The biggest Super Bowl in history was anyone’s for the taking with the scores tied at 19-19 after the fourth quarter in Las Vegas and the game being taken into overtime. But whatever the outcome, Travis Kelce shoving his 65-year-old coach Andy Reid for taking him out of a costly play against San Francisco 49ers was sure to be an enduring image.
Whatever dire straits Kansas City were in at halftime when they trailed by seven, they ended the third quarter in the lead when Marquez Valdes-Scantling got the first touchdown for the Chiefs after a fumble on the punt by Ray-Ray McCloud III. The 49ers retook the lead early in the fourth through Jauan Jennings before Harrison Butker tied it up at 16-16 with his third field goal of the game.
Jake Moody nailed a 53-yard field goal for a 19-16 lead that looked like it could take San Francisco to glory but with less than 10 seconds left on the clock and a 22-yard burst from Kelce, Butker got the Chiefs level at 19-19 by the end of the fourth quarter. Overtime.
The third quarter ended with Kansas City somehow seizing the lead but up to then, it felt like it was all going to go wrong with Kelce the villain of the piece. With his girlfriend Taylor Swift watching on from the stands, Kelce appeared to see red and scream at his coach after missing a play that offered a great opportunity for the Chiefs to take the lead with the first touchdown of the night. Wide receiver Isiah Pacheco, normally so assured with the ball, fumbled while Kelce was on the sidelines.
Reid almost appeared to lose his balance for a moment when Kelce knocked into him, with the tight end holding his arm as if to keep him up while he screamed before Jerick McKinnon, Kelce’s teammate, wrapped his arms around him and dragged him away. It was strikingly similar to the Christmas Day scenes that were so shocking, when the Chiefs meekly surrendered in a home loss to Las Vegas Raiders and Kelce slammed his helmet into the ground before shoving Reid with his shoulder as things started to go wrong.
Travis Kelce had a moment of madness as he screamed at his coach Andy Reid in the second quarter of the Super Bowl
But Kelce’s storming 22-yard run in the dying moments of the fourth quarter helped his team take the game to overtime
But the Chiefs offense was stuttering early on and Kelce appeared to lose his cool in the second quarter in Vegas
Kelce’s girlfriend Taylor Swift had raced back from Japan for the game but the Chiefs made an underwhelming start
Swift made it back to take her place in the $1million Kelce family suite with her crew and his family a row behind
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (7) kicks a field goal to take the Super Bowl into overtime with San Francisco 49ers
The game was incredibly tense, balanced on a knife-egde and Swift looked to be feeling nervous as the game went on
After the first quarter ended with neither team scoring, San Francisco took the lead at the start of the second when Jake Moody made Super Bowl history by converting the longest kick in its history at 55 yards (that would later be beaten by Harrison Butker). It would have been good from longer out, too. And then Christian McCaffrey, who fumbled in the first quarter, rubbed salt in the wounds with the first touchdown of the night and the 49ers led by 10.
Butker trimmed the deficit to seven points with a 28-yard kick but the Chiefs still trailed by seven at the halftime interval – both Mahomes and Brock Purdy threw for 123 yards in the first half. In the third quarter Butker eclipsed Moody’s record with a 57-yard field goal of his own to cut San Francisco’s lead to four before Valdes-Scantling’s TD.
Things had seemed to go noticeably wrong for the Chiefs after Moody’s kick for the 49ers in the second quarter – even though they hadn’t really been going too right up to then, either.
In response to Moody, Mahomes picked out Mecole Hardman with a 52-yard bomb but in the next play, wide receiver Isiah Pacheco uncharacteristically fumbled. He apologized to each member of his teammate on the bench at Allegiant Stadium.
But as the Chiefs made their way off the field, Kelce appeared to come to blows with Reid, the coach he so often speaks of how much he respects.
Then, on the next offense, Mahomes lost 10 yards for intentional grounding in a moment where they needed the quarterback to step up before McCaffrey’s touchdown. Things were threatening to unravel.
But the 49ers hadn’t had it their own way up to then. Running back McCaffrey, so often imperious with the ball under his arm, fumbled in the opening minutes for the first time since Week 7 – a run of over three-and-a-half months that came to an end early on in the biggest stage of them all.
For both him and Pacheco, they were deeply uncharacteristic errors.
And in the second quarter, 49ers star Dre Greenlaw appeared to tear his left Achilles as he watched Pacheco fumble the ball. He leapt up into the air in celebration before sprinting onto the field, and his left leg gave way int he cruelest of circumstances.
The Chiefs had no early successes of their own to shout about in the first quarter. Chiefs quarterback Mahomes was sacked when Chase Young broke through the Chiefs O-Line.
Valdes-Scantling’s touchdown for the Chiefs in the third quarter and they had the lead over the 49ers
Christian McCaffrey made up for a surprise early fumble by storming over the line for the first touchdown of the game
Jake Moody scored a 55-yard kick to break the deadlock and put the 49ers ahead – it was longest in Super Bowl history
Kelce is is tackled by San Francisco 49ers’ defensive lineman Chase Young during the early parts of the first quarter
Young then broke through the Chiefs O-Line and sacked Patrick Mahomes, as 49ers teammate Nick Bose celebrates
The 34-year-old Kelce, one of the star men for the Chiefs, had first looked cool and composed during the warm ups
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (center) gives a late Kansas City teamtalk with Kelce stood alongside him
Usher took over Allegiant Stadium for his halftime show and it was hugely popular with the crowd in Las Vegas
Swift was seen having a chat with fellow singer Lana Del Rey during a quieter moment at Allegiant Stadium
Usher took over Allegiant Stadium for the halftime show, bringing out guests Alicia Keys and Ludacris for this show.
The action began at Allegiant Stadium shortly before 7pm EST – 4pm local time – after country music icon Reba McEntire had belted out the national anthem.
Kelce’s girlfriend Swift had made a mad dash back from Japan for the game after playing four straight nights on her Eras Tour in Tokyo
She is joined in a suite – that boyfriend Travis is believed to have paid $1million for – with the rest of the Kelce family, her own mom and dad, and friends Ice Spice and Blake Lively.
She was seen giving Jason, the older Kelce brother, a hug as they reunited and he then introduced himself tot he American rapper Ice Spice – scenes that NFL fans wouldn’t have ever believed possible when the season began back in September.
The Chiefs won the toss before the start of the game and deferred, so the 49ers started with the ball in the battle for the Vince Lombardi trophy.
For Travis and the Chiefs, the game finally getting underway draws a line under two weeks of intense build-up, where the tight end in particular faced a new wave of attention due to his girlfriend.
Victory for Kansas City would see the team join a unique club of back-to-back Super Bowl winners but there is history on the line for San Francisco, as well.
If they win tonight, they will join New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers on a record-equaling six Super Bowl titles.
Brittany Mahomes, the wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick, took to the field before the start of the game with their kids
Rapper Jay-Z was on the Allegiant Stadium field in Vegas in the build-up to the game between Chiefs and 49ers
The Swifties still made their way into the stadium for the biggest night in the American sporting calendar
While plenty of attention is on the Chiefs, the 49ers could seal a record-equaling sixth Super Bowl with a win