‘We’re not done’: Mahomes alone as NFL’s top gun, promises ‘dynasty’ has seasons to run as Taylor Swift chugs celebration beers
The Kansas City Chiefs, steered brilliamtly at the end by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, downed the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime to secure their second consecutive Super Bowl title.
The victory cements the Chiefs’ status as the NFL’s latest dynasty and Mahomes declared “we’re not done” after the team won their third Super Bowl in five years and became the NFL’s first repeat champions since the New England Patriots in February 2005.
A thrilling season climax saw just the second overtime finale in Super Bowl history, and the first played under new overtime rules under which both teams got the ball.
Mahomes masterminded a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in overtime following the 49ers’ field goal to go ahead, culminating in a three-yard pass to receiver Mecole Hardman to claim the victory.
Pop star Taylor Swift was among the captivated crowd watching as her boyfriend Travis Kelce was a member of the winning side.
Swift chugged beers and embraced celebrity friends as the match was decided. Soon after Kelce fired up the Chiefs fans leading them in a chorus of Elvis Presley classic Viva, Las Vegas and the Beastie Boys’ Fight for Your Right (to Party) and the TV cameras lingered on his famous girlfriend.
The Chiefs trailed 22-19 after Jake Moody kicked a 27-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime, but Mahomes rallied the Chiefs, completing another impressive comeback in a rematch of a Super Bowl four years ago.
After he connected with a wide-open Hardman, the Chiefs ran on the field as red-and-yellow confetti fell onto the turf.
The most excitement in the first half came when a frustrated Kelce bumped Andy Reid on the sideline, knocking the Chiefs’ 65-year-old coach a few steps back after teammate Isiah Pacheco fumbled inside the red zone during the second quarter.
The action picked up after a crucial blunder by San Francisco’s special teams set up Mahomes’ 16-yard TD pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 13-10 lead.
Brock Purdy and the 49ers answered but they couldn’t make enough plays, denying Mr. Irrelevant an opportunity to go from last pick in the 2022 NFL draft to Super Bowl champion.
Mahomes and Reid are now halfway to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who won six championships in 20 years together with the New England Patriots and were the most recent team to go back-to-back following the 2003-04 seasons.
The 28-year-old Mahomes becomes the fourth starting QB to win three Super Bowls — joining Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman — and second-youngest.
Niners wide receiver Jauan Jennings threw a TD pass and caught one, joining Eagles quarterback Nick Foles six years ago as the only players to do both in the Super Bowl.
After Moody’s 53-yard field goal gave the 49ers a 19-16 lead with 1:53 remaining, Mahomes and Kelce went to work. Mahomes connected with Kelce for a 22-yard gain to set up Butker’s tying kick, a 29-yarder with 3 seconds left.
A holding call on Kansas City’s Trent McDuffie extended San Francisco’s opening drive of overtime and Purdy made key throws to drive the 49ers to the Chiefs 9. But San Francisco settled for a field goal.
“Really the whole game was like our season,” said Mahomes. “It was the defence just keeping us in there and the offence making plays when it counted. I’m proud of the guys, they kept believing.”
The Chiefs entered their last three games as the betting underdogs but showed their class and sent a message.
“Just know that the Kansas City Chiefs are never the underdogs,” Mahomes said.
(With The Associated Press)