Didn’t catch the Super Bowl? Here is what you missed…
In an electrifying display of talent and determination, the Kansas City Chiefs secured their second consecutive Super Bowl victory, solidifying their status as a dominant force in the NFL. Led by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs delivered a breathtaking performance that will be etched in the annals of football history. Mahomes threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman in overtime, and Kansas City rallied to beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 on Sunday, becoming the first repeat Super Bowl champs in 19 years.
The inaugural Super Bowl held in Las Vegas was characterized by a lacklustre start, marred by errors and a general sense of tedium, until the exhilarating back-and-forth exchanges in the final quarter and overtime unfolded. This marked only the second instance out of 58 Super Bowls where the game ended in a tie after regular play. Notably, it was also the maiden occasion when new overtime regulations were implemented, guaranteeing both teams possession of the ball, thus adding an extra layer of suspense and unpredictability to the proceedings.
As the clock ticked down in regulation time, the tension in the stadium reached a crescendo. With the score deadlocked, the prospect of overtime loomed large, adding an extra layer of drama to an already intense contest.
Trailing 22-19 following San Fran’s Jake Moody’s successful 27-yard field goal on the opening possession of overtime, Kansas City faced a daunting challenge. However, quarterback Patrick Mahomes orchestrated a remarkable comeback, showcasing his resilience and leadership in a rematch of the Super Bowl from four years prior.
Mahomes Wins MVP
Mahomes displayed his dual-threat ability, first rushing for eight crucial yards on fourth-and-one to extend Kansas City’s drive. He then dazzled with a 19-yard scramble, positioning his team for the game-winning score. This decisive play unfolded with just 14:57 elapsed in the extra period, narrowly avoiding a second overtime session.
Reflecting on the victory, Mahomes expressed pride in his teammates’ ability to overcome adversity throughout the season. His performance earned him the title of MVP.
“With all the adversity we’ve been through this season to come through tonight… I’m proud of the guys,” Mahomes remarked. “This is awesome. Legendary.”
As Mahomes connected with a wide-open Hardman for the winning touchdown, the Kansas City Chiefs stormed the field amidst a shower of red-and-yellow confetti, celebrating their hard-fought triumph.
For head coach Andy Reid, the victory was especially sweet, as he cemented his legacy as one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. Reid’s innovative play-calling and steady leadership were instrumental in guiding the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
Kelce Bumps Reid
The first half lacked excitement until a notable incident occurred when a frustrated Kelce inadvertently bumped into Andy Reid on the sideline. The collision momentarily displaced the 65-year-old Kansas City coach, following teammate Isiah Pacheco’s fumble inside the red zone during the second quarter.
“Did you guys catch that?” Kelce quipped. “Let’s keep it between us unless my mic’d up decides to spill the beans. I was just expressing my love for him.”
The momentum shifted following a critical error by San Francisco’s special teams, leading to Mahomes’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, granting Kansas City a 13-10 advantage.
Brock Purdy “Mr. Irrelevant”
Despite a response from Brock Purdy and the 49ers (14-6), they couldn’t muster enough key plays, denying the opportunity for the last pick in the 2022 NFL draft, fondly dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant,” to ascend from obscurity to Super Bowl champion.
Brady & Belichick
Mahomes and Reid have reached the halfway mark to matching the illustrious record of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who clinched six championships during their two-decade tenure with the New England Patriots. The Brady-Belichick duo notably achieved the feat of back-to-back victories following the 2003-04 seasons.
3 Super Bowl Titles
At just 28 years old, Mahomes solidified his status as one of the league’s premier quarterbacks, becoming only the fourth starting QB to secure three Super Bowl titles. He joins the ranks of football legends such as Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, and Troy Aikman, making him the second-youngest to accomplish this remarkable feat.
Adding to the Super Bowl lore, Niners wide receiver Jauan Jennings showcased his versatility by throwing a touchdown pass and catching one during the game. His dual-threat performance emulated the feat achieved by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles six years prior, making him one of the select few to achieve such a milestone on football’s grandest stage.
