MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Patrick Mahomes looked human for three and half quarters. But down, 20-10, with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, facing third-and-a-mile, he became a legend.
Up until that point, San Francisco had played nearly a flawless game and their defense was putting on a clinic. Through three quarters, Patrick Mahomes only had 145 passing yards (!), zero touchdowns, and one terrible interception. The Niners had a 93.8% chance to win before the ball was snapped… Then Mahomes received the snap from shotgun and proceeded to take a seven-step-drop before letting the home-run ball fly. Hill started to the left of Mahomes in the slot and tracked the ball on his deep-out route toward the sideline, where he had to wait a split-second while the ball was in flight, before making the biggest play in Chiefs history.
From there the flood gates opened. Mahomes went on to throw for 141 yards in the fourth quarter and 2 TD’s, finishing the game with 286 yards, 2 TD’s, 2 INT’s, 29 rush yards, and 1 rushing touchdown. He was “Magic Mahomes” as announcer Joe Buck described during one of his dazzling plays in the final minutes.
“Coach [Andy Reid] pushes us to be the best people we can be and never give up,” Mahomes said in an interview, following the game. “I’ve been waiting to say it my whole life: I’m going to Disney World.”
While Mahomes, Head Coach Andy Reid, and the rest of Chiefs nation was celebrating their Super Bowl victory. In the basement of the Hard Rock Stadium, Mahomes counterpart, Jimmy Garoppolo, was filled with regret and on the brink of tears. Because even after all of the “Mahomes Magic”, he was the one with the opportunity to have the last laugh; Down 24-20, with just over two minutes remaining in the game, San Francisco Wide Reciever Emmanuel Sanders broke from the pack on a fade route and was open for what would have been a walk-in touchdown, but, Garoppolo missed him.
“We missed some shots tonight,” Garoppolo said. “Some plays that we usually make. That was a tough one out there.”
A couple of minutes later, the Niners dream season would come to an end in heartbreaking fashion, losing 31-20 after leading 20-10. Former Atlanta Falcon Offensive Coordinator and current 49er Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, who was caught on camera visibly frustrated following Garoppolo’s overthrow of Saunders, has now been apart of the two biggest collapses in Super Bowl history: Blowing a 28-3 lead vs. the Patriots in Super Bowl ‘LI’ and a 10 point lead vs. the Chiefs last night.
“S—, it was brutal. I don’t know how to describe it. It just sucked.” Said Niners tight end George Kittle on Shanahan’s message to his team following the game. “Kyle was great, though. That’s one thing I do like about Kyle is, he keeps it real, all the time. I love playing for him.”
After taking his time in the locker room consoling his players, the disappointed head coach finally made his way to the podium. “They’re just hurting. Guys put it all out there. They’ve done it all year from the first game to the last game. It’s a real close team. Everyone is disappointed, and they should be. I wouldn’t expect anything different. Guys put their heart into the season and came up one game short. Extremely proud of us and everything, but this is going to take a little time to get over — but we’ll be alright.”
But if there’s anyone who knows how Shanahan is feeling, it’s Andy Reid. Who up until last night “had never won the big one” despite five trips to the semi-final round throughout his career.
But that’s all over now, he won the big game and rather than enjoying what the Miami Nightclub scene has to offer, the 61-year-old ball coach is celebrating by “going to go get the biggest cheeseburger you’ve ever seen,” Reid said after the game doused in orange Gatorade (which hit at +450 odds in most sportsbooks across the country). “I’ll find the biggest one. It might be a double.”
For some, there might be an asterisk inscribed on the Chiefs Lombardi Trophy, after a few controversial calls bounced their way, most notably, an offensive PI called on the Niners’ Kittle right before the half, costing San Fran a surefire three points before half. “The ref made the call, I gotta live with it,” Kittle told reporters after the loss.
This young Niners group will their shot at redemption for year’s to come against Mahomes and the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs, but for now, it stings.
As for Kansas City, with red and yellow confetti filling the air, the last thing on their mind right is defending the title, but after winning their first in over 50 years in such dramatic fashion, we can only hope they will be a fixture in this game for years to come.
On a night filled with stars like Shakira, Bad Bunny (I didn’t know who that was until I looked it up afterward) and Jennifer Lopez, a 24-year-old kid from Tyler, Texas stole the show.
“It’s like watching Denzel in a movie. It’s like watching LeBron James in the playoffs,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said after the game. “He has that spark. For him to be that young and to find the confidence to do what he did against a special defense, that tells you everything you need to know about that man.”
“Thank you Kansas City, we did it baby,” Mahomes, now a Super Bowl champion yelled to the crowd after the game.
P.S. I’m 20 going on 21 years old and every time some new “young gun” comes onto the sporting scene and accomplishes great things, I feel like a complete loser (probably justifiably). So thanks for that Patrick.