The Kansas City Chiefs played their first half like a callback to a Taylor Swift song: “Look What You Made Me Do.”
The defending champions appeared rattled in the first half, at one point calling a sideline defensive huddle to snap them out of their apparent nerves. CBS announcers said typically unflappable Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked uneasy, and it wasn’t surprising. Every time the team started to roll, a mistake popped up – a fumble, a personal foul, an untimely holding penalty – to stifle momentum.
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Even Travis Kelce (whom you may have heard about this week thanks to his girlfriend) lost his cool, bumping into head coach Andy Reid at one point and throwing his helmet to the ground in frustration. He caught one in the first half after being a force in the earlier playoff games.
As it turned out, the Chiefs were lucky to escape with just a 10-3 deficit. The 49ers did score, but it took a Super Bowl record 55-yard field goal by rookie Jake Moody and a trick play, with receiver Jauan Jennings throwing to running back Christian McCaffrey, to achieve their total.
The 49ers had one bad blow in the half, losing Pro Bowl linebacker Dre Greenlaw to a freak Achilles injury, sustained when he jumped on the sidelines without being touched.
Kansas City has a history of second-half Super Bowl comebacks, so there is hope for Chiefs fans.
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