The Chiefs Take Super Bowl LIV

Jiahua Chen ’20

This past Sunday, millions of fans gathered in Hard Rock Stadium and in front of their TVs to watch the 54th Super Bowl, held in Miami, Florida. The San Francisco 49ers faced the Kansas City Chiefs, and, by the end of the night, the Kansas City Chiefs were hailed the winners of Super Bowl LIV.
The Chiefs and the 49ers played a hard fought game, but at the end, the Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes raised the Lombardi trophy after a 31-20 win. However, the road to the Super Bowl was not easy for either team. During the playoff season, the Chiefs beat both the 6th-seeded Tennessee Titans and the 4th-seeded Houston Texans. The underdog Tennessee Titans defeated both last year’s victors, the New England Patriots, and the 1st-seeded Baltimore Ravens, in an astonishing pair of upsets that had football fans from all over the country in shock. The Chiefs also stunned crowds as they came back from a 24-0 deficit against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round.
The 49ers had their own set of difficult opponents, starting with the 6th-seeded Minnesota Vikings and the 2nd-seeded Green Bay Packers. The Minnesota Vikings pulled off their own upset by defeating the 3rd seeded New Orleans Saints in overtime, but their season ended in the Divisional Round with a loss to the 49ers. The 49ers then defeated Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers by dominating on the ground, with the Niners quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, throwing only eight passes.
The 49ers have not been to the NFL’s championship game since the 2013 Super Bowl, where they suffered a crushing 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but have claimed five Lombardi trophies overall. By contrast, the Chiefs have only played in two Super Bowls in franchise history, with this year’s Super Bowl being the first since 1970.
Throughout this season, all eyes have been on Patrick Mahomes, the reigning MVP, and the Chiefs’ electric offense. During the regular season, the 24-year-old threw 26 touchdowns for 4031 yards. To add to a stellar season, Mahomes threw just five interceptions in 16 regular season games. AJ Zaccareo ’21 said, “The Chiefs have a very talented passing game with plenty of weapons for Patrick Mahomes to throw to, like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce – along with having a strong defense.”
However, the Chiefs’ strong offense faced a tough matchup in the 49ers’ dynamic defense led by stars such as Pro Bowler Richard Sherman, Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa, and team leader in tackles, Fred Warner. The 49ers’ defense were the second best in the NFL during the regular season with only the New England Patriots ranked higher than them.
As many predicted, the Super Bowl was a tight game, with both teams coming within arm’s reach of the Lombardi trophy. The 49ers’ passing game struggled at times, as Jimmy Garropolo threw 219 yards for one touchdown and two interceptions and Kendrick Borne led the receivers with 42 yards. By contrast, Patrick Mahomes had a strong showing, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions for a total of 286 yards in the air. He also rushed 29 yards and a touchdown on the ground and earned the Super Bowl MVP award. While the 49ers started the 4th quarter with a 10 point lead, the Chiefs outscored the 49ers 21-0 in the last 15 minutes of the game, pulling away with an 11-point comeback victory.
In the end, both the Chiefs and the 49ers gave fans from all over the world a well-matched and exciting game. Both teams played with an intensity that tested one another, but the Chiefs were able to pull away with a hard-fought victory.