Some San Francisco 49ers fans took to social media late Sunday to vent their displeasure over what they say appeared to be missed or questionable calls by the Super Bowl LIV officials that at the minimum contributed to their team’s demise.
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The SFGate website pointed to a few calls in particular that came back to haunt the 49ers in their 31-20 loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami Gardens.
Perhaps the most momentum-changing play was when 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took a major hit from a Chief’s linebacker that some fans said should have been called for helmet-to-helmet contact. There was no call and the website pointed out that Mahomes, on the ensuing drive, led the Chiefs to a go-ahead touchdown.
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The report also pointed out an offensive pass interference call on tight end George Kittle that turned around a 42-yard gain that would have set the 49ers up for a field goal attempt before the half. Some on social media claimed Kittle extended his arm to create separation, but the call was nonetheless painful for 49ers fans. The NFL has been criticized for being inconsistent with the rule.
Besides those two plays, SFGate spotted a missed offside call and a handful of roughing the passer no-calls.
Despite some criticism on social media, many viewers posted congratulatory tweets for the Chiefs after they managed to climb back from a 10-point deficit against one of the league’s most formidable defenses.
Mahomes and the Chiefs were down 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter. The quarterback threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with 6:13 left to cut the score. Then, with 2:44 left, Mahomes found Damien Williams on a 5-yard touchdown pass to put the Chiefs ahead.
Williams would then put the dagger into the hearts of the 49ers with a 38-yard rushing touchdown to put the game out of reach.
It’s the first Super Bowl victory for the Chiefs in 50 years. Kansas City hadn’t won since Super Bowl IV.
Charles Robinson, an NFL columnist at Yahoo Sports, wrote an article that denied the claim that officiating cost the City by the Bay a title.
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“When it was all over, the 49ers’ brief survey of the damage in their 31-20 loss told them that most of what happened Sunday night was self-inflicted,” he wrote. “Whether it was blown coverages, inopportune turnovers or simply missing game-changing opportunities (see: Garoppolo overthrowing Emmanuel Sanders late in the game), San Francisco’s deflated locker room had simply accepted the Super Bowl loss for what it was. Leading 20-10, the 49ers didn’t close the way they needed or wanted.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos, in Miami, contributed to this report