This years Super Bowl was without a doubt a great game. There was a lot of interest in the game, all the superstars were making plays, it was well coached, and was close until the very end. The 49ers were winning all game, but ended up losing at the end 31-20. How did this happen? There were 3 key factors that lead to the Chiefs becoming Super Bowl LIV champions.
A lot of people regard Mahomes as the best quarter back in the NFL. This is extraordinary considering this is only his second season being a starter. Before the game, many predicted he would have to be all-time great to combat the physical 49ers defense. That was not exactly the case to start the game. Through the first three quarters, by anyone's standards, he was having a bad game. He had thrown two awful interceptions and was making errand throws left and right. The pass rush was getting to him and causing him to make mistakes. In the 4th quarter, though, Mahomes put on a performance for the ages. Coming back from 20-10, he took his team downfield twice and threw two touchdowns to put his team ahead. Damien Williams (the RB) ran one in towards the end of the game, but that was just icing on the cake. Mahomes spectacular 4th quarter was a major reasons the Chiefs were able to win the game. This performance cemented him as an all-time great and a clutch player under pressure.
Garopplo showed signs of brilliance throughout the game. The 49ers QB had a great second and third quarter, helping his team gain the 20-10 advantage. With that being said, he had an awful first and fourth quarter. He ended the game with only 219 yards, throwing two picks and only one touchdown. He was asked to make plays down the stretch when the Chiefs were making their comeback, and he was just not capable of making anything happen. He had the opportunity to throw a game winning pass, but over through his receiver by 5 yards.
His inability to control the game at the end proved to be detrimental to his team. One indicator of the type of QB someone is can be shown by the coaches decisions. At the end of the second quarter, Kyle Shanahan elected to not call a timeout and allow the half to end. This shows a lack of confidence in his quarter back. If he thought Garoppolo was elite, he would have trusted him and attempted to put some more points on the board.
Shanahan is regarded as one of the best young coaches in the NFL. He helped lead the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl when he was their offensive coordinator. He then came to the 49ers and completely changed their franchise, leading them to this years Super Bowl. In his career, the one major criticism he has received was from his decisions during the Super Bowl with Atlanta. In that game, they held a big lead and almost surely looked to be champions. For some reason, though, Shanahan elected to keep throwing the ball, allowing the clock to stop and the Patriots to get back in the game. By not utilizing the run game, the Patriots ended up winning that Super Bowl and the coaching staff received the majority of the blame. Fast forward to this year and he did the EXACT SAME THING. The 49ers held a nice lead and needed to continue to run the ball. For some unexplainable reason, Shanahan decided to try throwing the ball with Garoppolo. This lead to clock stopping and the Chiefs getting back in the game and eventually winning. This time, it was actually worse than the first time he made this mistake. The 49ers identity was a running team, and it had been working all game. There was no reason to go away from that. Shanahan is still a great coach, but this blunder will tarnish his legacy for years to come.