Up 20-10, the 49ers were 12 minutes from Super Bowl glory. After intercepting Patrick Mahomes in San Francisco territory, all they needed to do was keep possession of the ball and keep Mahomes on the sideline. Instead, Mahomes would lead the Chiefs to touchdowns on three straight possessions, outscoring San Francisco 21-0 in the final six minutes, stunning the 49ers 31-20 and securing their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
The game appeared an even match, with the teams locked in a 10-10 tie nearing the end of the first half. Questionable clock management by 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and a critical penalty on tight end George Kittle stalled their last drive.
San Francisco’s halftime adjustments saw a strong run game, set up play action passes for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and brought a 20-10 lead into the fourth quarter. Though the Chiefs’ offense struggled, the 49ers were unable to finish, as drive after drive stalled in the fourth quarter.
After two interceptions, Mahomes played an almost flawless six minutes of football, finishing the game 26-42 for 286 yards with two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Mahomes’ performance solidified him as the youngest player ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors. Perhaps Chiefs’ running back Damian Williams was more deserving, scoring the go ahead and game sealing scores and becoming the first player in Super Bowl history with 100+ rushing yards, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown.