For the 10th straight season, a former Michigan Wolverines football player has won the Super Bowl. Starting defensive end Mike Danna and the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the San Francisco 49ers, 25-22, in an overtime thriller at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Danna and Co. beat three fellow Michigan products in rookie kicker Jake Moody, rookie wide receiver Ronnie Bell and third-year cornerback Ambry Thomas in Super Bowl LVIII. Michigan was one of eight college programs with four or more players in the Super Bowl.
|Number of players in Super Bowl
|Georgia, Florida, Clemson
|Michigan, USC, TCU, Middle Tennessee
|Washington, Penn State, LSU, Oregon, Missouri, Stanford, Rutgers, Western Michigan
|Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Purdue, Kentucky, NC State, Kansas State, Miami, Cincinnati, Arkansas, UCLA, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, South Florida, Ball state, SMU, San Diego State, BYU, Harvard
The Chiefs have now won three Super Bowls in the last five seasons, and Danna is a two-time champion with back-to-back titles.
Danna spent one season at Michigan in 2019, after transferring in from Central Michigan. He recorded 48 tackles, 3 sacks and a forced fumble in his lone year with the Wolverines.
Danna drew a holding call on first-team All-Pro and future first ballot Hall of Fame left tackle Trent Williams in the first quarter, putting his stamp on the game early. He finished with 3 tackles, including 1 solo stop. The former Michigan defensive end and his unit held San Francisco to 272 passing yards (7 yards per pass) and 2 touchdowns and 110 rushing yards on 31 carries (3.5 yards per attempt)
Danna was also on the defense as the Chiefs blocked Moody’s extra point that made the 49ers’ lead 16-13 with 11:22 to go in the fourth quarter (instead of a four-point lead had he made it).
Moody made history, drilling a Super Bowl record 55-yard field goal to open the scoring, putting San Francisco up 3-0 with 14:48 to go in the second quarter. Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker then broke the record with a late-third-quarter 57-yard boot. The former Michigan kicker came up clutch with a 53-yarder to give the 49ers a 19-16 advantage with 1:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs came down to tie the game with another three points from Butker.
Bell was inactive for the game, as he was the entire playoffs. Thomas did not start the game or register any statistics, but he was in for some key plays late.
In the three prior postseason games, Danna totaled 4 tackles and 2 quarterback hits, starting all three. He registered 6.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits and 3 pass breakups during the regular season. He’s a free agent heading into next season.
“This is the most important game of my life, of my career,” Danna said before the game. “I love being here with the Chiefs, wearing this red. There’s nothing better. It’s a dream come true.”
Moody went 21-of-25 on field goals in the regular season, with a 57-yard long. He was 60-of-61 on extra points. The former Michigan kicker finished the playoffs 5-of-7 on field goals.
Thomas made 43 tackles, 1 interception and 7 pass breakups in 15 regular-season games with six starts. He started the team’s two playoff games ahead of the Super Bowl, tallying 11 tackles.
Bell caught 6 passes for 68 yards and 3 touchdowns as a rookie receiver with the 49ers.
Former Michigan quarterback Brian Griese is the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach.