2024 Super Bowl matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs is confirmed

2024 Super Bowl

The Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning champions, will play the San Francisco 49ers in the 2024 Super Bowl.

Kansas City Chiefs upset Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in the AFC Championship to go to their second consecutive Super Bowl, their fourth trip to the NFL championship game in the previous five seasons.

The NFL’s most explosive quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, squared up in Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. After the Ravens’ first drive ended in a three-and-out, the game appeared to be a barn burner.

The next two possessions saw touchdown drives from both sides. Star tight end Travis Kelce (yep, Taylor Swift was there) scored a touchdown reception to finish a 10-play, 86-yard drive by the Chiefs. In little over two and a half minutes, the Ravens replied with a swift six-play drive that was highlighted by a 30-yard throw from Jackson to Xavian Flowers, tying the score.

The Chiefs then used nine minutes of game time to execute a protracted 16-play touchdown drive. With 10:56 remaining in the second quarter, Isiah Pacheco ran for a two-yard touchdown, giving the Chiefs a 17-7 lead. It would be the last touchdown scored by either side.

The remainder of the match was characterized by solid defense and a lack of opportunities. The Chiefs recovered a strip sack of Jackson at Baltimore’s 33-yard line, ending the Ravens’ subsequent possession. But after failing to convert on a fourth and one run, Kansas City was left with nothing on the subsequent drive, even with the excellent field position.

Following three drives in which the sides traded punts, the Chiefs ended the half with a 56-yard field goal.

The Ravens were undone in the second half by two pivotal turnovers. The first occurred on the opening play of the fourth quarter when Flowers tripped right in front of a potential score. Rather, the Chiefs recovered the ball for a touchback in the endzone.

A promising drive by the Ravens on their following possession came to an abrupt end when Jackson’s ball to Isaiah Likely, who was well-covered, on second and 10 from the Kansas City 25-yard line was intercepted in the end zone.

However, despite the Ravens’ problems, the Chiefs’ offense was unable to produce any results after halftime.

With just 2:34 remaining in the fourth quarter, Justin Tucker’s 43-yard field goal pulled the Ravens within seven points, marking the lone score of the second half. The Chiefs were able to end the game with a 32-yard throw from Mahomes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on third and 9, giving them a new set of downs as the clock approached the two-minute warning. However, Baltimore’s offense never saw the ball again.

The Chiefs just needed a few kneel-downs to win the game because the Ravens ran out of timeouts and were unable to stop the clock.

NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers defeat Detroit Lions

NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers defeat Detroit Lions
In the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the San Francisco 49ers handed the Detroit Lions a crushing 34-31 setback (yep, Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir was present).

The Lions were well-positioned to earn their first-ever Super Bowl participation after jumping to a 24-7 lead at the half. But in the second half, the 49ers stormed back.

The game was tied at two points when San Francisco converted a field goal on their opening play of the third quarter. After a defender’s facemask deflected a long pass, Brandon Aiyuk made an incredible grab that put San Francisco in position for a first and goal at the five-yard line during their following drive. After that, the Niners scored 27 straight points, and with 3:02 remaining, Elijah Mitchell’s 3-yard touchdown run put the score at 34-24.

Detroit’s inability to convert on two fourth downs in the second half when in field goal range aided San Francisco’s comeback attempts as well. Following the game, Lions head coach Dan Campbell was questioned about his choice to go for it and he stated, “I just felt perfect about us converting and getting our momentum and not letting them play long ball.”

“They were bleeding the clock out, that’s what they do, and I wanted to get the upper hand back,” Campbell stated. “I understand that it’s simple in retrospect. I don’t regret the choices I made. And that is challenging. The fact that we failed makes it difficult. It was unable to succeed. However, I don’t… And I am aware that I will be under observation. That’s just part of the job, dude. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

With 56 seconds remaining, the Lions came back within three, but they were unable to recover the onside kick that followed. At that point, San Francisco managed to run out the remaining seconds.

Following San Francisco’s victory, the Chiefs will play again in 2020 in Super Bowl LIV, which they won 31–20.

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