Super Bowl 54 Recap: A Championship 50 Years in the Making

Enrique Medina, Broadcast Director

The Kansas City Chiefs were able to bring the team’s first Super Bowl in 50 years, beating the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-20 in Super Bowl LV Sunday night. The 20-year wait for Kansas City’s head coach Andy Reid was also finally over as he was able to conquer his first super bowl as a head coach.

Super Bowl LV was set out to be an all out battle between a powerful 49ers defense and a powerful Kansas City offensive attack. That is exactly what transpired.

Setting the Tone

The first half saw a very evenly matched game as the 49ers took the first lead of the game with a Robbie Gould field goal after a 10 play drive. The Chiefs soon countered at the end of the first quarter, scoring on quarterback Patrick Mahomes one yard rushing touchdown to put Kansas City in front. On the ensuing possession, San Francisco would give up the ball as the Kansas City defense put pressure on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and forced him to throw an interception, leading to an eventual field goal and a 10-3 Kansas City lead.

The final score of the first half would come in the 49ers very next drive as they scored with a Kyle Juszczyk 15 yard touchdown reception, backing a seven play 49ers drive.

A Quick Turnaround

The second half, would bring forth a very different tale from the first as San Francisco dominated the third quarter putting up 10 unanswered points to take a 20-10 lead going into the 4th quarter. San Francisco put pressure on Mahomes most of the night, forcing him to throw two interceptions during the game, setting themselves up in the driver’s seat to take home the Lombardi trophy with 9 minutes left with a 10 point lead.

For the Chiefs, this exact position they were left in with nine minutes left was very similar to what they faced throughout the AFC playoffs. They trailed by double digit points or more in both the AFC Divisional round against the Houston Texans and in the AFC Championship game against the Tennessee Titans. Both times however, the Chiefs offense led by reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, were able to come back big to win those games. This situation was no different.

Williams Close Call 

Mahomes would help bring the deficit back to three as he converted a 10 play drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce bringing the game to a score of 20-17. After a clutch three and out stop by the Kansas City defense, Mahomes was left with time to orchestrate a go-ahead drive. Orchestrate he did, as Kansas City wasted almost no time scoring on a quick seven play drive on a five yard TD reception from Chiefs running back Damien Williams. In an extremely close call, the touchdown play was reviewed, but ultimately confirmed as a touchdown as running back Damien Willliams crossed the goal line before stepping out of bounds, giving the Chiefs a 24-20 lead with less than three minutes to go.

50 Year Redemption

On the ensuing possession, San Francisco would get the ball back with a chance to go in front in Super Bowl LIV and orchestrate a game winning drive, but would not go on to do so. The Chiefs would seal the game after a 38 yard rushing touchdown by Williams and clinch Kansas City’s first Super Bowl in 50 years by the final score of 31-20.

For the 49ers, it was a disappointment from being up 10 in the fourth quarter, to giving up three touchdowns in a hurry. Dating back to Super Bowl LI when 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, he had been outscored a whopping 46-0 in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Going more to the pass game, and averting from their strong run game in the fourth quarter may have perhaps cost his team a Super Bowl victory.

As for Kansas City, this championship was one 50 years in the making. Finally, coach Andy Reid captured his first super bowl as a head coach and left his mark in Kansas City forever.