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49ers Fall to Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII; Five Takeaways from Las Vegas

The San Francisco 49ers fell 25-22 to the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium in Super Bowl LVIII.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

49ers Defense Dominates Early

San Francisco's defense was suffocating from the get go, holding Kansas City to just a field goal and 157 total yards in the first half. Defensive lineman Chase Young was one of the biggest impact players of the first half, sacking Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for a loss of four yards to help the 49ers force back-to-back punts. During Kansas City's fourth offensive possession, Young chased down Mahomes on a scramble play, resulting in an intentional grounding penalty. Nick Bosa also had a hand in setting the tone of this game early, delivering a tackle-for-loss on Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco during his team's opening drive.

The 49ers were also able to force two fumbles in the first half with the second yielding a turnover for San Francisco. Pacheco was rushing from inside the San Francisco 10 yard line before having the ball knocked out of his possession by cornerback Deommodore Lenoir and recovered by defensive lineman Javon Hargrave.

In the final minute of the half, fellow defensive lineman Arik Armstead got home on Mahomes, sacking him on third-and-five from San Francisco's nine yard line. The Chiefs were forced to settle for the field goal and were down 10-3 headed into halftime.

Record Breaking Kicking Game

Rookie kicker Jake Moody recorded a 55-yard field goal to get San Francisco on the board early in the second quarter, and by doing so, recorded the longest field goal kick in Super Bowl history. Quarterback Brock Purdy made a passing attempt to Deebo Samuel in the end zone on third-and-14 that was broken up by Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie, forcing the 49ers into a field goal attempt. San Francisco took the 3-0 lead with 14:48 left in the half following Moody's kick. His record was later broken by Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker in the third quarter with a 57-yard field goal.

Injuries of the Game

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw suffered an Achilles injury while running onto the field with 9:16 left to play in the second quarter. The fifth-year linebacker was getting ready to take the field with the rest of San Francisco's defensive unit and went down after taking a couple steps onto the field. He was initially ruled as questionable to return after being carted off the field and was downgraded to out shortly after.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a hamstring injury early in the third quarter but returned to action by San Francisco's third offensive possession of the second half.

Trick Play in Sin City

The San Francisco 49ers were without a touchdown most of the way through the second quarter before unleashing a trick play that put wide receiver Jauan Jennings experience as four-star high school quarterback to good use. On second-and-10 from Kansas City's 21 yard line, Jennings caught a screen from quarterback Brock Purdy and then took a hit from a Kansas City defender as he connected with running back Christian McCaffrey for a walk-in touchdown. There have been 11 pass attempts made by non-quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, and seven of those throws have materialized into scores. With McCaffrey's 21-yard touchdown, San Francisco extended its lead to 10-0 with 4:23 left in the half.

Pick City at Allegiant Stadium

The defensive intensity continued in the second half, and the next major contribution came from rookie safety Ji'Ayir Brown. Brown intercepted Mahomes on a passing attempt on third-and-12 to set up San Francisco's offense on the Kansas City 44 yard line. The pick is the rookie's first-career interception in the postseason.

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