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Super Bowl LVIII: Kansas City Chiefs go (Ma)home(s) as back-to-back champs 

By Mai-Lan Bui, February 14 2024—

A record-breaking 120 million viewers tuned in to watch the Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, Feb. 11, as the San Francisco 49ers battled against the reigning champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Held in Las Vegas for the first time, the 58th Super Bowl became the most-watched Super Bowl and the most-watched U.S. program ever across all platforms. What began as a defensive battle with multiple possession changes ended with a dramatic finale as the Chiefs won 25-22 in the dying seconds of overtime, becoming the first back-to-back champions in twenty years since the New England Patriots in 2004. 

The first quarter was scoreless, but right after the start of the second quarter, 49er Jake Moody struck first with a 55-yard field goal to get San Francisco in the lead, claiming the longest field goal in Super Bowl history. The 49ers held their lead as Christian McCaffrey scored a touchdown from Jauan Jennings, and with Moody’s field goal, kept their 10-point lead. Late in the second quarter, the Chiefs got on the board as Harrison Butker scored a field goal from 57 yards, beating Moody’s longest field goal record from a few moments ago. 

Usher led the intermission with his chaotic but iconic Halftime show, showcasing his charismatic stage presence and performing a medley of his top hits from his 30-year career, including, “Caught Up”, “My Way”, and “Love in this Club”. The R&B star stunned the audience with wild costume changes and a rollerblading routine during his “OMG” performance. Surprise special guest Alicia Keys appeared as she and Usher performed an intimate performance of “My Boo”. H.E.R. made her cameo with a guitar solo, Jermaine Dupri joined Usher on the stage to hype the crowd up, and Will.i.am, Lil Jon, and Ludacris ended the show with arguably Usher’s most popular song: “Yeah!”.

The start of the third quarter was horrendous for the Chiefs, but they were able to get traction with a second field goal by Butker. Later, the Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling scored a touchdown with a pass by Patrick Mahomes before the end of the third quarter. In the last quarter, San Francisco maintained its lead when Jennings scored a touchdown with a pass from Brock Purdy, but the team could not convert with the extra kick. Butker tied the score with his third field goal of the game, and then, very late in the quarter, Moody scored a field goal, leading the 49ers with two minutes left in the last quarter. Kansas City attempted a third field goal with Butker, tying the game at 19-19 with only two seconds left in regulation. 

This season marks the second time the Super Bowl has ever had an overtime: the first was in 2017 when the Patriots won over the Atlanta Falcons. The Kansas City Chiefs now etch their name as the second team in the NFL to win a Super Bowl in overtime. Mahomes threw a three-yard pass to Mecole Hardman and scored the game-winning touchdown, lifting the team to victory in a nail-biting ending. At 28 years old, Mahomes won the Super Bowl MVP, his third in just five years, as the Chiefs secured their back-to-back champions status and their third Super Bowl title in five seasons. 

This year’s Super Bowl was highly publicized with its many celebrities in attendance, and the viral clip of Travis Kelce’s confrontation with head coach Andy Reid, but the most notable story from the game was the Chiefs’ comeback victory. Kansas City was trailing in the first half of the game and persevered until the final seconds to push into overtime, displaying the team’s resiliency and game-winning mindset. Fans will remain divisive over the teams they cheer for, and some will argue that NFL scripters predetermine the winners and rig the game. Despite these debates, we can’t deny the tenacity that the Chiefs had in the later half of the game, the strong defence that the 49ers displayed throughout the whole game, and the trajectory of Mahomes’s career thus far as he cements himself as one of the best football players in this generation.

The Kansas City Chiefs are the eighth team in NFL history to win back-to-back Super Bowls, but the team has the opportunity to do something no other NFL team has done since the first Super Bowl in 1967: win the Super Bowl for three consecutive years. The big question for next season becomes: will the Chiefs be able to three-peat? 

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