LAS VEGAS: Patrick Mahomes pulled off another Super Bowl comeback on Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs snatched a thrilling 25-22 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers to win their third NFL championship in five seasons.
In a perfectly scripted finale before a celebrity-studded Las Vegas crowd including pop icon Taylor Swift, Mahomes hit Mecole Hardman in the end zone with just three seconds remaining in overtime to seal a dramatic win in what was the longest Super Bowl in history.
The win makes Kansas City the first team to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies in two decades, cementing the franchise’s right to be regarded as the NFL’s latest dynasty.
“It means a ton,” Mahomes said. “With the adversity we dealt with this year and to come through, the guys never faltered.”
Mahomes, meanwhile, warned the Chiefs’ rivals that their latest win was just the start of their dynasty.
“We’re not done,” he said. “We’ve got a young team. We’re going to keep this thing going.”
For long periods, however, it looked as if Kansas City would be denied by San Francisco’s ferocious defense.
Chiefs star Travis Kelce — the boyfriend of watching singer Swift — had a nightmare start to the game, at one stage blowing up on the sidelines at Kansas City head coach Andy Reid in an extraordinary outburst.
But with Mahomes pulling the strings, the Chiefs finally battled through a below-par performance to deliver when it mattered once more.
It marked the third time that Mahomes has led Kansas City back from double-digit deficits to win the Super Bowl, sealing his reputation as the heir apparent to the legendary Tom Brady.
The Chiefs fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter after San Francisco struck first through a 55-yard Jake Moody field goal and a brilliantly worked trick play that ended with a touchdown for running back Christian McCaffrey.
Kansas City were left with just a Harrison Butker field goal to show for their first half efforts to make it 10-3 at the break.
Kelce went berserk on the Chiefs bench, with the tight end screaming at head coach Andy Reid in apparent frustration at being kept off the field for the play when an early Kansas City drive ended with an Isiah Pacheco fumble.
Kansas City’s offense fared little better after the restart, with Mahomes giving up an interception to 49ers safety Ji’ayir Brown after an overthrown pass intended for Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
San Francisco were unable to turn the possession into points, however, as defenses stayed on top, forcing punts on the next three possessions.
Kansas City added to their tally with a monstrous 57-yard Butker field goal that crept over the bar to eclipse Moody’s record-long first-half effort.
With San Francisco’s defense still on top, Kansas City needed a stroke of luck and they got it when a muffed punt between 49ers defenders Darrell Luter and Ray-Ray McCloud allowed the Chiefs to recover deep in the red zone.
Mahomes wasted no time cashing in, hitting Valdes Scantling in the end zone from 16 yards, Butker’s extra point making it 13-10.
The 49ers came roaring back, however, on the next drive, Purdy showing great composure to lead a 12-play 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a Jennings score.
A potentially costly missed extra point left San Francisco 16-13 ahead, and the Chiefs drew level on their next possession with Butker’s third field goal to tie it at 16-16.
Moody kicked a 40-yard field goal to restore San Francisco’s lead at 19-16.
That set the stage for Mahomes to lead the Chiefs to another Super Bowl comeback with just 1min 53sec left on the clock.
As the tension mounted, Mahomes found Kelce for a 23-yard gain that took the Chiefs into kicking range. After once again failing to get the ball into the end zone, Butker stepped up to level it at 19-19 with three seconds left, forcing overtime.
San Francisco scored a Moody field goal on the opening possession to make it 22-19, but Mahomes was not done.
The quarterback coolly marched Kansas City upfield to the three-yard line, and then popped the winning pass to Hardman to seal victory.
“Just the whole game was our whole entire season, the defense just keeping us in there and then the offense making plays when it counted,” Mahomes said.
“I’m just proud of the guys. They kept believing. And I’m proud of the coaches for calling up those plays that got us some touchdowns there at the end.”