Super Bowl 58: The San Francisco 49ers are fighting again to set up a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs

Super Bowl 58: The San Francisco 49ers are fighting again to set up a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs

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Brock Purdy was the last player selected in 2022 but reached the Super Bowl in his first season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback.

Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas Date: Sunday, 11 February Start: 23:40 GMT

BBC News: Listen to commentary on Radio 5 Live and follow the commentary on the BBC Sport website and programme.

The San Francisco 49ers staged an exciting battle to set up a Super Bowl matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs in Las Vegas.

The Kansas City Chiefs won the first game of the playoffs on Sunday, beating the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 to reach the NFL’s big game for the fourth time in five years.

The Detroit Lions, one of four NFL teams that have never played in a Super Bowl, then took a 24-7 halftime lead against five-time champion San Francisco.

But the 49ers scored 17 points in an impressive eight minutes before taking their first lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

After winning Super Bowl 57 last year, the Kings now have the opportunity to strengthen their empire by winning the third NFL title in five years and becoming the first back-to-back champions since the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004.

San Francisco has been the favorite to win Super Bowl 58 since late November thanks to its star-studded roster while Kansas City played for the AFC Championship for the sixth year in a row.

But in the last two weeks of the play-offs both had to dig deep to secure their spot on the Strip on February 11.

The 49ers, the top seed in the NFC conference, had to come from behind to survive the threat of Green Bay in the division before returning to Detroit.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, had to play on the road in the playoffs for the first time in their reign, yet they still showed their ability with wins over Buffalo and now Baltimore, who are at the top of the AFC.

Acrobatic Aiyuk catch turns the game in the 49ers’ favor

Image source, Getty Images

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Brandon Aiyuk made this leap to set up a dynamic strike

Dan Campbell has turned Detroit’s fortunes around in just three years as coach, and the Lions have won more games this month (two) than they did in the entire Super Bowl era, which began in 1966.

It looked like he was ready for another when he stunned the home crowd in California. On the fourth play of the game, Jameson Williams broke through the 49ers defense for a 42-yard touchdown.

After San Francisco’s missed field goal attempt, David Montgomery fumbled as Detroit went on a 14-0 run, before the 49ers responded when Christian McCaffrey also scored on a shorthanded field goal.

The hosts continued to struggle with the run of play as Jahmyr Gibbs slotted home from 15 yards, before the Lions added a goal just before the break.

San Francisco’s goal cut the deficit to 24-10 and Brandon Aiyuk’s incredible catch gave the 49ers hope. Both Detroit’s Kindle Vildor jumped for a deep pass a few yards from the end and the ball bounced off Vildor’s hands and face before Aiyuk was alert enough to make a powerful catch.

Brock Purdy later found Aiyuk for a touchdown, and the boost was solid with San Francisco forcing a Detroit fumble that gave McCaffrey, the favorite to be the Offensive Player of the Year, a chance to score his second touchdown.

This brought it up, and after throwing a touchdown in the first half, quarterback Purdy was the winner in the second quarter, setting up a field goal to make it 27-24, before Elijah Mitchell hit the 49ers with another touchdown to ensure that Williams won. just a late consolation.

The defense gets more and more aggressive as the Chiefs hold off the Ravens

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The Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC Championship for the fourth time – all in the last five years

Baltimore had the NFL’s best record in the regular season (13-4) and quarterback Lamar Jackson is a favorite to be named the MVP this season.

He was up against reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and looked set to shoot the quarterback after both threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter, but the defense was there.

Travis Kelce, who was also spotted with his famous girlfriend, Taylor Swift, reported the opener and continued to be a key target for Mahomes. He caught all 11 of his passes for 116 yards to pass San Francisco legend Jerry Rice for the most receptions in NFL history.

After Mahomes fired a 19-yard pass to Kelce inside the pylon on Kansas City’s opening drive, Jackson responded by escaping the sack to set up a 30-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers.

Image source, Getty Images

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Travis Kelce was joined on the field by his girlfriend Taylor Swift as the Chiefs celebrated reaching another Super Bowl.

The Kings then brought in Isiah Pacheco in the end, before making it 17-7 with a field goal before halftime.

Kansas City’s defense stymied Jackson, sacked him four times, and produced two key plays to seal the victory.

The first was L’Jarius Sneed’s fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs linebacker tipped the ball outside of Flowers as the Ravens receiver reached the end zone.

Then Baltimore was still behind 17-7 with less than seven minutes left, Jackson forced a pass at the end of the second, and his goal Isaiah Ayewa surrounded by three defenders.

Kansas City’s Deon Bush said the intervention, meaning it will be the second campaign in which Jackson, 27, has produced an MVP-winning season only for the Ravens to miss the postseason.

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