GRAPHIC BY DENISE THUONG
By ANA-SOFIA MUÑOZ
Super Bowl LIV will certainly be one to remember.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, the Kansas City Chiefs proved victorious against the San Francisco 49ers with a score of 31-20 in an astounding turn of events. Football fans especially commended the efforts of quarterback Patrick Mahomes throughout the game and attribute much of the Chiefs’ success to his strategic gameplay.
This Super Bowl comes as a refreshing change in comparison to the games of the past several years. Much unlike last year’s less-than thrilling game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams with a score of 13-3, this year’s Super Bowl was vastly more competitive and kept audiences at the edge of their seats until they counted down the last seconds of fourth quarter.
With the score tied 10-10 just before halftime, the 49ers completed a long pass and appeared ready to score. However, the 49ers receiver who caught the pass was penalized for offensive pass interference, and the long gain was called back. The penalty brought the team’s previous momentum to a sudden halt, leaving the score tied at halftime.
Even in spite of the penalty, the 49ers were winning the game by the end of the third quarter with a score of 20-10.
However, the Chiefs miraculously pulled ahead with a turnaround in the last quarter. The Chiefs took the lead, 24-20; in the fourth quarter. In a futile attempt to make a comeback, the 49ers made some questionable calls that ultimately led to their demise.
For instance, when the 49ers were down 24-20, they began a drive and were faced with a third down and 10 yards around midfield, with less than two minutes left in the game. Rather than going for the first down on a short play, Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers quarterback, opted to go for a long pass that fell incomplete. On the next play, Garopollo was sacked and the Chiefs got the ball back.
The Chiefs scored, again, to take a 31–20 lead. Because the 49ers let the clock run down by 40 seconds on their previous possession instead of calling a timeout, there was simply not enough time for them to make a comeback.
It goes without saying that the Chiefs fought to the very end of the game, most especially quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Although fans were highly critical of his performance in the first half of the game, Mahomes proved his worth by making several major gains following the penalty against San Francisco. Mahomes made three touchdown drives, going for 65, 83 and 42 yards respectively, driving the 49ers back and securing the lead for the Chiefs.
While both teams displayed their adept skills throughout the game, the Chiefs demonstrated especially exceptional offensive strategies, as seen in the way they were able to gain the lead in the fourth quarter. The 49ers appeared unprepared to face certain setbacks and very obviously did not anticipate having to struggle against the Chiefs’ efforts.
In short, the 49ers ultimately floundered when faced with the Chiefs’ powerful offense and willful gameplay. Overall, the game truly exemplified what the Super Bowl is intended to be about: these teams showcased their abilities as some of the best in pro football, and certainly entertained the nation in what hopefully sets a precedent for the Super Bowls to come.