Super Bowl magic: Mahomes, Chiefs beat Eagles 38-35
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes shook off an ankle injury, turned back into a magician and pulled out another comeback on the biggest stage to help the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl in four years.
Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and scrambled 26 yards on the go-ahead drive before Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to give the Chiefs a 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.
“He’s the MVP,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said about Mahomes. “That’s all that needs to be said. MVP. And you saw it tonight.”
Mahomes and Jalen Hurts excelled in the first Super Bowl matchup featuring two Black starting QBs. But Mahomes, the two-time AP NFL MVP, turned it up in the second half after reaggravating a sprained right ankle. He earned his second Super Bowl MVP award, too.
“It took everybody to win the games. We’re Super Bowl champs, baby,” Mahomes shouted on stage as red and yellow confetti littered the field.
Reid, who couldn’t win the big game in Philadelphia, beat his former team to earn his second ring with Mahomes and the Chiefs.
“We wanted to get this so bad for him,” Travis Kelce said. “His legacy in Philly lives on forever. I know that city loves him. I know that the organization loves him. But ever since he’s been here in Kansas City — I’ve seen it firsthand — he poured his heart and his mind and his soul into this organization, into this team and led a group of men. … There’s a lot of pride in knowing that he’s had success in two different organizations, but this was the better one.”
With the score tied at 35-35, the Eagles tried to let the Chiefs score a touchdown with under two minutes left so they could get the ball back after a defensive holding call on cornerback James Bradberry on third-and-8 gave Kansas City a first down. But Jerick McKinnon slid at the 2, forcing the Eagles to use their last timeout.
“It was a holding. I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide,” Bradberry said.
After Mahomes took a knee two times, Butker nailed his kick, sending thousands of red-clad Chiefs fans into a frenzy.
“It feels amazing just to see the confetti,” said Butker, who missed a 42-yarder in the first quarter. “I just tried to focus on one kick and focusing on the process.”
The Chiefs won their second Super Bowl following the 2019 season, 50 years after the first one. It took just three years to get another Lombardi.
Chiefs fans were outnumbered in the stadium, but they did their part to silence the boisterous Philly fans with the tomahawk chop chant.
“Everybody had that determination, that look in their eye,” Kelce said.
Mahomes, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the divisional round, hurt it again on a 3-yard scramble late in the second quarter. He limped off the field but showed no ill effects on Kansas City’s next possession.
Mahomes slipped — several players lost their footing on the natural grass surface — in the pocket yet somehow regained his balance and scrambled 14 yards to the Eagles 4, setting up Isiah Pacheco’s 1-yard TD run that cut the deficit to 24-21.
After Jake Elliott’s 33-yard field goal extended Philadelphia’s lead to 27-21, the Chiefs struck again.
Mahomes tossed a 5-yard TD pass to a wide-open Kadarius Toney to give Kansas City its first lead, 28-27, early in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs tightened up their defense, forcing Philly to punt. Then Toney returned a line-drive kick 65 yards to the Eagles 5 for the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.
On third down from the 4, Mahomes connected with Skyy Moore to extend their lead to 35-27. Moore also was wide open on the play.
But the Eagles wouldn’t go away.
Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 46-yard gain to the Chiefs 2 and ran in for his third score of the game. He also ran in for the 2-point conversion to tie it at 35-35 with 5:15 to go.
As “Fly! Eagles! Fly!” reverberated throughout the stadium, Mahomes and the Chiefs went back to work.
The 27-year-old Mahomes became the third player to win his second NFL MVP award before age 28. He also became the youngest QB to start three Super Bowls. Then, Mahomes became the first player to win the Super Bowl the same season he was MVP after nine straight players lost.
Just five years after winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history, the Eagles (16-4) came close with a different coach and new quarterback. Nick Sirianni replaced Doug Pederson in 2021 and Hurts took over for Carson Wentz in late 2020.
Hurts set a Super Bowl record with 70 yards rushing and tied a record with three rushing scores. He also threw for 304 yards and one TD.
The Eagles marched 75 yards down the field with Hurts scoring from the 1 for a 7-0 lead, and controlled the ball for almost 22 minutes in the first half.
Hurts, who missed two games late in the season with a shoulder injury, had no trouble throwing a perfect deep ball to A.J. Brown, giving the Eagles a 14-7 lead with a 45-yard connection on the first play of the second quarter.
But Hurts then made a rare mistake on the next drive when he fumbled without being hit while scrambling away from pressure. Nick Bolton picked it up and raced 36 yards for a score that made it 14-14. Hurts had just eight turnovers this season, six picks and two fumbles.
Undeterred, Hurts kept running.
He took off for 14 yards on the first play after the fumble. On fourth-and-5 from Chiefs 44, Hurts ran 28 yards. He finished off the drive with a 4-yard TD run to put Philadelphia ahead 21-14.
Elliott kicked a 35-yard field goal to send the Eagles into halftime leading 24-14.
Mahomes finished 21 of 27 for 182 yards with three TDs and no turnovers. He ran for 44 yards.
Mahomes connected with Kelce on an 18-yard TD pass in the right corner to tie it at 7-7 in the first quarter. The Chiefs’ All-Pro tight end and Eagles All-Pro center Jason Kelce became the first set of brothers to play against each other in the Super Bowl.
Their mom, Donna Kelce, wore a half-red, half-green jersey with No. 87 on the front for Travis and No. 62 on the back for Jason. She sat in a suite between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Damar Hamlin.
Eagles fans turned State Farm Stadium into a sea of green, chanting “E-A-G-L-E-S!” and singing the team’s fight song after each score. But they left disappointed.
Reid won more games than any coach in team history during 14 seasons with the Eagles but the one knock against him was that he couldn’t win the big one. Reid finally earned his ring with the Chiefs when they beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl following the 2019 season. They went back the next year and lost to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The first Super Bowl involving both No. 1 seeds since the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in February 2018 lived up to its hype. It was the third-highest scoring Super Bowl and the Eagles scored the most points by a losing team.
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