Mahomes & Kelce
Following Moody’s successful 53-yard field goal, which handed the Niners a 19-16 lead with just 1:53 left on the clock, Mahomes and Kelce sprang into action. Mahomes orchestrated a crucial play, connecting with Kelce for a 22-yard gain, positioning the Chiefs for Harrison Butker’s game-tying kick—a 29-yarder that sailed through the uprights with a mere three seconds remaining.
However, the drama continued into overtime. A holding penalty on Kansas City’s Trent McDuffie prolonged San Francisco’s opening drive, allowing Purdy to execute pivotal throws that propelled the 49ers to the Kansas City nine-yard line. Despite their efforts, San Francisco ultimately settled for a field goal, keeping the game on a knife’s edge.
Purdy & McCaffrey
Purdy, alongside Christian McCaffrey and the Niners, surged to a 10-0 lead, a formidable start in any game. However, for Mahomes and the Kansas City team, such deficits in the Super Bowl are nothing unfamiliar. In fact, they’ve overcome 10-point deficits in all three of their championship victories, notably in last year’s thrilling 38-35 triumph over Philadelphia.
While Mahomes faced challenges early on and even threw an interception, he proved his mettle when it mattered most. Demonstrating his trademark resilience and playmaking abilities, Mahomes orchestrated a stunning comeback. He completed 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, showcasing his mastery of the game when the stakes were highest.
The Regular Season
Kansas City’s regular season performance hardly showcased dominance, as they entered the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 3 seed. Despite this, they embarked on a formidable postseason journey, securing victories on the road against Buffalo and Baltimore, marking Mahomes’s first-ever road playoff triumphs. The odds were stacked against them, with FanDuel Sportsbook listing them as 2 1/2-point underdogs entering the Super Bowl.
The pivotal moment of the game arrived when San Francisco’s Ray-Ray McCloud failed to recover a punt that had ricocheted off teammate Darrell Luter Jr.’s leg. Kansas City capitalized on this miscue, swiftly recovering the ball at the 49ers’ 16-yard line, setting the stage for Mahomes’s crucial touchdown pass to Valdes-Scantling, giving the Chiefs the lead.
However, the Niners quickly responded, with Purdy orchestrating a drive culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jennings, reclaiming a 16-13 lead. Moody’s extra point attempt was met with a block.
In a bold move, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan opted to gamble on fourth-and-three from the Kansas City 15-yard line, forgoing a tying field goal attempt. The risk paid off as Purdy connected with George Kittle for a four-yard gain before finding Jennings for the touchdown, further swinging the momentum in San Francisco’s favor.
Jennings, a wide receiver without prior experience throwing a pass in an NFL game, surprised everyone by launching a 21-yard touchdown pass to McCaffrey. Despite facing pressure and being hit as he released the ball, Jennings managed to deliver a somewhat unsteady pass across the field, which McCaffrey skillfully caught before dashing into the end zone.
Shanahan’s Super Bowl coaching record fell to 0-2, with an overall record of 0-3, including a loss during his tenure as offensive coordinator for Atlanta. Notably, this loss was against Brady and the Patriots, in the game where they orchestrated a historic comeback from a 28-3 deficit to win in overtime.
Numerous luminaries graced the stadium as the NFL hosted its grandest event in America’s illustrious capital. A-listers such as Jay-Z, LeBron James, and Paul McCartney were just a few of the many celebrities spotted among the crowd.
Usher’s Halftime Show
The halftime show was a spectacle to behold, with performances from top-tier artists. Post Malone mesmerized with a rendition of “America the Beautiful,” while Reba McEntire delivered a stirring rendition of the national anthem. Usher took centre stage during halftime, delivering an electrifying performance that captivated the audience. He even danced in roller skates!
He was joined by a star-studded lineup of guests, including Alicia Keys, H.E.R., Jermaine Dupri, Lil Jon, and Ludacris, making it a truly unforgettable halftime show.
