MIAMI, Fla. — Patrick Mahomes keeps rewriting the NFL history books, and the wait for the Chiefs — and for their head coach — is finally over. A half-century after winning their first, the Kansas City Chiefs have won Super Bowl LIV, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Mahomes, last year’s league MVP, is now a Super Bowl MVP. He has joined Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to hoist a Lombardi Trophy before their 25th birthday.
At 24 years and 138 days old on Sunday, Mahomes became the fifth-youngest quarterback to start in the Super Bowl. He’s also now the youngest player to win both an NFL MVP award and a Super Bowl title, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (24 years, 233 days old on the last day of his MVP 1993 season).
Mahomes is the third African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl, joining Doug Williams (with Washington in Super Bowl XXII in 1988) and Russell Wilson (Seattle, Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014).
And it’s the first title for Andy Reid, 61, who up until Sunday night had been known as the best head coach to have never won a Super Bowl or NFL championship. This was his second Super Bowl appearance in his 21-year head coaching career.
Now, with career win No. 222, Reid is a champion. He broke the record for the most wins (including the playoffs) by a head coach before winning a Super Bowl or NFL championship, surpassing 2020 Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Cowher’s 152 wins.
“Nobody deserves this trophy more than Andy Reid,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said.
It wasn’t easy for the Chiefs. For the third straight game, Kansas City trailed by double digits, down 20-10 in the fourth quarter. That was, in part, because Mahomes was pressured by the 49ers defensive front and was sacked four times.
With 5:23 left in the third quarter, Mahomes made his first big mistake, throwing his first career postseason interception, setting up a 49ers touchdown to make it 20-10. He was picked off again on Kansas City’s next possession, with a Mahomes throw going behind wide receiver Tyreek Hill and snared by Tarvarius Moore.
Mahomes’ 11 passing touchdowns without an interception was the most to start a playoff career in the Super Bowl era.
“They’re one of the best defenses that I’ve been up against in my career so far,” Mahomes said of the 49ers.
But as it got late, Mahomes got to work, with three straight touchdown drives in just over five minutes.
With 6:13 left, Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the endzone to cut it to 3. And with 2:44 remaining, Mahomes hit Damien Williams with a 5-yard pass for the go-ahead score. It was a play that would be reviewed, as it appeared Williams may have stepped out of bounds before the ball crossed the plane, but the call stood.
On that drive, Mahomes went 5-for-5 for 60 yards. For the night, Mahomes completed 26 of his 42 passes for 286 yards.
A breakaway touchdown run of 38 yards by Williams put the game away with 1:12 left.
“We never give up,” Mahomes said. “I think those guys, the leaders that we have on this team, they have that mindset that we never give up and we’re going to fight until the end.
“Thank you, Kansas City. We did it, baby!”
The Chiefs were in their first Super Bowl in 50 years, with their previous title coming in Super Bowl IV.
The loss ends what had been a successful turnaround for the 49ers, who became the third team to reach the Super Bowl after winning four games or less the previous season, joining the 1999 St. Louis Rams (4-12 in 1998) and the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals (4-11 in 1987). In 2018, the 49ers limped to a 4-12 finish when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in the third game of the year.
This was the first Super Bowl as a head coach for San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan, the 40-year-old son of two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan. They are the only father-son duo to each appear in a Super Bowl as a head coach in NFL history.