When a Super Bowl championship is at stake, anything goes. That means all trick plays are on the table, but it’s important to pick the right time to make the call. The Kansas City Chiefs had an old-school one ready to go and they pulled it off to perfection.
Facing 4th-and-1 from the five-yard line late in the first quarter, the Chiefs had options. They could have kicked a short field goal to tie the game or trust the offense to make a play. Head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy elected to go for it and what took place at Hard Rock Stadium was rather beautiful.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes lined up a couple of yards behind the line of scrimmage with running back Damien Williams and wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson in the backfield. But when the star signal caller yelled “JUMP” it changed the play completely.
Chiefs Super Bowl Trick Play
There is calling an audible, and then there is what the Chiefs did. All four players in the backfield did a spin move at Mahomes’ signal — synchronized like they were The Temptations or Four Tops — and it created the perfect amount of confusion for the San Francisco 49ers defense.
Instead of the ball being snapped to Mahomes, it was a direct snap to Williams, who powered his way for four yards, close to the end zone. Mahomes scored on a touchdown run two plays later, but it’s the trick play everyone keeps talking about from Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
What makes the story amazing is where the play came from. This wasn’t just some made up play from Reid and Bieniemy. It was actually a play used by Michigan in the 1948 Rose Bowl against USC.
“You know what that game, that play comes from — if I’m not mistaken — a 1949 Rose Bowl. I probably shouldn’t be giving this away. The Rose Bowl Michigan vs. USC. And so, it’s just a play that we’ve been working and wondering when we can polish it off. It was fun to watch. It was fun to watch. And those guys did a great job of executing it. I mean all that hard work and practicing that play for the entire season, it just worked and it paid off.”
— Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy
NFL coaches definitely have a creative imagination and to see this play work 70 years later is pretty special. Someone even found the old footage, too.
Unfortunately, this play could get buried by the Chiefs’ incredible fourth quarter comeback for their first Super Bowl win in 50 years. Mahomes, the game’s MVP, threw touchdown passes to tight end Travis Kelce and to Williams, who also sealed the game with a late touchdown run.
On the other side, people will talk about Kyle Shanahan, Jimmy Garoppolo, Richard Sherman, George Kittle, and that 49ers collapse in the second half.
However, nobody should ever forget the Chiefs’ gutsy call on fourth down in the first half that led to a score and eventually another playoff and Super Bowl victory.