The Taylor Swift Effect
Taylor Swift’s presence at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday evening was destined to dominate headlines. The global pop icon made a swift return from her ‘Eras’ tour in Tokyo to support her boyfriend, Kansas City star Travis Kelce.
As Kelce basked in the glow of victory while being interviewed with the Lombardi trophy, Swift gracefully stepped aside, allowing him to bask in the limelight before sharing a heartfelt embrace—a moment immortalized across the globe.
Swift & Kelce’s Romance
Since rumors of their relationship surfaced in September, a fresh wave of fans has tuned into American football, drawn by the intrigue surrounding Swift and Kelce’s romance. For some, this newfound interest has provided a gateway to the National Football League, while for others, it has served as a distracting sideshow from the on-field action.
Swift’s appearance at the memorable Super Bowl LVIII is unlikely to alter either perspective significantly. During the autumn season, Swift frequented the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, providing fodder for paparazzi as she was often seen alongside Kelce’s mother and Brittany Mahomes, the wife of the Chiefs’ star quarterback, Patrick. In December, shortly after being named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, Swift confirmed her relationship with Kelce and shared how their connection had facilitated her interest in football. Thus, two distinct worlds had unmistakably intertwined.
The “Swift effect” has significantly expanded the television viewership of the sport, particularly among young women, reportedly boosting the NFL and the Chiefs’ brand value by $331 million (£260 million). Following her attendance at one of Kelce’s games, sales of his Chiefs replica jersey skyrocketed, experiencing a remarkable 400% surge.
Kelce appears to embrace the added attention, remarking before the Super Bowl, “It’s been enjoyable to welcome the Swifties into Chiefs Kingdom and introduce them to the world of football.”
The storyline surrounding the Super Bowl was crystal clear: Would Swift manage to return from Japan in time, and how many individuals would be monitoring her movements? Speculation even arose earlier in the week about Swift’s legal team sending a letter to a university student who shared information about her private plane’s whereabouts.
Ultimately, given that Japan is 17 hours ahead of the Pacific Time Zone, Swift was able to navigate the 12-hour flight to Nevada with ample time to spare.
US President Joe Biden
Not everyone has been enamoured with the media frenzy surrounding the couple.
In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell found himself addressing conspiracy theories surrounding Swift, dismissing them as “nonsense” after some right-wing critics speculated that the relationship was part of a scheme to influence the championship outcome and aid in the re-election of US President Joe Biden.
For certain traditionalists, the focus on Swift’s presence is seen as a distraction. They argue that every TV cutaway, photograph, or mention of Swift’s name detracts attention from the performances of Mahomes, NFL offensive player of the year Christian McCaffrey, and other standout athletes on the field.
The Super Bowl has always been a colossal night for music. Not only does the halftime show consistently draw staggering ratings, surpassing even prestigious awards ceremonies, but each year, the Super Bowl commercials—equivalent to the Oscars for advertisers—seem to feature more and more musical superstars. In fact, many individuals who may not be football fans tune in solely to catch the commercials, which fuel the pop culture discourse the following day.
During Super Bowl 2024, the star-studded commercials didn’t disappoint. Halftime show headliner Usher made cameo appearances in not just one but two Super Bowl ads. Other memorable moments included Cardi B striking a pose, Jennifer Lopez playfully rolling her eyes at husband Ben Affleck, and Beyoncé unveiling new music—all before the third quarter even concluded.
Undoubtedly, this game will be etched in the annals of football history for the iconic moment when Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce shared an emotional on-field kiss following the Kansas City Chiefs’ triumph in securing football’s most coveted prize, the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
As the world watched in awe, speculation abounds about what the future holds for the couple and the Chiefs. Will the Chiefs achieve the rare feat of winning three consecutive Super Bowls?
And could Kelce potentially make a romantic proposal to Swift on the field if the Chiefs achieve this remarkable three-peat in 2025? The possibilities tantalize fans and ignite excitement for what lies ahead in the realm of sports and romance.
by Myles Shane