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49ers lose heartbreaker 25-22 to Chiefs in Las Vegas

Cam Inman, The Mercury News on

Published in Football

LAS VEGAS — For a 29th consecutive season, the trophy case in the 49ers’ Santa Clara lobby won’t need to expand for a long-awaited sixth Lombardi Trophy.

The Kansas City Chiefs repeated as Super Bowl champions Sunday night by outlasting the 49ers 25-22 in a thrilling overtime game at Allegiant Stadium.

Patrick Mahomes ruined the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes for the second time in four years, this time saving his game-winning ways for a touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman with three seconds remaining in overtime. Hardman slipped past nickel back Logan Ryan to get wide open, and as he crossed the goal line, 49ers linebacker Fred Warner tossed his helmet to the ground in dismay.

That capped a 75-yard touchdown drive, which followed the 49ers’ field goal on the opening possession of overtime.

Mahomes passed for 333 yards (34-of-46, two touchdowns, an interception by Ji’Ayir Brown), but it was his 66 rushing yards (nine carries) that finished off the 49ers. Mahomes snuck past Nick Bosa for an 8-yard gain on fourth-and-inches to keep alive the winning drive, and he used his legs on a third-and-1 scramble to reach the 49ers’ 13.

Brock Purdy’s Super Bowl debut saw him pass for 255 yards (23-of-38). Jauan Jennings accounted for a touchdown pass and a touchdown catch, while Christian McCaffrey produced 80 yards both rushing and receiving.

 

The 49ers scored on the opening possession of overtime, driving 7 ½ minutes for a 27-yard field goal by rookie Jake Moody to take the 22-19 lead. The series series was initially bailed out by a Chiefs’ holding penalty and a Brandon Aiyuk third-down conversion. Christian McCaffrey juked safety Mike Edwards for a 24-yard catch-and-run to set up Moody’s kick.

The game – and the lead – changed in a stunning two-play sequence just before the fourth quarter.

After a Chiefs punt clanked off 49ers rookie Darrell Luter and Ray-Ray McCloud couldn’t scoop it up, the Chiefs promptly converted that turnover into Patrick Mahomes’ 16-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling (over linebacker Oren Burks).

Just like that, it was Kansas City 13, 49ers 10.

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