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Grading the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV win against the 49ers

Updated February 2, 2020 - 8:28 pm

How the Chiefs performed in a 31-20 Super Bowl LIV victory against the 49ers.

Offense: B-plus

It took three quarters to solve one of the best defensive fronts in NFL history, but 21 fourth-quarter points made all the difference in Kansas City lifting the Lombardi Trophy. Last year, Patrick Mahomes was the youngest player to win an MVP award. Now, he’s the youngest (24) to be a Super Bowl MVP, the quarterback finishing 26-of-42 for 286 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill also overcame a slow start, catching 9 balls for 105 yards with a long of 44. Damien Williams was stellar throughout, rushing for 104 yards and a score.

Defense: A

San Francisco averaged 29.9 points during the regular season, second most in the league. The 49ers had averaged 32 in two playoff wins, but the Chiefs held them to 20, including limiting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to 20-of-31 passing for 219 yards and a touchdown. They also intercepted two Garappolo passes. The 49ers rushed for 141 yards, but 53 came from a wide receiver. The stop of the game came with 6:13 left and the 49ers up 20-17. Kansas City forced a three-and-out and its offense scored seven plays later to take the lead for good with 2:50 remaining. San Francisco was just 3-of-8 on third down.

Special teams: A

There were no miscues, no plays that might have spelled disaster. Harrison Butker made good on his only field-goal attempt from 31 yards and Dustin Colquitt had to punt just twice. You can lose big games here. Kansas City didn’t.

Coaching: A

He was Gamblin’ Andy Reid early on. The Chiefs this season had gone for it on fourth down a total of 10 times. They did so twice over the game’s first two drives. Erase the label of best-coach-to-never-win the Super Bowl. Reid cemented his Hall of Fame placement with the victory. When it mattered most, his high-scoring offense showed up to present him this historic victory.

— ED GRANEY

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