49ers’ celebration ignited Chiefs’ Super Bowl comeback, Harrison Butker says

When Tarvarius Moore picked off Patrick Mahomes‘ pass early in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, it appeared the 49ers were on their way to securing the franchise’s sixth Lombardi Trophy.

Little went right for the 49ers after the interception, though. Mahomes turned it on and the Kansas City Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points, claiming the title with a 31-20 win at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

How did the Chiefs go from looking completely overmatched by the 49ers’ physical defense to roaring past them on their way to a champagne-soaked night in South Florida? According to Chiefs kicker Harrison, it was the Niners’ jubilant celebration after the Moore interception that sparked KC’s rally.

“Probably that celebration that they had,” Butker said Friday on “NFL Total Access.” “I know it’s going around on social media. I don’t know what part of the game it was, but they went up, probably by, I guess 10, when they scored the touchdown. And the whole team’s celebrating in the end zone. It might’ve been after an interception. I just felt like the whole mood in the stadium was, you know, ‘the 49ers won the game.’

“That probably helped to our advantage that they were celebrating so much and I think they probably let their guard down a little bit. When you have Patrick Mahomes and our offense, you know we’re gonna score quick — which we did. Defense did a great job and before they knew it, we’re up four and then we’re up 11. But that was kinda sticking in my mind.”

After the interception, the Chiefs forced a 49ers’ punt and Mahomes went right down the field, hitting Travis Kelce for a 1-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 20-17. After getting another quick stop, Mahomes hit Sammy Watkins for a big gain down the right sideline and then connected with Damien Williams for a 5-yard touchdown to give KC a 24-20 lead.

The 49ers had a chance to come back, but Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew a wide-openEmmanuel Sanders on the ensuing possession and was sacked on fourth down, effectively sealing the 49ers’ fate. 

[RELATED: 49ers plan to use Super Bowl as ‘fuel’ to finish the job]

Whether or not the 49ers dropped their guard after Moore’s interception is unknown, but the momentum certainly shifted once the Chiefs’ defense was able to force a punt on the next possession.

After Mahomes got the ball back, the Chiefs kept picking up momentum like an avalanche and ripped the Super Bowl title out of the hands of a 49ers team that appeared destined to win when Moore and the defense were celebrating in the end zone early in the fourth quarter. 

49ers’ celebration ignited Chiefs’ Super Bowl comeback, Harrison Butker says originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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