In the much-anticipated clash under the dazzling lights of the city, offensive fireworks were expected from the star players of both teams. However, it was the defensive units that stole the spotlight, turning the game into an error-laden contest marked by four turnovers.
The first turnover occurred early in the game, on the fifth play, as San Francisco’s running back, Christian McCaffrey, unexpectedly fumbled the ball – a rare occurrence for him, given that it was only his third fumble of the season. Despite this setback, the 49ers managed to open the scoring with a field goal at the onset of the second quarter.
As both Patrick Mahomes and 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy struggled to ignite their respective offenses, San Francisco introduced a trick play into the mix. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who hadn’t thrown a competitive pass since high school, executed the play to perfection, connecting with McCaffrey for a touchdown.
The Chiefs responded with a field goal just before halftime, narrowing the gap. They then took the lead with a field goal and a touchdown by Marquez Valdes-Scantling late in the third quarter.
Undeterred, the 49ers swiftly retaliated, and it seemed like coach Shanahan would finally overcome the Super Bowl woes from his two previous appearances. Shanahan made a bold decision to go for it on fourth down, a move that paid off as Purdy successfully converted. Two plays later, Purdy found Jennings, making him only the second player in Super Bowl history to both throw and catch a touchdown pass in the same game – a feat previously achieved by Nick Foles in the Eagles’ victory over the Patriots in 2017.
However, the jubilation was short-lived as Jake Moody’s attempt for the extra point was blocked. This turned out to be a pivotal moment, leaving the score at 16-13. The Chiefs capitalized on this opportunity, tying the game with a field goal on the next drive. Harrison Butker’s fourth field goal leveled the score at 19-19, forcing the game into overtime after Moody’s third successful kick had given the 49ers a slim lead with two minutes left in regulation time.