Patrick Mahomes dealt with more obstacles than ever as the Kansas City Chiefs' starter this season, but the result was the same as last year and in the 2019-20 season: a Super Bowl title and a Super Bowl MVP award.
The Chiefs quarterback took home his third career Super Bowl MVP award on Sunday after a heroic performance in Super Bowl LVIII, a 25-22 Chiefs win over the San Francisco 49ers in overtime.
Mahomes finished the game 34-of-46 for 333 yards (7.2 yards per attempt), two touchdowns and an interception, and he led the Chiefs in rushing with 66 yards on nine carries. He delivered the game-winning score at the end of the first overtime period with a 3-yard pass to Mecole Hardman.
The anatomy of the game-winner. What a Super Bowl. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/WbGaPP39yV
— NFL (@NFL) February 12, 2024
At 28 years old, Mahomes' résumé now includes three titles, three Super Bowl MVP awards, two regular-season MVP awards, an Offensive Player of the Year award and six Pro Bowl selections in six years as a starter.
Sunday's win elevates the Chiefs' run with him under center into dynasty territory and puts him in rarified air among the game's greatest quarterbacks. Only Tom Brady and Joe Montana have also won two MVPs and three Super Bowl MVPs.
“It’s the start of [a dynasty], but we’re not done,” Mahomes said after the game.
It's easy to say the Chiefs were inevitable now, but that would cheapen what might be the most impressive performance of Mahomes' career. All season, the Chiefs appeared to be in danger of watching their golden age fall apart. Mahomes was doing his best, but he was working with arguably the worst wide-receiving group of his career.
The Chiefs managed to win a down AFC West, but their 11-6 record was their worst since Mahomes took over as starter. After a wild-card win against the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs were underdogs in three straight games against the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Niners.
Obviously, the Chiefs won all three, with Mahomes making the plays they needed against some of the best defenses in football.
“The Kansas City Chiefs are never underdogs,” Mahomes said while accepting the Lombardi Trophy.
The Super Bowl involved similar early struggles for the Chiefs, with Mahomes calling the game "a microcosm of our season." San Francisco took a 10-0 lead in the second quarter, and the Chiefs went scoreless on their first two second-half drives. Then they woke up, going field goal, touchdown, field goal, field goal, touchdown to finish the game.
At the end of the day, the Chiefs still had Mahomes, as well as Andy Reid, Travis Kelce (nine catches for 93 yards) and a very good defense. When players such as Hardman are also making the plays they need, a lot of things need to go right to beat them.