One of the world’s biggest sporting events rolls around for another year, with Super Bowl 54 pitting the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers against one another at 10:30am (AEDT) on Monday, February 3 (Australian time).
The Kansas City Chiefs have ended their 50-year wait for a second Super Bowl victory, coming from 20-10 down at the end of the third quarter to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 and earn their first championship since 1970.
Looking out of sorts on both sides of the ball for much of the first three quarters, superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes found another gear in the fourth quarter. Despite throwing an early interception, he led the Chiefs to a 21-0 surge that saw them reverse a double-digit deficit for the third time this postseason.
The 24-year-old finished 26/42 in passing, for 286 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing for another. Running back Damien Williams starred too with 104 yards off 17 carries with two touchdowns.
Jimmy Garoppolo recovered from a shaky start to finish 20/31 with 219 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but neither he nor the rest of the San Francisco offense could get anything going in the crucial final quarter.
Robbie Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal to open the scoring for San Francisco in the first quarter, but potent offense from the Chiefs saw them get into the endzone first and open up a 7-3 lead.
A bad interception form Garoppolo towards the end of the first quarter put the Chiefs in prime position to open things up, but San Francisco’s vaunted defense ensured the damage was restricted to just a field goal before the offense went 80 yards in just seven plays to tie things up at ten apiece.
Things looked to be falling the 49ers’ way in the third quarter after an early field goal was followed up by an uncharacteristically poor interception by Mahomes, with the Niners duly punished to extend the lead to 20-10.
When Mahomes threw his second pick of the game early in the fourth quarter, that could’ve been lights out. But, the Chiefs got back to their explosive best in when it mattered to steal the win.
The win was the first for the Chiefs since they defeated Minnesota 23-7 in Super Bowl IV. San Francisco were gunning for an equal-record sixth Super Bowl victory, but have now lost two consecutive deciders after winning their first five.