On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs secured the AFC Championship by defeating the Baltimore Ravens, earning their fourth Super Bowl appearance in the last five years. In the upcoming Super Bowl, they will face the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers halted the Lion’s remarkable playoff journey by staging a comeback from a 17-point halftime deficit, scoring 27 unanswered points in a 34-31 triumph. This victory sets the stage for a rematch of a game four years ago, in which the Chiefs emerged victorious with a score of 31-20.
The Niners were supposed to be here, but the team isn’t taking anything for granted. It’s the second time this season the 49ers have come back from a significant deficit in a conference title game, and quarterback Brock Purdy hasn’t lost any fans despite his struggles to lead the team from behind.
Those struggles continued early in this one, as the 49ers allowed 148 rushing yards and 18 first downs in the opening quarter. But the third quarter swung things in the 49ers’ favor, as the team scored 17 points in eight minutes to erase their deficit. Jake Moody kicked a field goal for the home team, and then Brandon Aiyuk caught a six-yard touchdown pass off a deep ball that bounced off defender Kindle Vildor’s face mask to give the Niners a 21-7 lead.
A few plays later, a massive block from Sam LaPorta opened up space for dynamic rookie running back Jamhyr Gibbs to rush for 15 yards and set up a two-point conversion attempt that went awry as the second-year player’s hands were not quite good enough. Then, a quick drive by the Lions was cut short by a crucial turnover as Lamar Jackson was intercepted in the end zone by Chiefs cornerback Deon Bush.
It was all downhill for the Lions from there as the Niners went on a wild offensive explosion. A 39-yard field goal from Moody put the 49ers up by 10 with just under three minutes left to play, and then a 33-yard field goal from Moody made it 27-24 in the final minute of the contest. Christian McCaffrey rushed for two TDs while little-used backup Elijah Mitchell tacked on a 3-yard touchdown run that appeared to ice the game with less than a minute to play.
Then, the icing was put on the game when the 49ers recovered the ensuing onside kick and bled out the remaining clock. The win was the Niners’ sixth in their last seven games and put them in a position to reclaim the NFC West and avenge a heartbreaking loss against the Chiefs four years ago. It will be the third time the two teams meet in a Super Bowl since 2013, and it’s sure to draw plenty of hype as this is a matchup of some of the league’s top offenses. The Chiefs have won the previous meetings in both regular and postseason play, and their dominance in recent years is only getting stronger.