Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

49ers, Chiefs knotted up at 10-10 after first half in Super Bowl LIV

Feb 2, 2020 at 5:01 PM--

Super Bowl LIV started off well enough for the San Francisco 49ers, who remain tied with the Kansas City Chiefs 10-10 after two quarters.

And in the battle between the two quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes, it's Mahomes who has had the slight upper hand.

After winning the opening toss and deferring, the Niners managed to force a Chiefs 3-and-out on their opening possession, but the ensuing punt nearly ended in disaster with return man Richie James muffing the catch. James managed to recover it, but it was a near disaster for San Francisco.

But some key gains by wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle and running back Tevin Coleman got the 49ers into the red zone. But the drive ultimately fell short, forcing San Francisco to settle for a 38-yard field goal by kicker Robbie Gould.

At least there's this, however:

The Chiefs were able to move down the field their next possession, however, uncharacteristically using a number of run plays to get into the red zone. On 3rd-and-long, Mahomes scrambled and looked as if he'd make it into the end zone, although he was stopped short by a tackle from safety Jimmie Ward, which jarred the ball loose and out of bounds for a 4th-and-1. Kansas City converted, though, to set up a first down at the 49ers' 1-yard line.

Mahomes was then able to run it in from the strong side, giving Kansas City the early 7-3 lead towards the end of the first quarter.

Garoppolo didn't help matters early in the second quarter, either, tossing a wild pass, in an attempt to throw it away, as he was hit that fell into the waiting arms of Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland. Then a 28-yard pass from Mahomes to wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and the Chiefs were again knocking on the red zone, settling for a 31-yard field goal by kicker Harrison Butker to make it 10-3.

San Francisco found its ground footing the next drive, however, using some chunk gains by Coleman and running back Raheem Mostert. But the key play was Garoppolo hitting fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who broke a tackle for a 15-yard game-tying touchdown:

Yet San Francisco continued to give up chunk plays of 8 or 9 yards, leading to the two-minute warning. But an end-around run by Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman lost 6 yards, eventually leading to a Kansas City punt.

With 59 seconds remaining in the first half, head coach Kyle Shanahan called for two run plays to gain a net of 5 yards before the Chiefs used a timeout of their own to stop the clock. The Niners got to midfield and looked to get even further the next play, although Kittle was flagged for offensive pass interference, negating what would have been a 42-yard completion.

San Francisco then took a knee to end the half, but will get the ball back in the third quarter.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.

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