Patrick Mahomes led a seven-minute overtime drive as Mecole Hardman caught the game-winning score in overtime, where the Kansas City Chiefs rallied to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the 2024 Super Bowl, 25-22.
Kansas City won their second straight Super Bowl and their third in five seasons, dating back to 2019. The Chiefs have also won two straight championships over the 49ers.
This was the second Super Bowl that went to overtime, and the first since 2016 (LI).
A scoreless first quarter was highlighted by San Francisco chewing the clock through three long-winded drives. The 49ers took up 10:26 of game time in the first quarter, while the Chiefs only held the ball for 4:34.
Offensive Player of the Year and star running back Christian McCaffrey started the game with a trio of solid gains, but fumbled on the fifth play of the drive and handed the ball right to Kansas City. The Chiefs have totaled 273 takeaways since 2013, the fourth-most in that span in the NFL.
Sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy started the game completing eight of his first ten passes as the first quarter concluded. After a deep ball to wideout Deebo Samuel was broken up by All-Pro cornerback Trent McDuffie, 49ers’ kicker Jake Moody nailed a 55-yard field goal to open the scoring, giving San Francisco a 3-0 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Moody’s kick broke the record for longest field goal made in Super Bowl history by one yard (54).
Mahomes took his first deep shot of the game the next drive and found Hardman streaking down the right sideline for a 52-yard gain and a trip inside the red zone.
However, Pacheco fumbled on the very next play, handing the football right back to San Francisco. The Niners have forced 84 fumbles in the last five seasons, the most in the NFL over that span.
A combined sack by Chiefs defenders Justin Reid and George Karlaftis on the subsequent drive helped send the 49ers’ punt team and the Chiefs’ offense back onto the field.
Another pressure and near-sack by Young forced Mahomes to draw an intentional grounding penalty to begin the drive, throwing his first incompletion of the game with 9:16 remaining in the first half. A tackled by defensive lineman Arik Armstead halted the drive and put Townsend back on the field for a third Kansas City punt.
As the Niners marched down the field and into Chiefs’ territory, a trick play call saw wide receiver Jauan Jennings catch a screen pass and fire it back across the field to McCaffrey, who scurried his way into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown and a 10-0 San Francisco lead late in the first half.
Pass attempts by non-QBs in the Super Bowl have a 7/11 (63%) success rate in resulting in a touchdown, and Jennings’ throw to McCaffrey was the first since Super Bowl 52. McCaffrey also set a 49ers franchise record with six straight postseason games with a touchdown.
Mahomes found wide receivers Justin Watson and Rashee Rice through contact on back-to-back third-down conversions in San Francisco’s half of the field. A pair of small gains and Armstead’s second sack of the game forced Kansas City to take their points, though, where kicker Harrison Butker knocked in a 28-yard field goal to finally put the Chiefs on the board headed into halftime, 10-3.
49ers’ All-Pro edge rusher Nick Bosa finally got in on the action in the second half, tackling Pacheco in the backfield for a 12-yard loss on the first offensive play for the Chiefs.
Two plays later, rookie cornerback Ji’Ayir Brown stepped in front of Mahomes’ sideline pass and intercepted him, his third career interception and the first of the postseason for Brown.
After three straight conversion-less drives by both offenses, a 21-yard scramble on the read option by Mahomes set Kansas City up inside Niners territory, Butker broke the field goal record again, drilling a 57-yarder to take the record from Moody and chip into the San Francisco lead, 10-6.
Two Purdy misfires later, the Chiefs retained the ball again, but couldn’t push the ball up field, forcing their third punt of the half.
However, on the punt, 49ers returner Ray-Ray McCloud muffed the kick and cornerback Jaylen Watson recovered for Kansas City, putting the Chiefs in San Francisco’s red zone.
This miscue would prove invaluable, as Mahomes fires a pass to wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 16-yard touchdown the very next play, taking their first lead of the night, 13-10. Valdes-Scantling’s scored his 20th career receiving touchdown and 6th in his postseason career.
With the 49ers trailing, Purdy unloaded a third-down throw to Jennings for a first down, keeping the drive alive heading into the fourth quarter.
The 49ers found themselves in a 4th and 3 situation inside the Chiefs’ 15. Purdy found tight end George Kittle for his first catch of the evening and a first down, followed shortly by hitting Jennings over the middle for his second touchdown of the game. This was Jennings’ first postseason TD catch of his career, and San Francisco retook the lead, 17-13.
This was the 49ers’ longest drive of the evening as well: a 12-play, 75-yard drive that took over six minutes of game time.
With the Chiefs back in control, Mahomes began the drive with his longest completion to star tight end Travis Kelce of the game, a 16-yard gain that jump-started Kansas City’s passing offense.
Kelce moved up to second all-time in Super Bowl receptions, with 31, just behind Jerry Rice.
The Chiefs could not find the end zone, though, and brought on Butker for a game-tying 24-yard field goal, knotting the score at 16-16 with 5:46 left to play.
With the Niners in full control to hold onto the football for the last score, Purdy conducted two straight big plays from Jennings and Samuel, setting San Francisco up to run the clock down and force the Chiefs to call their timeouts.
The 49ers were determined to get a first down, but were unable to do so or burn a single one of the Chiefs’ timeouts. Moody, however, nailed his second 50+ yard field goal of the game, hitting a 53-yarder to put San Francisco back on top, 19-16, with just under two minutes to play.
With 1:56 to go in the game, Mahomes completed short pass after short pass to his tight ends, moving the ball to the 49ers’ 36-yard line with 40 seconds remaining.
After a short gain and no-huddle offense, Mahomes found Kelce once again on a crossing route, trucking his way up the field to San Francisco’s 11-yard line with only nine seconds left.
Mahomes missed Kelce on a fade route, and Butker came on to tie the game at 19 apiece to end the fourth quarter and force the game into overtime.
The 49ers got the football to begin the overtime period, but couldn’t turn it into a touchdown. Moody came on to kick a short field goal and succeeded, taking a 22-19 lead in overtime.
The Chiefs rebuttled with a long drive, killing clock through short gains and run plays, including a fourth-down conversion from Mahomes scramblig outside the pocket.
Kansas City settled themselves into Niners’ territory slowly and, after a Kelce shovel completion that got them close, Hardman put the game away for the victory.
“He’s always ready for the moment,” Mahomes said of Hardman. “We all are ready, but he’s a special hard worker in practice.”
Mahomes (34/46, 333, 2 TD, 1 INT) and the Chiefs won each of their last three postseason games by one score or less.
“To be able to play three really great teams and come out and play another great team, it feels good to come out here and be Super Bowl champs,” Mahomes said.
Photo from Jesse Newell/Kansas City Star.