LAS VEGAS (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers gave Patrick Mahomes two opportunities to drive for the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.
They should have known — who doesn’t at this point? — that it was one too many.
Mahomes gamely led the Chiefs downfield late in regulation, only to settle for a tying field goal with 3 seconds left, before answering a field goal by the 49ers to start overtime with a touchdown drive to remember.
Mahomes scrambled for a pair of first downs, including one on fourth down, before hitting Mecole Hardman with a 3-yard pass for the 25-22 victory Sunday.
Mahomes celebrated by sprinting like mad into the end zone, then wheeling around and heading all the way back to Kansas City’s sideline, where he collapsed on the yellow-painted turf in what seemed to be elation and a bit of disbelief.
“This is awesome,” Mahomes said. “Legendary.”
It was simply more Mahomes Magic, giving the 28-year-old quarterback his second straight ring and his third overall. He’s only the sixth quarterback to win three Super Bowls and the second youngest, and his three championships puts Mahomes behind only Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for the most by a starting QB in NFL history.
Montana and Bradshaw are certainly within reach with four apiece, and given how quickly Mahomes is stacking up Lombardi Trophies in Kansas City, it’s hard to believe — even for him — that Brady’s record of seven is untouchable.
The Chiefs are the first repeat Super Bowl champions since the Patriots in 2003 and ’04, and their third championship in four trips over the past five years puts them in rarified air.
Asked whether they had achieved dynasty status, Mahomes replied: “It’s the start of one.”
Mahomes struggled for much of the game Sunday, especially as the 49ers refused to bring the blitz, which the two-time league MVP tears apart with ease. But he started to heat up in the fourth quarter, when he drove Kansas City for a field goal to tie it 16 with 5:46 left, then when he drove for another field goal that sent the game to overtime.
He finished with 333 yards passing and two touchdowns, an early interception long forgotten when he found Hardman wide open in the end zone to send red and yellow confetti raining down from the rafters of Allegiant Stadium.
“Just know that the Kansas City Chiefs are never underdogs,” Mahomes said. “Just know that.”
AP Super Bowl coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/super-bowl
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