MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The legend of Patrick Mahomes added its most remarkable chapter yet Sunday night as the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback engineered a fourth-quarter comeback over the San Francisco 49ers en route to earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
“It’s this team. We have heart,” Mahomes said following the 31-20 win in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. “Coach [Andy Reid] pushes us to be the best people we can be and never give up.”
“I’ve been waiting to say it my whole life: I’m going to Disney World,” Mahomes continued, echoing a tweet he posted in 2013.
Mahomes became the youngest quarterback to be named Super Bowl MVP, joining Tom Brady as the only ones to do so before turning 25. Mahomes is the third-youngest Super Bowl MVP overall, trailing only Marcus Allen and Lynn Swann. He also became the youngest quarterback in NFL history, at 24 years and 138 days, to win a Super Bowl and league MVP (2018).
“It’s like watching Denzel [Washington] in a movie. It’s like watching LeBron James in the playoffs,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “He has that spark. For him to be that young and to find the confidence to do what he did against a special defense, that tells you everything you need to know about that man.”
In the fourth quarter, Mahomes helped the Chiefs erase a 10-point deficit with three consecutive touchdown drives.
As red and yellow confetti flew in the air as the game clock hit zero, Mahomes celebrated bringing Kansas City its first title in 50 years.
“Thank you Kansas City, we did it baby,” Mahomes said.
Mahomes did a victory lap riding in a cart following the game as legions of Chiefs fans cheered. Once back in the locker room, Mahomes went to shake the hand of every player he could find and dance with a few others.
Mahomes finished 26-of-42 for 286 yards, three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing), two interceptions and a 78.6 passer rating. He joined Tom Brady (Super Bowl XLIX) and Terry Bradshaw (XIV) as the only players to win Super Bowl MVP despite throwing multiple interceptions.
For three quarters, Mahomes didn’t play his best football, partially due to the prowess of the 49ers defensive front. But he lived up to his comeback kid mantra with another magician-like performance when it mattered the most.
Receiver Mecole Hardman said Mahomes told the offense on the sidelines before the comeback that “they are on going to be talking about this for a long time. So believe and let’s keep going.”
That’s exactly what the Mahomes-led Chiefs did.
“I knew we weren’t in the ideal situation. I believed in my defense to get stops, and they did,” Mahomes said. “Then the guys kept believing in me and kept making plays downfield, and we found a way to win.”
Said Chiefs coach Andy Reid: “He kept firing, that’s what he did. The guys around him just believed in him. It was just — we all did, all the coaches, likewise. And then our defense had a couple of great stands in there. We knew it would be a close game and it felt that way. We knew there would be challenges to battle through and nobody lost their poise, they just kept rolling, so I was proud of everybody there.”
Mahomes is now 5-0 when trailing by double digits this season. It’s the most double-digit comeback wins by any quarterback in a season in NFL history. He led three double-digit comebacks in this postseason alone, the first quarterback in NFL history to do so.
You can’t blink when we are on the field,” Chiefs offensive lineman Cam Erving said.
With seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter and facing third-and-15, Mahomes dropped back 12 yards, drifting to his left to keep the play alive, and lobbed a beautiful 44-yard pass to Tyreek Hill.
It set up a Chiefs touchdown to trim a 20-10 lead to 20-17 with just over six minutes left.
Mahomes then led a seven-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a third-and-goal go-ahead 5-yard touchdown to running back Damien Williams, who contributed three touchdowns Sunday, including the game-clinching score on a 38-yard run.
“He’s so special. I’m so proud of him. I hope he stays in Kansas City his whole career,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “He’s a better person than he is a player, and he’s a hell of a player, and now he’s a world champ.”
Mahomes became just the third African-American starting quarterback to win Super Bowl MVP, joining Doug Williams and Russell Wilson.
“The best thing about it is you’re showing kids that no matter where you grow up, what race you are, that you can achieve your dream,” Mahomes said this week. “For me, being a black quarterback — having a black dad and a white mom — it just shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter if you’re a baseball player or basketball player, follow your dreams.
“Whatever your dreams are, put the work ethic in and you can be there at the end of the day.”
On Sunday night in Miami Gardens, the legend of Patrick Mahomes grew into something far greater.