Recap of the 49ers and Chiefs showdown in the 2024 Super Bowl

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For a second time, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will face off in the Super Bowl. If their first Super Bowl showdown is any indication of what will happen this Sunday, NFL fans are in for a treat. 

Four years ago, the 49ers held a 20-10 lead over the Chiefs late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV. But things changed in a hurry after Patrick Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill for 44 yards on a third-and-15 play. 

The big completion set up the first of consecutive touchdown passes by Mahomes in as many possession. Mahomes’ second touchdown throw, a short completion to running Damien Williams, gave the Chiefs a 24-20 lead with 2:50 left. 

The 49ers quickly drove into Chiefs territory on their next drive. For a second, it looked like the 49ers were about to retake the lead when Jimmy Garoppolo fired a deep pass downfield to Emmanuel Sanders on third down. The pass just evaded Sanders’ grasp, though, and the 49ers decided to punt with the hope of getting the ball back one last time. 

San Francisco never did, as a 38-yard touchdown run by Williams put the exclamation point on the Chiefs’ 31-20 win. 

The victory marked the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl win in 50 years which was significant from a historical perspective. The win also erased head coach Andy Reid’s previous distinction as the winningest coach in NFL history that hadn’t won a Super Bowl. The win also punched Reid’s future ticket to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

The Chiefs’ win also marked the first time a team had overcome three deficits of 10 points or more in the same postseason. Kansas City overcame a 24-0 deficit in the divisional round before rallying to post a 51-31 win over the Texans. A week later, the Chiefs found themselves trailing 17-7 before scoring 28 of the game’s final 35 points in their win over the Titans. Finally, in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs completed the second-largest fourth quarterback comeback in Super Bowl history while once again proving that no lead was truly safe against Mahomes and the Chiefs in 2019. 

Kansas City’s win also made Mahomes the first player to win a Super Bowl and league MVP honors before his 25th birthday. Mahomes, who threw for 286 yards and accounted for three of the Chiefs’ four touchdowns, became the third-youngest Super Bowl MVP in history. 

And while he and his team enjoyed the moment, Reid and the Chiefs weren’t satisfied with one Super Bowl win. 

“You want one, you wanna go get another one,” Reid said the morning after the Super Bowl. “But we gotta back pedal for a minute here, enjoy this one, and then we’ll get busy on the next one.”

So, will the rematch be just as good, or even better? History suggests that it might. Of the previous Super Bowl rematches, several of the sequels were even better than the originals. 

Three years after a highly entertaining Super Bowl, the Steelers and Cowboys put on a show in Super Bowl XIII. The Steelers prevailed 35-31 in what was at the time the highest-scoring Super Bowl ever. 

A decade later, Joe Montana engineered the 49ers’ 92-yard, game-winning drive as San Francisco won its Super Bowl rematch over the Bengals.  

The second Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl was a classic, too. That game will be mostly remembered for Nick Foles’ MVP performance in leading the Eagles to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win. A smaller footnote from that game was Tom Brady setting the Super Bowl single game passing record in a losing cause. 

While these were team rematches, the only rematch in Super Bowl history that occurred one year after the first remains Super Bowl XXVIII. The Cowboys, a year after dismantling the Bills in the big game, did so again on the strength of game MVP Emmitt Smith. 

Super Bowl rematches 

  • Steelers-Cowboys: Super Bowls X, XIII, XXX 
  • Bengals-49ers: Super Bowls XVI, XXIII
  • Bills-Cowboys: Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII
  • Chiefs-49ers: Super Bowls LIV, LVIII 
  • Giants-Patriots: Super Bowls XLII, XLVI
  • Eagles-Patriots: Super Bowls XXXIX, LII
  • Rams-Patriots: Super Bowls XXXVI, LIII
  • Dolphins-Washington: Super Bowls VII, XVII

It’ll be interesting to see where Super Bowl LVIII ranks among these rematches. Based on the talent that exists on both teams, this game should be just as good — if not better — than Super Bowl LIV. 

Specifically, the offensive talent that is in this game could make it a classic. Among the notable offensive players suiting up for Super Bowl LVIII include Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Isiah Pacheco, Christian McCaffrey, Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. 

Defensively, this will be a matchup between the NFL’s second- and third-ranked scoring defenses from the regular season. From a coaching standpoint, you’ve got two offensive gurus in Reid and Kyle Shanahan.  

Add of of those things up, and no one should be surprised if this goes down as one of the greatest Super Bowls in history. 

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