Brian Gornick, Sports Editor
If anyone had any doubts, the Kansas City Chiefs proved to everyone last night that they are the next great NFL dynasty.
Coming into Super Bowl LVIII, the Chiefs were looking to win their second consecutive championship following last year’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Since 2018, the Chiefs have never had their season ended before the AFC Championship Game, and have been a staple in the playoffs every year since 2015.
The 49ers came into the Super Bowl having last played in the big game in 2019, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-20. Shanahan had coached in that Super Bowl, as well as Super Bowl LI in 2017 as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
Much of the first half was filled with sloppy offensive play and strong defense. The first possession of the game ended with 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey fumbling deep in Kansas City territory.
The first points of the game weren’t scored until the second quarter. At the Kansas City 37-yard line, 49ers kicker Jake Moody kicked a 55-yard field goal to give the 49ers their first lead of the game. The rookie from Michigan broke the record for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history, held by former Buffalo Bill’s kicker Steve Christie since 1993.
The first touchdown was scored with four minutes left in the half, with a trick play resulting in McCaffrey running for a 21-yard touchdown catch, putting the 49ers ahead with a 10-0 lead.
With less than five minutes in the half, the Chiefs responded by finally getting into an offensive rhythm. A 13-play drive resulted in a field goal, cutting San Francisco’s lead to a touchdown to end the half.
The beginning of the second half was strikingly similar to the beginning of the first, with the defenses setting the tone.
Receiving the ball out of the half, the Chiefs had their second turnover of the game, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing an interception on the third play of the drive. San Francisco failed to capitalize and was forced to punt on the following possession.
With the 49ers offense stalling under the blitz-heavy scheme of the Chiefs, the lead was slowly being chipped away. At five minutes left in the third quarter, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker successfully knocked in a 57-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-6, shattering Moody’s previous record for longest field goal in a Super Bowl.
Another break for the Chiefs came a few drives later, with a punt to San Francisco resulting in a turnover when the ball clipped the ankle of a 49ers player, and the Chiefs picking up the live ball in prime scoring position.
Mahomes threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the very next play to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game.
As the pressure rose and every possession mattered, neither team had a scoreless drive for the rest of the game. The 49ers went on a 12-play, 75-yard drive to score another touchdown, this time from the arm of quarterback Brock Purdy, flipping the lead back in favor of San Francisco. Moody’s extra point however was blocked, keeping their lead within a field goal.
The remaining three drives: two by Kansas City and one by San Francisco, all resulted in field goals. The final drive saw Mahomes go all the way from the Chiefs' 25-yard line in under two minutes, notably hitting tight end Travis Kelce for a 22-yard gain.
With only three seconds left in regulation, the 49ers elected to go into overtime, the first since Super Bowl LI. This was also the first playoff game with the new overtime rules, which were put in place following the 2022 postseason.
Electing to receive after winning the toss, the 49ers trotted out their offense first. Their scheme was largely successful, getting down to the red zone. Unfortunately for them, the Chiefs forced the 49ers to settle for a field goal, giving them the early lead.
The Chiefs took over with the chance to win the game with a touchdown, which they did methodically. A 13-play drive for seven minutes was capitalized with a 3-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Mecole Hardman Jr. to win the game for the Chiefs 25-22 in overtime.
The Chiefs win in Super Bowl LVIII is their third title in five years. It’s also the first time a team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots won in 2003 and 2004.
The next task for the Chiefs is certainly to three-peat as Super Bowl Champions, as no team in the modern era of the NFL has ever won three consecutive Super Bowls, and would undoubtedly place them in the NFL’s all-time greatest runs.