Two flashy teams got into an old-fashioned grind ’em out game in the first half of the Super Bowl, as the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers battled to a 10-10 tie in the first half. It was only the fourth time the Super Bowl was tied at half-time in the game’s long history, and the lack of big plays was not what was expected from these two teams.
Despite owning offenses that are built on big plays, the two squads stayed largely away from down the field strikes. One of the biggest plays of the half, a 42-yard pass play from Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers receiver George Kittle just before the half, was called back by an offensive interference penalty. That took the Niners out of scoring range and led to the tie.
San Francisco got on the board first, scoring on a 38-yard field goal by kicker Robbie Gould. Kansas City answered with a touchdown at the end of the first quarter, as quarterback Patrick Mahomes survived a vicious hit on a run to fire up his team. Mahomes came back to score a touchdown with 31 seconds left in the first quarter, carrying it in on an option play on a 4th and goal gamble by Chiefs coach Andy Reid. The veteran coach also made a successful call on another 4th and 1 play in the red zone later in the second quarter.
The 49ers ramped up their ground game in the middle of the second quarter, ripping off a few long runs and seeming to steal the momentum from the Chiefs as they powered up the field. The drive ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
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