Chiefs beat Niners in Sin City Super Bowl overtime thriller



February 11, 2024 – 9:17 PM PST

Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVIII REUTERS/Mike Blake
Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LVIII REUTERS/Mike Blake

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Patrick Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman in overtime to give the Kansas City Chiefs a 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers in a ‘Sin City’ Super Bowl thriller on Sunday, cementing their status as an NFL dynasty.

The blockbuster finish in Las Vegas was worthy of the biggest show on the Strip, as the Chiefs won a third Super Bowl in five years and became the NFL’s first repeat champions since the New England Patriots in February 2005.

After 49ers rookie kicker Jake Moody had booted a field goal to open overtime Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes marched down the field and finished the game with a three-yard touchdown pass to Hardman in the final seconds of the opening overtime period.

The win made pop queen Taylor Swift’s mad dash from Tokyo, where she performed on Saturday, to Las Vegas to watch boyfriend Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce all worthwhile.

The pop superstar showed no signs of jetlag, jumping up and down and cheering throughout the entire contest.

While Swift and Chiefs supporters celebrated it was more heartbreak for Niners fans, who were looking to claim a record equalling sixth Super Bowl title only to be denied by Kansas City once again.

At the Super Bowl in 2020 is was also the Chiefs who sent the 49ers home empty handed when they scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for a 31-20 victory in Miami.

“They should learn by now that when we down by 10, we turn into a different animal,” said Hardman. “This team, we fought hard, we knew what we needed to do.

“They counted us out, they said we down, we nothing, we washed up. They said the receivers were done.

“But look now, back-to-back champs, we got the best quarterback in the word and the best tight end in the world, don’t ever count us out. “

Mahomes produced a 75-yard game-winning drive to prove yet again why he is rated the best quarterback in the business, earning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player honours for a third time.

“What we’ve come through, dealt with this year,” smiled Mahomes as confetti fell from the rafters of Allegiant Stadium. “The guys never faltered.

“I’m proud of my guys man, this is awesome, it’s legendary.

“It’s the start of (a dynasty), we’re not done. I know we’re going to celebrate tonight but we got a young team, we going to keep this thing going.”

After a glitzy week of high-octane partying and obsessing over Swift’s travel plans the spotlight returned to the action on the field.

San Francisco dominated the opening half where the highlight for Chiefs supporters was Swift chugging down a drink and slamming down the cup as Niners fans booed.

Neither team were able to find their stride in a scoreless first quarter where both quarterbacks turned to the ground game.

The 49ers took charge in the second, opening up a 10-0 lead on a Super Bowl record field goal and bit of ‘razzledazzle’.

Moody nailed a 55-yarder before San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan reached into his bag of tricks with a play that saw receiver Jauan Jennings, a former high school quarterback, throwing the ball across field to running back Christian McCaffrey, who scampered 21 yards for the score.

Kansas City got on the scoreboard just before the end of the half with kicker Harrison Butker chipping a 28-yard field goal to send the Chiefs into the break trailing 10-3.

MISSED CONVERSION

The misfiring Chiefs then sputtered out of the break when Mahomes was intercepted by Ji’Ayir Brown, turning the ball over on their own 44.

The Chiefs’ play remained scrappy but their determination did not waver and Butker booted a Super Bowl record 57-yard field goal to trim the Niners’ lead to 10-6.

Just before the end of the third quarter the Chiefs got the break they had been waiting for – a punt brushing off the leg of Niners Ray-Ray McCloud and the Chiefs recovered.

Mahomes quickly made San Francisco pay for the error, hitting Marquez Valdes-Scantling with a 16-yard touchdown to take the lead for the first time at 13-10.

San Francisco answered with a 75-yard drive that was capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brock Purdy to Jennings to put the 49ers up 16-13.

But Moody then missed the extra point to leave the Chiefs needing only a field goal to tie the contest.

That miss would prove costly as the Chiefs followed with another Butker field goal to leave it deadlocked at 16-16.

Moody redeemed himself with a pressure-packed 53-yard field goal with just under two minutes to play in regulation time, giving San Francisco a 19-16 lead, but Butker showed nerves of steel by banging home a 29-yarder to send the Super Bowl to overtime for just the second time.

Reporting by Steve Keating, additional reporting Rory Carroll in Las Vegas, Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford