Patrick Mahomes paid close attention to the odds for the Kansas City Chiefs’ last three postseason games, but it wasn’t because he was pondering a wager.
Instead, Mahomes was finding motivation when the Chiefs were underdogs against the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in consecutive games.
“Just know that the Kansas City Chiefs are never underdogs,” Mahomes said. “Just know that.”
Of course, there is no safer bet in the clutch than pinning your hopes on Mahomes, who threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman with three seconds left in overtime to give the Chiefs a 25-22 victory over the 49ers on Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
Mahomes guided the Chiefs on a 13-play, 75-yard drive after the 49ers had settled for a field goal on their overtime possession. The victory made Kansas City the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots did so in the 2003-04 seasons.
Mahomes was 34-of-46 passing for 333 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as the Chiefs won their third Super Bowl in the past five seasons. Two of their victories have come against the 49ers.
Mahomes won Super Bowl MVP honors, joining 49ers legend Joe Montana as a three-time winner. Only Patriots icon Tom Brady (five) has won more.
The latest victory even prompted Mahomes to consider the D-word — dynasty.
“Yeah. It’s the start of one,” Mahomes said after Sunday’s win. “We’re not done. I know we’re going to celebrate tonight … but we’re not done. We’ve got a young team and we’re going to keep this thing going.”
Kansas City overcame 10-point deficits in all three Super Bowl wins in the Mahomes era. That includes last season’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as both victories over the 49ers.
The latest Super Bowl setback had a bitter taste for San Francisco tight end George Kittle.
“It’s a long, long season,” said Kittle, who had just two catches for 4 yards on Sunday. “We’ve been playing football since late July. To come up short of achieving our goal and dream — it’s not fun.”
Travis Kelce caught nine passes for 93 yards and Marquez Valdes-Scantling also caught a touchdown pass for Kansas City. Harrison Butker tied a Super Bowl record with four field goals, including a record 57-yarder just one quarter after San Francisco’s Jake Moody set the mark with a 55-yard kick.
Steve Christie of the Buffalo Bills set the former long mark with a 54-yarder against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVIII on Jan. 30, 1994.
Brock Purdy completed 23 of 38 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown for the 49ers. Christian McCaffrey had 160 scrimmage yards (80 rushing, 80 receiving) to go with a touchdown catch, while Jauan Jennings threw a touchdown pass and caught another for San Francisco, which last won a Super Bowl at the end of the 1994 season.
Moody kicked a 27-yard field goal with 7:22 left in overtime to give the 49ers a three-point lead, but it was a missed opportunity for Purdy and the offense. San Francisco controlled the ball for 13 plays and was at the Kansas City 9-yard line when Purdy threw an incompletion on third-and-4.
“We have the team and the offense to score touchdowns, and I failed to put our team in position to do that,” Purdy said.
Moody booted a 53-yard field goal with 1:53 remaining in regulation to give the 49ers a 19-16 advantage. The Chiefs rallied to force overtime on Butker’s 29-yarder with three seconds left.
Mahomes connected with a wide-open Valdes-Scantling to give Kansas City its first lead of the contest at 13-10 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
San Francisco recovered to take a 16-13 lead on Purdy’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Jennings with 11:22 remaining in the fourth quarter. But Moody’s extra-point attempt was blocked by Kansas City’s Leo Chenal.
The missed point was magnified when Butker kicked a 24-yard field goal to tie the score with 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Moody broke Christie’s record with a 55-yard field goal 12 seconds into the second quarter for the first points of the game.
San Francisco stretched the lead to 10 when Purdy threw a lateral to his left to Jennings, who then threw a toss all the way back to the other side of the field. McCaffrey caught it and easily sped ahead to score the game’s first touchdown with 4:23 left in the first half.
Jennings became the sixth non-quarterback to throw a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. He also joined Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles, LII) as the only players to both throw and catch a touchdown pass in the same Super Bowl.
Kansas City finally got on the board on Butker’s 28-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the first half. His record-setting boot in the third quarter cut the Chiefs’ deficit to 10-6.
–Field Level Media