MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Even as he struggled to avoid a heated-San Francisco pass rush, even as he tossed two interceptions and even as he faced a double-digit deficit and a dwindling fourth quarter clock, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes kept grinding and kept making plays.
A scramble for a first down here. A deep ball to Tyreek Hill there.
Time and time again, Mahomes kept finding ways when ways didn’t seem possible, as he delivered one of the bigger Super Bowl comebacks and Kansas City’s first championship in half a century.
Tailing 20-10 in the middle of the fourth quarter and having not scored a point since the first half, Mahomes led the Chiefs on a 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive that included converting two third-and-longs.
After the Chiefs forced a three-and-out, Mahomes gathered the team at Kansas City’s 35 and went to work again, this time looking for the lead.
Finally a 5-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams to take the lead.
The 49ers’ pass rush, which had harassed Mahomes all night (four sacks), began to tire and slow, and the creative quarterback had the game in the palm of his hands. He was dealing like the NFL had seen him do over the course of two astounding seasons to start his career. Scrambling. Throwing. Just making plays.
Maybe most impressive was that no matter how rough things got throughout the game, Mahomes never stopped believing he could win the Super Bowl. On the biggest stage of his life, he hadn’t played his best. Yet Mahomes never blinked.
“It’s this team,” Mahomes, the MVP of the game, said after. “We have heart.”
It was the third consecutive playoff victory he and the Chiefs rallied from double digits. Mahomes finished 26-of-42 for 286 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran one in.
The championship was particularly sweet for Andy Reid, the Chiefs 61-year-old head coach and a mainstay in the league. Known for fielding competitive playoff teams, he came into the game the winningest coach in NFL history without a championship. Sunday, he finally broke through in the Super Bowl.
The heavy Chiefs crowd in South Florida chanted “Andy! Andy!” in the game’s final seconds.
San Francisco got on the board first courtesy of a 38-yard field goal by kicker Robbie Gould, 7:57 into the game. Mahomes scored the game’s first touchdown when he ran in from the one with 0:31 remaining in the first.
The teams were tied at 10 going into halftime.
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira delivered a spirited song and dance routine during the break.
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