After being down by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs were able to climb out of this deficit and win Super Bowl LIV. While a lot of credit can be given to Patrick Mahomes, Damian Williams, and the Chiefs' offensive weapons, the fact the Niners decided to rely on Jimmy Garoppolo's arm instead of running the ball played in the Chiefs' favor.
The 49ers were able to build their lead by running the football and completing short, check-down passes that were equivalent to a rush. Somehow late in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs were able to bait Kyle Shanahan into using Jimmy G as a throwing quarterback. Not only did this lead to Kansas City's victory, but the Chiefs defense wasn't shy about undermining Garoppolo's passing ability.
"We were grateful they got out of the run and started to throw the ball," Tyrann Mathieu alluded to ESPN. Yet, the brash defensive end, Frank Clark, had a more direct message for the 49ers and Garoppolo.
"You paying the guy $140 million, $130 million, whatever he’s getting paid. He’s gotta throw the ball," Clark said to Fox Sports after the game. "Obviously he didn’t do that. They threw for about 200 yards on check-downs; that ain’t enough to win a game against us."
Garoppolo and the 49ers agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract in 2018. Although they made it to the Super Bowl, it wasn't on the strength of his arm and this was evident during the big game. Jimmy G threw for 219 yards on 20 of 31 attempts. He also had two interceptions and some costly missed throws including a pass to Emmanuel Sanders that could've won the game for the Niners.
"We missed some shots tonight, some plays that we usually make," Garoppolo said after the game. "It was a tough one... We got rolling on a right note and couldn’t finish off. Hell of a ride, but at the end of the day people just remember the wins and losses."