Tommy Townsend’s punt hit the leg of 49ers defensive back Darrell Luter Jr, and returner Ray-Ray McCloud alertly tried to pick it up. Instead of falling down on the ball, McCloud whiffed on the scoop and Jaylen Watson was there for the recovery.
It took only one play for Patrick Mahomes to punish this costly mistake, as he found a wide open Marquez Valdes-Scantling for Kansas City’s first touchdown and first lead of the game.
This has not been a cleanly played Super Bowl at all, but fumble luck has significantly favored the Chiefs. There have been six fumbles through three quarters, and Kansas City has recovered five of them. Two of them have resulted in Chiefs takeaways, and this special teams mistake has just drastically changed the picture of the game entering the 4th quarter.