By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off in Miami, fighting for the Lombardi trophy and the right to call themselves champions. While the 49ers seemed to dominate most of the game, it was the Chiefs who took control at the end, winning 31-20 and becoming the 2020 NFL World Champions.
It was a clash of a red hot offense and a screaming defense. It was two young quarterbacks and a handful of seasoned veterans. It was the two best teams from each conference battling until the end. Most of all, it was a great game.
Truly, this game had it all. Lead changes, great defensive plays… and an epic collapse? I am seeing those words a lot this morning when reviewing the game. And while I’m not sure I would categorize it as an “epic” collapse, we saw one of those just a few years ago, the fact that San Francisco gave up 21 unanswered points will definitely be one of the main talking points of this game.
Mahomes is just unreal, looks like he’s getting swallowed up in the pocket and then makes a huge completion.
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) February 3, 2020
Looking at the stats, this game was pretty even. Each team had 2 turnovers. San Francisco had 351 total yards to Kansas City’s 397. While the Chiefs won the time of possession, the 49ers sacked KC quarterback Patrick Mahomes 4 times. But this game wasn’t about stats. It was about timing, momentum, and not quitting until the final whistle.
This game was never out of reach for Kansas City. The most they were ever down was just 10 points and after that fantastic comeback in the playoffs against the Houston Texans, and knowing the talent on that offense, no one should have ever counted them out.
As for the 49ers, QB Jimmy Garoppolo just couldn’t find a way to seal the deal at the end of the game. They had plenty of opportunities to do so but with overthrown passes and an interception, it was obvious that the Chiefs defense had found a way to rattle the opposing offense.
— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020
I saw a tweet at the end of the 3rd quarter that said “Congratulations 49ers, you’re Super Bowl Champions”. Of course, that tweet has now been deleted, but I wonder if a similar thought entered into the San Francisco player’s minds. The 49ers defense, who had been so dominant all season long, seemed to slow down and allowed the Chiefs offense, who seemed completely out of sorts for a good chunk of this game, get back in a rhythm and take all the momentum.
In the post-game press conferences, Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark told the press that he took celebrations on the 49ers sidelines as motivation.
“You look at the end of the game, and these guys were running around celebrating, that’s the worst I felt in the game. We’re down 10 points and there’s 15 minutes to go, and the guys start celebrating football like they about to win the Super Bowl. I went out there the next drive and told them ya’lls going home too, just like the rest of them.”
38-YARD TOUCHDOWN. #ChiefsKingdom
— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020
There will definitely be a few story lines/questions that will come out of this Super Bowl. Was the OPI call on George Kittle correct? (Yes) Why didn’t Shannahan call time out? (No one knows) Should Chiefs running back Damien Williams have won MVP? (Yes) With this being his second blown double-digit lead in a Super Bowl, what does this loss say about 49ers head coach Kyle Shannahan? (Absolutely nothing, he’s fine) Is Mahomes the future of the NFL? (Duh) But mostly the story is that this was a great game, between great teams and coaches.
I have to say something about the city of, and the fans in, Kansas City. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this, not even when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. This town was electric all week long. You couldn’t go 10 feet without someone wearing Chiefs gear or talking about the game. It was a level of city pride that was overwhelming.
50 years is a very long time to wait. Congratulations, Kansas City!
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG