'Magic' Mahomes wins his third Super Bowl MVP

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LAS VEGAS — Moments after leading a winning scoring drive in overtime, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl LVIII MVP on Sunday night.

But it did not come without drama. Not with the Chiefs trailing and needing at least a field goal to extend the game.

Mahomes had a singular mindset when the Kansas City defense held the San Francisco 49ers to a field goal on the opening possession of overtime Sunday night.

“Our mindset was: Go win the game right here,” Mahomes said. “Once we got that ball — we fell short in regulation, we’re not going to do that again. We’re going to go out there and win the game.”

Done deal.

Because after Mahomes led the Chiefs 75 yards in 13 plays — including his running for 27 yards on a pair of carries, on fourth-and-1 and third-and-1 conversions during the drive — he hit receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. for a 3-yard, walk-off score with three seconds on the clock to give the Chiefs a 25-22 victory.

Not only had Mahomes, who is just 28 years old, and the Chiefs won their third Super Bowl in five years, Mahomes had his third Super Bowl MVP award, tying him with Hall of Famer Joe Montana for second most behind Tom Brady, who has five.

Mahomes threw for 333 yards while completing 34 of 46 attempts with two touchdown passes and an interception for a 99.3 passer rating, and ran for 66 more yards.

“The offense persevered,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That last drive was a thing of beauty.”

And the Chiefs are the NFL’s first back-to-back champs since the 2004-05 New England Patriots.

Mahomes also maintained his undefeated record at Allegiant Stadium, having beaten the Las Vegas Raiders four times on their home field since it opened in 2020. But this night was easily the most dramatic, as his last pass of the game ended just the second overtime game in Super Bowl history.

The drive Mahomes engineered at the end of regulation set the stage.

With 1:53 to play and the Chiefs trailing 19-16, Mahomes did what Mahomes does. He led Kansas City on an 11-play, 64-yard drive that concluded with a Harrison Butker 29-yard field goal with three seconds left.

And after the 49ers took that 22-19 lead on the opening possession of overtime, Mahomes replicated it.

“I guess at this point, I take it for granted, but I know we’re in every single game I’ve ever played in with him, no matter what the score is, no matter how much time is left,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said, confirming that Mahomes entered the huddle on that drive and said, “Let’s go win this thing.”

“That guy’s got magic in his right arm, man, and he can just — he found ways to propel us, even with his legs, as you saw today.”

Reid concurred with his star tight end.

“There’s no façade there,” he said. “He comes to work every day humble. He wants to get better every day.”

And as Mahomes said, the game itself was a “microcosm” of the Chiefs’ season, one in which the champs seemed to be teetering when they lost five of eight at one point.

The last game they lost was at home Christmas Day to the Raiders, and the Chiefs finished with a record of 11-6 while winning the AFC West.

“It’s culture, man,” Mahomes said of the Chiefs believing they could get over the hump. “I got brought into this culture. Alex Smith was leading the team. They had the pieces in place and Coach Reid has been the ultimate leader and I got brought in and I just trying to exemplify that, and he keeps pushing to be even better.

“He brings out the best in me because he lets me be me. I think that’s important. He’s not trying to make me anyone else. I don’t think I’m the quarterback that I am if I didn’t have Coach Reid as my coach. He wants you to be the best person you can be.”

And while Mahomes has three wins in the Super Bowl, he has trailed by double digits in all three games — 20-10 to the 49ers in the fourth quarter four years ago, 24-14 against the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter last year and 10-0 against San Francisco in the second quarter Sunday.

“I’m going to try to stop getting down 10 points in these games to make them a little bit easier,” Mahomes said, laughing. “But I was proud of how the guys fought.”

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