Following a picture perfect weather day on Sunday, the night turned magical for the Kansas City Chiefs as they came out on top in Super Bowl 54 played inside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Patrick Mahomes overcame two interceptions to throw two fourth quarter touchdowns as the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 31-20 in front of a sellout crowd of 62,417 in the final game of the National Football League’s 100th season.
San Francisco struck first with a field goal before Kansas City went on a 15-play drive that culminated with a one-yard touchdown run by Mahomes. The Chiefs would add a field goal before Garoppolo connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk to tie the game at 10.
Following a thunderous halftime show featuring international superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, the 49ers took a 13-10 lead and capitalized on an interception by linebacker Fred Warner. Garoppolo completed 11 of his next 12 pass attempts before Raheem Mostert – who was cut by the Miami Dolphins among other teams – for the one yard score to make it 20-10.
San Francisco got a bit of luck when a Mahomes pass got tipped and was intercepted by Tarvious Moore.
Kansas City began to crawl back with a long completion from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill that, following a pass interference penalty on the 49ers, set up a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce. After stopping the 49ers, Kansas City used a deep pass from Mahomes to Sammy Watkins that set up the winning score. Kansas City added to the point total on a 38-yard run by Damien Williams, who spent time on the Miami Dolphins previously.
The victory was sweet for a Chiefs team who was playing in their first Super Bowl in half a century – giving the franchise their second NFL title and giving their long time head coach, Andy Reid, his first crown and a chance to be in the conversation as one of the league’s best sideline generals.
Fans of the Chiefs outnumbered fans from the 49ers from the time gates opened Sunday afternoon – with many waiting a lifetime for the chance to watch their team play for the title.
“We’ve been saying for 50 years ‘next year’,” said Lenny Diaz, a realtor from Wichita, Kansas who suffered a stroke when the Chiefs lost in the playoffs after the 2016 season. “My daughter said ‘Dad, you’re going’ and we’re here.”
The loss kept the 49ers’ from having a perfect record in Super Bowl games played in South Florida with previous victories in both Super Bowls XXIII and XXIX. Still, the season completes a transition for a team who was 4-12 last season into one that has a talented young nucleus that could be in the title conversation for seasons to come.
“From 4-12 to 13-3, it was a lot of ups and downs but we’re always going to be faithful,” said Albesh Jivan, a 49ers fan who flew in from San Francisco for the game this weekend.
Super Bowl LIV puts an end to a week where South Florida got a chance to show off its glory to the nation for the first time in a decade – with events spanning from Opening Night held Monday inside Marlins Park to the NFL Experience on Miami Beach along with concerts and other events that ran beyond smooth.