like it hung up there forever. Hill came down with the pass, and a few plays later, Travis Kelce scored his first touchdown of the game to draw Kansas City within three.
A Chiefs defensive unit that had looked horrible the entire half would be called upon to get a stop with just over six minutes to play. On second-and-5, Chris Jones batted a ball down at the line — and pressure forced an erratic throw from Jimmy Garoppolo on third down. Incomplete.
The Chiefs got the ball back. A 38-yarder to Sammy Watkins, who has had a tremendous playoff run, brought the Chiefs to the 10. Damien Williams — another playoff hero — snuck into the end zone three plays later.
The Chiefs defense then forced the 49ers to turn the football over on downs, and simply needing to run out the clock, Williams scored another touchdown.
It wasn’t easy — but nothing about this playoff run (after the miracle gift of a bye week) ever was. The Chiefs trailed by at least 10 in each game.
But with Mahomes magic, you’re never out of it. And he bought the Chiefs enough time in the second half to wake up.
Entering the game, Andy Reid was seen as the greatest head coach to never win one. That changed thanks to the play of a fabulous quarterback, who carried out Reid’s Super Bowl-winning game plan.
Reid’s going to the Hall of Fame. Now that he has changed Kansas City football forever, that is no longer a question. One thing he likes to say when talking about Mahomes is how he still has room to grow.
And that may be the best part of it all — that with this quarterback — this legend in the making — this Super Bowl title is just the beginning.