MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Another week that came down to the final minutes of the contest. The San Francisco 49ers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-20, in Super Bowl LIV. It was a back and forth battle where the 49ers failed to convert in the final minutes of the contest. Here are the takeways from Miami.
1. It was nearly a perfect start for San Francisco’s defense that limited Kansas City to a quick three-and-out. Nick Bosa made an early impact, deflecting a pass intended for Chiefs running back Damien Williams. The 49ers first drive was highlighted by a 32-yard pickup on an end around to Deebo Samuel to move the 49ers into Chiefs territory. San Francisco’s drive resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.
2. The Chiefs responded with a 15-play 75-yard drive that was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown by Patrick Mahomes. On their ensuing drive which came off of a Jimmy Garoppolo interception, Kansas City managed to move back into scoring position. On 3rd-and-7, Mahomes was looking for Darwin Thompson when Tarvarius Moore put a hit on the running back to force an incompletion. Kansas City was held to a field goal to extend their lead, 10-3.
3. San Francisco’s first touchdown of the game came on their third series of the night. Samuel,Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert highlighted the drive with plays of nine yards or more to move downfield. On 1st-and-10 on Kansas City’s 15 yard line, Garoppolo found Kyle Juszczyk for 16 yards. Juszczyk slipped past Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen en route to the endzone to tie the game at 10 a piece. Juszczyk’s touchdown was the first score by a fullback in a Super Bowl since San Francisco’s William Floyd in Super Bowl XXXIX.
San Francisco’s defense held Kansas City to 10 points in the first half, tying for the fewest first half points this season.
4. San Francisco got off to a hot start in the second half, with gains from Emmanuel Sanders, Coleman, Juszczyk and Samuel. With 53 yards at the start of the second quarter, Samuel has the most rushing yards by a wide receiver in Super Bowl history. Percy Harvin was the previous record holder with 45 rushing yards in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Samuel finished the game with five receptions for 39 yards and three carries for 53 yards.
5. San Francisco’s defense came up big during Kansas City’s first drive of the second half. Bosa registered a strip sack against Mahomes for a loss of six yards to bring up third down. On the following play, Fred Warner came down with an interception against Mahomes on a pass intended for Tyreek Hill. Mahomes’ interception marked his first pick since Week 17 and sixth of the entire year.
6. Warner’s pick set up San Francisco for their second touchdown of the night. Garoppolo found Kendrick Bourne on a 3rd-and-long for a 16-yard pickup. On the following play, Garoppolo connected with Juszczyk for a 10-yard gain to move the 49ers to the goal line. Mostert punched it in to extend San Francisco’s lead by 10.
7. Mahomes and Co. drove down the field in an attempt to cut San Francisco’s lead early in the fourth quarter. On 3rd-and-6 at San Francisco’s 23, Mahomes was picked off for the second time on the night, this time, by Moore, the first interception of his career.
8. The Chiefs scored twice on back-to-back possessions to take the lead with under three minutes left in the contest. In San Francisco’s attempt to take the lead, Garoppolo was sacked for the first time of the game on fourth down to force a turnover on downs.
9. It’s worth mentioning DeForest Buckner and Earl Mitchell also split a sack against Mahomes in the first half. Buckner finished the game with 1.5 sacks. Jaquiski Tartt also registered a sack on the Chiefs final drive.
10. It was quite the season for San Francisco. It’s a hard pill to swallow coming up short in the Super Bowl. However, the team rallied from a 4-12 season to an NFC Championship. It’s been a ride. On to next year.