Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs overcame the inspired Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts to win their second Super Bowl in four years with a 38-35 win in a magnificent contest on Sunday.
Hurts produced four touchdowns, three of them rushing, and threw for 304 yards but ended on the losing side with a late field goal from Harrison Butker settling a ding-dong battle in Arizona.
Mahomes threw for three touchdowns and 182 yards but the Chiefs had game-winning displays across the field as they came back from ten points down at half-time to hand head coach Andy Reid a victory over his former team.
The game got off to an explosive start with the Eagles scoring a touchdown on the opening drive — Hurts crossing with a quarterback sneak at the end of an impressive 11-play, 75-yard drive.
But the Chiefs struck back swiftly with Mahomes connecting with Travis Kelce and Isiah Pacheco as he led the team down the field before crowning the drive with a perfectly floated pass to Kelce in the end-zone.
It was only the second time in Super Bowl history that both teams had scored on their first possession and that set the tone for the game.
Butker then missed a chance to put the Chiefs ahead with his 42-yard field goal drifting left and striking the post.
Hurts opened the second quarter in spectacular fashion with a brilliant 45-yard pass deep to A.J. Brown, who collected for the touchdown after his clever route left Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie flailing.
But Hurts gifted away the seven-point advantage on the next possession, dropping the ball without a challenge. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton scooped up the fumble and ran 36 yards into the end-zone to level the game at 14-14.
The Chiefs fight back
The mistake didn’t deter Hurts from running with the ball however and after his 28-yard rush for a first down took the Eagles into the red zone, he restored the Eagles’ lead with a four-yard run into the end zone.
There was though a reminder of Mahomes’ recent ankle injury when, running out of the pocket, he was tackled by T.J. Edwards and limped off the field.
The Eagles added a field goal before half-time, after more impressive running from Hurts, to go in 24-14 up at the interval.
The Chiefs’ fears over Mahomes’ ankle were allayed when he came out for the second half and promptly led a 75-yard touchdown drive, including a 14-yard rush from the quarterback and ending with a one-yard run from Pacheco.
The Eagles added a field goal to go into the fourth quarter with a six-point lead but then the Chiefs came roaring back.
Philadelphia left Kadarius Toney wide open to collect a five-yard pass from Mahomes and put Kansas City 28-27 up and then Toney produced a brilliant 65-yard punt return to set up a nearly identical play on the other side, with Skyy Moore the gleefully wide-open receiver.
But the Eagles responded again with Hurts hurling a 46-yard pass deep left to DeVonta Smith and the quarterback completed the drive with a two-yard run for his third rushing touchdown before adding a two-point conversion for good measure.
It was the first time a quarterback scored three rushing touchdowns in a Super Bowl.
The two-point conversion leveled the score at 35-35 with 5:15 left in the game but the Chiefs managed the clock masterfully.
A controversial late holding call against the Eagles James Bradberry gave the Chiefs a fresh set of downs near the Philadelphia line. And after Butker’s 27-yard field goal, there were just eight seconds left on the clock.
There was no time for a miracle and Mahomes, the two-time MVP became a two-time Super Bowl winner.
Banner image from Chiefs on Twitter.