Super Bowl LVIII Recap

Written by: William Petersen

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Chiefs are Super Bowl LVIII champions

The first Super Bowl ever to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada fully lived up to the billing as the 58th installment of the big game found itself going to overtime for only the second time in history. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs represented the AFC and NFC in a Super Bowl that was going to be a legacy game for either side. The Niners had the opportunity to end a thirty year drought of winning their first Super Bowl since 1994 while the Chiefs were looking to cement their dynasty aspirations by being the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots did it nineteen years ago from 2003 to 2005. The big game started off as a defensive battle, rolling into halftime at 10-3 after the Niners found the endzone off of trick play resulting in a touchdown reception from Christian McCaffrey from none other than Jauan Jennings who became the only other player besides Nick Foles to have a passing and receiving touchdown in the Super Bowl. Allow Jennings had a career game and Brock Purdy had one of the most efficient and steady games of his young career, the Niners missed too many opportunities in the second half to suffocate a Chiefs defense that ultimately suffocated the Niners late in the second half to force overtime. Patrick Mahomes is now a three-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP after the Chiefs beat the 49ers 25-22 in a Super Bowl that will be talked about for years to come as the game that firmly established the Chiefs as an NFL dynasty.

The San Francisco 49ers will end a dream season in the most sour way as they yet again come up short to a Chiefs team that found themselves down by ten just like four years ago. Second year quarterback Brock Purdy has seemed to quiet the haters as he performed admirably and efficiently in a game that could take Purdy and the Niners longer than they think to get back to. Purdy finished 23/38 for 255 yards and a touchdown pass in a game that easily could have gotten away from him purely due to his lack of experience in the Super Bowl. Purdy ran the Niners offense well in the first half with the help of Christian McCaffrey and Jauan Jennings who produced the only touchdown of the first half. The NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in McCaffrey finished with 22 rushes for 80 yards and 8 receptions for 80 yards to become the first player in Super Bowl history to finish with 80 plus rushing and receiving yards. CMC’s workhorse effort proved to be in vain as the Niners had trouble getting their other star players going, George Kittle finished with two receptions for four yards, Brandon Aiyuk only hauled in three receptions for 48 yards, and Deebo Samuel caught three passes for 33 yards. The lack of production from the Niners receiving core is a major explanation to why this San Fran team could not get over the hump in a Super Bowl that could have easily gone the Niners way if they did not give away drives from holding penalties or abandoning the run for the majority of the third quarter. Kyle Shanahan has now lost both Super Bowls that have gone to overtime and San Francisco has given up ten point leads to the Chiefs in both of their Super Bowl losses to Kansas City. The question that now remains is what do the 49ers do after a season that seemed to be one of destiny but has now come to a screeching halt after the Niners defense ran out of gas in the second half and OT while Shanahan continues to get out-coached in crucial games. Their roster is the most complete in the NFL but still cannot find a way to win their first Super Bowl in three decades and I honestly do not know what they need in order to finally hoist the Lombardi Trophy besides not play Mahomes in the Super Bowl. It will be a long and painful offseason for the Bay Area and Kyle Shanahan will have to take a long look in the mirror after failing to win a Super Bowl in his third appearance. I am curious to see how the Niners approach this offseason as their championship window continues to shrink by the minute, especially after falling short for the second time in five years.

Kansas City can now be considered the next dynasty city as the Chiefs have etched their names in football glory for the second year in a row after an unorthodox season. The Chiefs were led to their third Super Bowl title in five years by Patrick Mahomes who finished 34/46 for 333 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Mahomes seemed to struggle early with the Niners defensive gameplan, and could not extend plays like usual as the Niners linebackers were ready for him to scramble throughout the first half. Mahomes kicked his Chiefs offense into high gear coming out of the halftime break as the Chiefs erased a 10 point deficit for the third time in a Super Bowl. The Chiefs offense was spearheaded by another solid playoff performance from Travis Kelce who finished with nine receptions for 93 but failed to find the endzone in what was the most popular wager that was placed in this year's Super Bowl, Travis Kelce anytime touchdown scorer. Andy Reid and the Chiefs continue to shock the world after many thought the Chiefs would be a first round out after losing to the Denver Broncos on Christmas night and finished the regular season 5-5. The Chiefs receiving core struggled all year, dropping a league high 44 passes but found a way to battle through this adversity and give Mahomes the support he needed in order to get the Chiefs across the finish line. The Chiefs capped off a 13 play 75 yard drive in overtime after Mecole Hardman secured the game winning touchdown catch to propel the Chiefs to another Super Bowl title and parade. The Chiefs defense was a major reason why the Niners struggled to fend off the back-to-back Super Bowl champs, sacking him once but getting to Purdy another seven times to pile on the pressure. The Chiefs continue to be the model of the NFL and I would not be surprised to see them be the favorite to win again next year once the season gets closer, but as of right now the 49ers are the favorites to win in 2024/25. Patrick Mahomes might be the second coming of Tom Brady as he has now won three NFL MVP awards, Super Bowls, and Super Bowl MVPs in just seven seasons in the NFL. The Chiefs will need to revamp their receiving core in the offseason if they want to continue this run of success but after this season it seems like as long as they have Mahomes and Kelce, the Chiefs can always compete for a Super Bowl.