By CJ Carlson
The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers to win their third Super Bowl under Patrick Mahomes. They came out on top by three points after scoring the game winning touchdown in overtime, walking away with the 25-22 final.
Kansas City Chiefs Played Wonderful Offense Late
If you’re the Chiefs, this is the happiest that you could possibly be. Patrick Mahomes completed nearly 75 percent of his total passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also ran nine times for an additional 66 yards, all of which were desperately needed by the way. Plus, he went down the field and scored points on the most important final few drives of the game, something that not many quarterbacks can do at that level while making it look so easy.
Pretty much everybody else got involved in the Chiefs offense as well. Isiah Pacheco had 24 touches, Rashee Rice had eight, Justin Watson caught three balls, Mecole Hardman scored the game-winning touchdown, Noah Gray hauled in two receptions, Marquez Valdes-Scantling scored, and Travis Kelce had 93 yards on nine catches. They had a few brutal turnovers, but their defense didn’t surrender any points on those, so it didn’t really matter much at the end of the day.
San Francisco 49ers Didn’t Involve Stars Enough
Now, before we get any further, let’s talk about the 49er’s offense. Brock Purdy looks great out there despite his age and experience. He completed 60 percent of his passes for 255 yards, a touchdown, and didn’t turn it over once. Christian McCaffrey had 22 rushes for 80 yards and caught a big 24-yard touchdown pass from Jauan Jennings on a trick play early on. He also had eight receptions for 80 more yards through the air. For me, what stood out was the lack of involvement from their stars offensively.
Deebo Samuel had a few balls either get knocked away, go just out of his reach, or he just didn’t come down with. He ended the night with three rushes for eight yards, and three catches for 33. He was basically a non-factor. Brandon Aiyuk only had three catches for 49 yards, another underperformance. And finally, the most important, was that George Kittle had just two catches for four yards. I don’t know what the game plan was, but they just couldn’t involve their stars in the biggest game of the season.
Both Defenses Stepped Up Throughout The Game
That brings me to the defense, because the Chiefs got it done at that end. They couldn’t contain McCaffrey much, yet it didn’t matter. Why? That’s because L’Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie locked down Deebo, Kittle, and Aiyuk for the most part. Later in the game, you could see their defensive line get after Purdy, and the 49ers offense sputtered in the second half because of it. Chris Jones once again had a tremendous impact, forcing numerous pressures including the overtime hit on Purdy. A hit that, if he didn’t do it, would have resulted in a 49ers touchdown in overtime, rather than a field goal.
The 49ers defense did pretty great in their own regard but changed their game plan for some reason down the stretch. It was partially due to exhaustion because of how much they were out there late, though it was intriguing to see the difference in scheme later on. When the game started, you could tell they wanted to get after Mahomes early and often, while playing physically with their offensive receivers. That worked well. They had three early sacks and hit/hurried Mahomes on a number of other downs.
Later on, though, they decided that they wanted to mostly play deep, and give the Chiefs receivers about eight yards of space per play. This drop coverage allowed Mahomes to march straight down the field in the biggest three drives of the game. I’m sure the defense was tired, so defensive coordinator Steve Wilks wanted to try and help them out, but they did entirely shift from their plan late, and the Chiefs ripped off points and points because of it. Oh, and we can’t ignore the devastating blow that this unit took when Dre Greenlaw suffered an Achilles injury while celebrating early on.
Kicking Played A Role
Lastly, the kicking was great on both ends, minus one fairly impactful miss on an extra point from Jake Moody. Other than that, Moody was three-for-three on field goals with a 55-yarder. Harrison Butker on the other end was four-for-four with a 57-yarder. The field goal units did phenomenal jobs, while the punting units left some to be desired with a few muffs.
It’s a disappointing end to the season for 49ers fans, and another happy ending for the Chiefs faithful. We’ll see how the NFL world reacts in the coming days, and what other teams attempt to do to try and stop Kansas City next year.