Super Bowl 2023: Patrick Mahomes comes up clutch, Chiefs come back to beat the Eagles

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Patrick Mahomes barely made it off the field after he was tackled in the second quarter.

It was a reminder Mahomes was playing Super Bowl LVII with a high ankle sprain on Sunday. He was tackled on a third down and stayed down for a while. He limped off, slowly. Trainers looked at him on the sideline while he writhed in pain.

Shortly after that, when the Eagles kicked a field goal to end the first half, it looked like another loss for Mahomes in a Super Bowl was coming. The Eagles led by 10 at halftime and had thoroughly outplayed the Chiefs. Eagles fans chanted "MVP!" after their quarterback, Jalen Hurts, had his second touchdown run of the day.

Mahomes is special, and so is this emerging Chiefs dynasty. The Chiefs, behind their injured quarterback, came back and won their second Super Bowl in five seasons. Mahomes threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns and his stunning 26-yard run set up a field goal by Harrison Butker with eight seconds left as the Chiefs beat the Eagles 38-35. Millions of viewers were waiting for Mahomes to come through with a game-winning drive after Philadelphia tied it with 5:15 left, and he delivered.

In time, the legend will grow. Mahomes battling through a high-ankle sprain through the playoffs to win another Super Bowl, with a game-winning drive for the ages, will be a part of his legend. It might get brought up again when he makes the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs onto the field after winning the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

A high-scoring Super Bowl

In many Super Bowls, the teams use the first quarter to feel each other out. The offenses play it conservatively, not wanting to make a mistake.

That was not the case for Super Bowl LVII. The Eagles, spreading the field and passing most plays, scored on the first drive. Jalen Hurts got into the end zone on a quarterback sneak. The Chiefs came right back and scored on an 18-yard catch from Travis Kelce. It was the second Super Bowl in history in which both teams scored touchdowns on their opening drive. The only other time that happened was Super Bowl XXXII between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos.

The scoring didn't slow down too much after that. Hurts hit A.J. Brown on a pretty 45-yard touchdown pass. The Chiefs got a gift when Hurts lost a fumble that came out of his hands, and linebacker Nick Bolton recovered it and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.

The Eagles had a 27-21 lead as the fourth quarter began. They had dominated the game in just about every way. But Mahomes still had a shot, and he usually gets better with the game on the line.

Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title for the second time in his career. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title for the second time in his career. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

A tight game in the 4th

The Chiefs took the lead early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had a breakdown and Kadarius Toney was wide open for a 5-yard touchdown. After the extra point, the Chiefs led 28-27.

Toney made an enormous play after that. The Chiefs forced a three-and-out. Toney took the punt return, reversed field to his right and took it 54 yards to the Eagles' 5-yard line. On another third down, the Chiefs ran the same play as the Toney touchdown but to the left side and to rookie Skyy Moore. Moore was wide open, just like Toney, for a touchdown.

The Eagles hadn't been tested that often through the regular season. They mostly blew out opponents and nobody came close to them in their first two playoff games. But the Eagles came through when they needed a big drive. DeVonta Smith got free and was wide open for a 45-yard catch that set up another Hurts sneak for a touchdown. Hurts ran in for the 2-point conversion and the Super Bowl was tied again, 35-35, with 5:15 left.

Mahomes is built for the situation he found himself in. The Chiefs started moving the ball downfield and then Mahomes — who was clearly hobbled earlier in the game — scrambled up the middle and gained 26 yards. A holding call on third down against Eagles cornerback James Bradberry pretty much sealed the Chiefs win. The Eagles wanted to let the Chiefs score but Jerick McKinnon slid down before the goal line, forcing the Eagles to use their final timeout. Mahomes took a knee twice to kill some more clock. Butler calmly hit the 27-yard field goal with eight seconds left.

The Chiefs had to come back in the fourth quarter of their first Super Bowl win with Mahomes too. Sunday might not be the last time he does it either.