Patrick Mahomes did it again.
The Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback brought his team back from several deficits and tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman Jr. with three seconds left in the first quarter of overtime to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 25-22, on Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium.
The Chiefs became the first team to win consecutive titles since the New England Patriots achieved the feat in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
“It means a ton. Just the adversity we dealt with this year and the guys never faltered,” Mahomes said. “This is awesome. It’s legendary.”
It marked the second time in five seasons that the Chiefs’ thwarted the 49ers’ attempt to win their first title since the 1994 season. In Super Bowl LIV in South Florida, Mahomes led the Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter to win his first title.
Mahomes is one of only five players to win three or more Super Bowls, a group that includes Tom Brady, who won seven, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana (four) and Troy Aikman (three).
He also became the first NFL player to win three Super Bowls and two most valuable players awards in his first seven seasons. He was named the MVP for Super Bowl LVIII, his third such award.
“Yeah, it’s the start of one,” Mahomes said. “We’re not done.”
Mahomes completed 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception. He also rushed for 66 yards in nine carries, including an 18-yard scramble that set up the winning touchdown.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught nine passes for 93 yards as pop superstar girlfriend Taylor Swift looked on from a luxury suite.
Coach Andy Reid won his third Super Bowl title, and continued 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s misery in the process.
Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for an Atlanta Falcons team that blew a 28-3 lead and lost to Brady and the New England Patriots in overtime in Super Bowl LI to end the 2016 season.
Shanahan was hired as the 49ers coach in 2017. At the at the end of the 2019 season, his team met the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers led 20-10 points late in the third quarter but lost, 31-20.
On Sunday, Mahomes outdueled 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Juaun Jennings caught a touchdown pass and passed for a touchdown.
The 49ers overcame a Christian McCaffrey fumble and multiple penalties to build a 10-3 halftime lead. Rookie Jake Moody kicked a short-lived Super Bowl-record 55-yard field goal, McCaffrey scored on a 21-yard pass from receiver Jennings, and a 49ers’ defensive front that lost linebacker Dre Greenlaw because of an Achilles injury mostly suffocated Mahomes.
Mahomes completed a spectacular 52-yard pass to Hardman that gave the Chiefs a first down at the nine-yard line, but Isiah Pacheco’s fumble ended the threat.
Kelce caught only one pass and could be seen on the sideline yelling at Reid. The only points the Chiefs could manage was a 28-yard field goal by Harrison Butker near the end of the second quarter.
Still, that gave the Chiefs momentum going into the break.
Pacheco recovered his fumble on the first play of the third quarter, but two plays later 49ers safety J’Ayir Brown intercepted a pass.
The 49ers offense stalled. However, the ensuing punt was downed at the two-yard line, and the defense stopped Pacheco on a third-and-one play to force a punt.
When the Chiefs got the ball back, Mahomes came alive. He scrambled for a first down, and then on the next play kept the ball on a zone-read and ran 22 yards, setting up Butker’s record 57-yard field goal to pull the Chiefs to within 10-6.
And though the Chiefs were forced to punt on their next possession, they got a major break when a punt bounced off the foot of 49ers defensive back Darrell Luter Jr. Jaylen Watson recovered the ball, and Mahomes wasted no time capitalizing, finding Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 16-yard touchdown and a 13-10 lead.
But then Purdy came to life. He completed multiple passes, including one to tight end George Kittle on a fourth-and-three, and then a 10-yard touchdown to Jennings. The Chiefs blocked Moody’s extra-point kick, keeping the Chiefs within three points.
Mahomes and Kelce went to work, connecting twice, and Mahomes also found tight end Justin Watson for a big gain. The Chiefs drove to the three-yard line but were forced to settle for Butker’s game-tying field goal.
Purdy answered by driving the 49ers into field-goal range for Moody’s 53-yard kick that gave the 49ers a 19-16 lead with 1:53 left.
Mahomes drove the Chiefs to the 11-yard line, but with six seconds left Reid opted for Butker to kick a tying field goal rather than take one more shot at the end zone.
The 49ers got the ball first in overtime and went ahead, 22-19, on Moody’s 27-yard field goal.
The victory completed a roller-coaster season for the Chiefs. They opened the season with a 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead Stadium, and then reeled off six consecutive victories.
The Chiefs lost five of their next eight games, including a 20-14 defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders in Allegiant Stadium. That was the last loss the Chiefs would be forced to endure.
They defeated the Cincinnati Bengals and the Chargers to finish the season 11-6, and then routed the Miami Dolphins, survived the Buffalo Bills and beat the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl for the sixth time.
Can they return for another appearance next year?
No team has won three consecutive Super Bowls.
The Dallas Cowboys won three titles in four seasons between the 1992 and 1995 seasons. The Patriots achieved the feat between the 2001 and 2004 seasons.