Super Bowl LVIII was a genuine thriller, with Patrick Mahomes leading the Kansas City Chiefs on a decisive drive in overtime to win the longest Super Bowl ever played.
The match had just about everything, including a sideline stoush between Travis Kelce and Andy Reid, a trick play touchdown and a crucial blocked extra point that ultimately cost the San Francisco 49ers.
Here’s the five quick hits from an enthralling Las Vegas Super Bowl.
1. Kelce loses the plot
Nobody is ever happy with a fumble in the red zone, but when Isiah Pacheco lost the ball on the San Fran 8 yard line, there was one player in particular who simply couldn’t shake it off.
Travis Kelce knows all too well that he would normally be a shoo-in to be a target in the red zone for the Chiefs, but from Kelce’s perspective there was something of a blank space, with the high-profile tight end on the sideline for that fateful play.
Once the fumble was recovered by the 49ers, Kelce turned into an anti-hero, storming over to his grandfatherly 65-year-old coach Andy Reid and remonstrating with him, presumably screaming: “PUT! ME! IN!”
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Kelce dodged questions about it after the game and Reid joked: “He keeps me young.”
“He just wants to be on the field and he wants to play,” he said on ESPN.
“There’s nobody I get better than I get him.”
Hopefully someone told Kelce to calm down or risk some more bad blood between him and Reid — the pair also had a coming together in the Christmas Day game against the Raiders, when Kelce threw his helmet onto the ground and Reid took it away from him.
Kelce only had one catch for 1 yard in a frustrating first half for the man who had been so much of the pre-game focus.
2. Trick play touchdown
Leading 3-0 in the second quarter, the 49ers needed something special to break through the Chiefs’ defence.
So coach Kyle Shanahan dived into his bag of tricks to score the first TD of the game.
Brock Purdy passed laterally to the left side of the field, where wide receiver Jauan Jennings made the catch.
Jennings, who played quarterback in high school before being converted to a wide receiver when at the University of Tennessee, immediately threw it back to the other side to Christian McCaffrey.
Flanked by a convoy of blockers, McCaffrey ran in for a 21-yard TD to put San Francisco up 10-0.
By scoring, running back McCaffrey tied an NFL record by registering his seventh straight play-off game with at least 50 yards from scrimmage and a TD.
3. The longest field goal(s)
After a scoreless first quarter, it quickly became evident that points were going to be at a premium in Super Bowl LVIII.
That put an extra emphasis on the kickers.
49ers rookie Jake Moody was under a bit of pressure. After going 21-25 in the regular season, he had missed three of his last six attempts.
But with his first attempt in the Super Bowl, from 55 yards, he set a record for the longest made goal in the game’s history.
The record lasted about two quarters.
Harrison Butker had not missed from over 50 yards in five attempts this season — and did not disappoint from 57 yards in this one to claim the record for himself.
The record had stood for 30 years, after Buffalo’s Steve Christie nailed a 54-yarder against the Dallas Cowboys in 1994.
Both kickers had pretty good games — the number of combined made field goals, seven, is the most in Super Bowl history.
4. The 49ers Achilles heel?
San Francisco linebacker Dre Greenlaw is one of the best defensive players in the league, with 120 regular season tackles, four quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks.
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He was pivotal through the middle in the play-offs too, leading the 49ers with eight tackles in the Divisional Round win over the Packers and adding seven in the NFC Championship Game against the Lions.
So losing him to a non-contact injury before half-time was a massive blow.
The fifth-year pro was watching a San Francisco punt with 9:16 remaining in the second quarter, bouncing up and down on the sideline.
When the 26-year-old tried to run onto the field, he slipped and went down, being carted off the field before being ruled out.
The 49ers also lost Deebo Samuel with a leg injury, although he was able to return.
5. The blocked extra point
In a tight match, every little thing takes on an over-inflated degree of importance.
After going behind for the first time in the game to Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s 16-yard reception, the 49ers hit back almost immediately.
Jauan Jennings caught a pass and battled through a couple of would-be tacklers for a 10-yard touchdown — making him one of just two players, with Nick Foles, to both catch and throw a touchdown in a Super Bowl.
However, in a crucial moment, Moody saw his extra point attempt blocked.
That’s the second time Moody has had an extra point blocked in the season. Previously he missed one of his three efforts in a 21-20 defeat at home against the Rams in week 18.
That meant the gap remained three points — which after the teams exchanged field goals meant the game went to overtime.
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