Football fans know of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for being a highlight reel and putting up numbers that make fantasy league owners rich. He makes things happen when he is out on the field, and he puts on great performances every week in the football season since he became a revelation last year.
Mahomes never stumbled so far as an NFL player on and off the field. He performs on a big stage, and he says the right things. No one criticized him so far.
He knows he is not immune to criticism in an industry where fans and media members are quick to criticize in a hot take society. He understood he had to play well in Super Bowl LIV to keep the honeymoon going heading to the game.
Mahomes struggled at times in the game on Sunday. The 49ers defensive line kept hitting him until it hurt. He knew he had to find a way no matter what. He couldn’t take no for an answer. That’s the difference between a good and a great quarterback right there. No one wanted to hear how much of a tough time he had. That’s the life of an NFL quarterback.
The fourth quarter would define his stature. He passed the test by leading the Chiefs to a 31-20 comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium. He threw two touchdowns in that quarter for 114 yards and a 129.5 passer rating. He earned respect more than ever by the way he rallied his team despite not playing great and being hit.
One can say Damien Williams should have won the Super Bowl MVP after rushing for a touchdown (38-yard touchdown run that put the finish of this game) and catching for a touchdown for 104 yards on 17 carries, but after watching Mahomes lead the Chiefs last night, it’s hard to argue with the decision. Without his fourth quarter performance, the 49ers would be hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, not Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Mahomes and the Chiefs. Quite frankly, he deserved it. That’s the way it works with quarterbacks where they take the credit and blame.
Not even Williams can quibble about this decision. In fact, he wouldn’t have mind knowing his quarterback’s fourth quarter play is why he has a Super Bowl LIV ring on his finger.
On a night like this, Mahomes earned all the accolades that are given to him. He showed why he is the real deal when he put on a mediocre performance against a tough defensive line. He displayed toughness by bouncing right back after throwing two interceptions in the game, including an interception to start the fourth quarter when he attempted to throw to Tyreek Hill just to be intercepted by Tarvarius Moore. It’s why he added a championship on what should be an impressive resume.
We all know he has the talent going back to his days at Texas Tech, but now we know he has the heart of a champion. No more doubting him anymore. No more questioning his worth.
Of course, we can be fickle. All he has to do is stumble, and critics will come up in droves. It’s the society we live in, but right now, it’s hard to think he will do any of that.
Mahomes is too good and tough to stumble.
None of this could have been surprising. Everyone expected him to deliver after engineering a 24-0 comeback deficit against the Houston Texans in the divisional playoffs and a 17-10 comeback deficit against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game. Sure, the 49ers boast better credentials than the Texans and Titans with that line, but the Chiefs quarterback is so good that he gets the benefit of the doubt.
Fair amount of people picked the Chiefs to win this game because Mahomes would have been a difference maker here. Sure, he would struggle like any quarterback going up against the 49ers defensive line, but he was good enough to make some plays to get it done. He did exactly that in the fourth quarter by going 8-for-13.
To say this was Mahomes’ greatest win of his career is an understatement. Here’s what scary: He is only 24 years old, and the game becomes easy for him with experience. No question he will win more than one Super Bowl ring. Sure we said the same thing about Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, but Mahomes displays the toughness factor that neither of those two have.
All’s left now for Mahomes is to see where he ranks with the all-time greats at his position. Can he pass Tom Brady for being the best quarterback ever when all is said and done? His story just got started, and more chapters of his stories career should be ahead. That’s the beauty of it. We can’t get enough of it, either.
No wonder Fox analyst Troy Aikman said when the game is over that Mahomes is now the face of the NFL.
The Chiefs quarterback showed why in Super Bowl LIV.