Patrick Mahomes repeats greatness in Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVIII overtime win over 49ers
If there was still any debate, it’s over.
Patrick Mahomes is not only the best quarterback of his generation, he is among the best of all time.
Before Sunday, only four quarterbacks had won three or more Super Bowls.
Tom Brady. Terry Bradshaw. Joe Montana. Troy Aikman.
Now Mahomes has joined the exclusive club. And, of course, he did it in glitzy fashion.
Patrick Mahomes finds Mecole Hardman on a three-yard touchdown pass in overtime, lifting the Kansas City Chiefs to a 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback brought his team back from several deficits and tossed a touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman Jr. in overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.
“This is awesome,” Mahomes said from a podium on the field. “This is legendary.”
The Chiefs and coach Andy Reid have now won three titles in five seasons. They are the first team to win consecutive titles since the New England Patriots achieved the feat in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
“I’m gonna celebrate tonight,” Mahomes said. “I’m gonna celebrate at the parade. And then I’m gonna do whatever I can to be back in this game next year and try to go for that three-peat.”
Mahomes completed 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception. He also rushed for 66 yards in nine carries, including a 19-yard scramble that set up the winning touchdown.
Mahomes broke off a run late in last year’s Super Bowl to set up the winning field goal that beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
So now the Chiefs are chasing history. No team has won three consecutive Super Bowls.
Mahomes, 28, needs four more titles to catch Brady, who won six with the Patriots and another with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If you think there is no comparison between Brady and Mahomes, ask 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for an Atlanta Falcons team that blew a 28-3 lead and lost to Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LI to end the 2016-17 season.
Patrick Mahomes earned his third Super Bowl MVP award Sunday when the Chiefs beat the 49ers. Only Tom Brady has more, and Mahomes has plenty of time to catch him.
Shanahan was hired as the 49ers coach in 2017. Four years ago, his team met the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in South Florida. The 49ers led by 10 points late in the third quarter but lost 31-20.
On Sunday, the 49ers at one point led 10-0. That was not a good omen versus Mahomes.
“When you go against guys like Tom Brady and Pat Mahomes, you better never feel comfortable with the lead,” said Shanahan, whose team fell short of winning the 49ers first title since the 1994-95 season. “And those are two of the best players to ever play the game.”
“That’s why, whether you have a lead or your down points, it’s those guys who are always in it. Watch them all the time, do that stuff.”
Reid downplayed talk of a dynasty. Not Mahomes.
“Yeah, it’s the start of one,” Mahomes said. “We’re not done.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce agreed.
Kelce spent the week patiently and good-naturedly answering endless questions about his relationship with pop superstar Taylor Swift, who watched the game from a luxury suite and celebrated on the field with Kelce and the Chiefs afterward.
Kelce had only one target in the first half and he appeared impatient on the sideline when he bumped Reid and screamed in his ear.
“I was just telling him how much I love him,” Kelce said.
Kelce finished with nine catches for 93 yards, including a seven-yard reception the play before Mahomes found Hardman for the three-yard game-winner.
“I guess at this point, I take it for granted,” Kelce said of Mahomes, “but I know we’re in every single game I’ve ever played in with him, no matter what the score is, no matter how much time is left, that guy’s got magic in his right arm, man, and he can just — he found ways to propel us, even with his legs as you saw today.”
Mahomes outdueled 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. The second-year pro completed 23 of 38 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown to receiver Jauan Jennings, who also tossed a touchdown pass to running back Christian McCaffrey.
“It just hurts,” Purdy said. “We have the team obviously to do it, to win the whole thing — and come up short like that.
“The way things have been the last couple of years here, everyone wanted it so bad.”
The 49ers lost despite an impressive effort for most of the game by its defense. End Nick Bosa and linemen Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave gave Mahomes problems — until Mahomes as usual took over in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Purdy drove the 49ers into scoring territory for Jake Moody’s 53-yard field goal that gave 49ers a 19-16 lead with 1 minute 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Mahomes answered by driving the Chiefs to the 11-yard line but with six seconds left Reid opted for Harrison Butker to kick a tying field goal rather than take one more shot at the end zone.
The 49ers got the ball first in overtime and went ahead on Moody’s 27-yard field goal. But when Mahomes got the ball back with 7:22 left, a familiar feeling resonated in the stadium.
On a fourth and one, he scrambled eight yards to keep alive the drive. Six plays later, he ran for 18 yards. After a short run by Isiah Pacheco and the pass to Kelce, Mahomes hit Hardman with the game-winner.
It was a sweet moment for Hardman. He played four seasons with the Chiefs before signing with the New York Jets before this season. In October, he was traded to the Chiefs.
Hardman said he “blacked out” after catching the winning touchdown.
“I seen Pat running towards me and I’m thinking, ‘We just won,’” Hardman said. “I understand now and after that, the rest is history.”
With Mahomes involved, there is surely more to come.
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