As the Kansas City Chiefs battled the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, it became clear that their offense was struggling to keep up. Travis Kelce, one of the most dangerous red-zone weapons in football history and Mahomes’ favorite target through two previous Super Bowl wins, was particularly frustrated by his lack of involvement in a pivotal red-zone play early in the second quarter.
The Chiefs had driven to the 49ers’ 9-yard line on a 52-yard pass from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman. On the next play, Kelce wasn’t in the game. Instead, tight end Noah Gray was on the field to block. The Chiefs called for a run play for Isaiah Pacheco, who fumbled the ball and resulted in a rare turnover for Kansas City. With that, their best chance at scoring to that point was lost.
Kelce’s frustration mounted as he had yet to log a catch after two hours of playtime. Mistakes from both sides saw points at a premium and led to mounting tension on the sidelines. It culminated with Kelce confronting head coach Andy Reid during a scoreless second quarter against San Francisco.
Despite this setback, fortune would smile upon Kansas City later on Sunday afternoon. After being held to just three points in the first half, they rallied to tie the game at 19-19 late in regulation time, forcing overtime where Mahomes led another walk-off touchdown drive capped by an iconic pass from Mecole Hardman that secured their third Super Bowl victory in five years. Kelce finished with nine catches for 93 yards and even made a key conversion with first downs set up red zone touchdowns that were critical for his team’s success on Sunday night.
Afterwards, Kelce seemed much happier than he had been earlier on during the game while Reid told ESPN that Kelce had apologized and there were no hard feelings between them. “He came over and gave me a hug,” said Reid about Kelce’s apology postgame.” He just wants to be out there playing; he loves it so much.” Winning does indeed have a way of making everything feel better!