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  • Writer's pictureCameron Messerschmidt

Chiefs are champs with stunning Super Bowl comeback over 49ers

Courtesy of Nancy Armour USA Today

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Oh, you thought the Kansas City Chiefs were done for, huh? That Patrick Mahomes was human after all?

You learned nothing from that AFC divisional round game against the Houston Texans, did you?

The guy who has delighted the NFL with his no-look passes and Houdini-like escapes pulled off his best feat of magic yet Sunday night. With about as much life as road kill at the end of the third quarter, Mahomes rallied the Chiefs to 21 fourth-quarter points and a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

Decades from now, this game will be talked about alongside Tom Brady’s comeback against Atlanta and Doug Williams’ dismantling of the Denver Broncos. And it will deserve every bit of the myth-making.

In a span of less than 3½ minutes, Mahomes erased a 10-point deficit. First there was the 1-yard scoring pass to Travis Kelce that capped a six-play, 55-yard drive, the heat and angle on the ball bringing back memories of his father, a former relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. After the defense made quick work of the 49ers, Mahomes drove the Chiefs 65 yards on seven plays, punctuating it with a 5-yard pass to Damien Williams.

He would bring sentimental favorite Andy Reid the title that has long eluded him, and Chiefs serenaded the coach with chants of “Andy! Andy!” as the final minute ticked down. Oh, and he also gave Kansas City its first Super Bowl title in 50 years, with the hope of many more to follow. 

But none of that quite does justice to what Mahomes did.

For much of the second half, Bosa was in Mahomes’ space. And in his head, to be honest. After Bosa sacked Mahomes and forced him to fumble with about six minutes left in the third quarter, last year’s MVP looked completely flustered. On the next play, he launched a pass to Tyreek Hill that everyone in the stadium could see coming, Fred Warner included.

The 49ers middle linebacker jumped the route and picked Mahomes off. He was intercepted again on the next drive.

Mahomes has rarely looked his age – he’s not even 25 – in his first two years as a starter. But on this night, he did, having perhaps his worst performance since he was still wearing a Texas Tech jersey. His QB rating was in the 50s, and his stats on third-down were downright abysmal.

But Mahomes is a generational talent, and his teammates have seen him do enough special things that they never believe they’re out of a game. Just three weeks ago, he erased a 24-0 deficit in less than a quarter, joining Williams as the only quarterbacks to throw four touchdowns in a single quarter in the postseason.

Now he’s got an even more impressive stat: He joins Emmitt Smith as the only players to win MVP honors and a Super Bowl title before their 25th birthday. He also ends Brett Favre’s reign as the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

It helped that Bosa was relatively quiet in the fourth quarter, Kansas City’s offensive line finally figuring a way to keep him from harassing their quarterback. But this was more about Mahomes, and the special player that he is. 

He would finish 10-of-17 for 141 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. His kneel downs to end the game were as easy as they were stunning, something maybe only those on the Kansas City sidelines would have foreseen an hour earlier. 

As the Vince Lombardi trophy was awarded to the Chiefs, a torch was passed, too. Brady might continue to play and Drew Brees, too. But it is Mahomes who will lead the NFL in its second century.

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