Patrick Mahomes did it again.
Kansas City’s superstar quarterback rallied his team to a victory in overtime over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58 on Sunday at Allegiant Field in Las Vegas.
Mahomes found Mecole Hardman for a three-yard touchdown with three seconds left in the first overtime to give KC a 25-22 come-from-behind victory.
It is Kansas City’s third Super Bowl championship in five years and cements its position as the league’s next dynasty.
The 49ers had gone ahead 22-19 midway through the overtime period on a 27-yard field goal by Jake Moody.
The game was only the second in Super Bowl history to be decided in overtime.
Mahomes, who has guided KC to all of its recent Super Bowl appearances, was chosen the game’s most valuable player.
He completed 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns and was chosen the MVP for the third time. At one point, his team trailed by 10 points.
The victory was the third in the Super Bowl for KC’s 65-year-old coach Andy Reid and the first back-to-back NFL championships since the New England Patriots did it in 2004 and 2005.
The game featured four field goals by KC’s Harrison Butker and three by San Francisco’s Jake Moody. Early on, Moody set a Super Bowl record with a 55-yarder that was later eclipsed by a kick from Butker from 57 yards.
The 49ers had hoped to win their sixth Super Bowl overall but first since 1995.
Brock Purdy, their second-year quarterback, played well in defeat. The 252nd and last player chosen in the 2022 draft, completed 23 of 38 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown.
Christian McCaffery, who led the league in rushing, gained 80 yards on the ground and 80 on receptions.
After a quiet first half, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce led all receivers with nine catches for 93 yards.
The game was the annual spectacle as expected but not necessarily a classic – at least until the end.
It was riddled with miscues, turnovers and penalties.
It was the first Super Bowl staged in Las Vegas and, as such, the build-up beforehand was crazy. At least one Elvis was certainly in the building and so was Taylor Swift. The Grammy-winning pop star performed at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday and then flew nearly 10,000 kilometres to Las Vegas – crossing nine time zones and the international dateline – to cheer for her beau Kelce, KC’s star tight end.
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton performed at an outdoor venue and Post Malone sang America the Beautiful. Alicia Keys, Lil Jon and Ludacris joined Usher during the half-time show. Celebrities in the crowd included Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Wayne Newton, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James.
The 49ers got first downs on their first four plays but then turned the ball over on a fumble by McCaffrey. On their next drive they got another first down on the first play – and then were called for penalties on three of the next five snaps.
Meanwhile, Kansas City and Mahomes failed to get untracked. It punted three times and coughed up a fumble on its first four drives. At the end of a first quarter with no points, San Francisco had 125 yards to KC’s 16.
On the second play of the second quarter, Moody kicked a Super Bowl-record 55-yard field goal to take a 3-0 advantage. It completed a 10-play 46-yard drive that included completions by Purdy of 18 yards to Chris Conley and 19 yards to Ray-Ray McLoud.
The 49ers widened their lead 10-0 on a trick play with 4:23 to go before intermission. Purdy took the snap from centre, threw a pass behind the line of scrimmage to wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who then found McCaffrey for a 21-yard score.
KC finally showed some life and went to halftime trailing 10-3 after Butker chipped in a field goal from 28 yards out with 20 seconds left.
After a stagnant beginning to the second half, Kansas City got on the board for a second time, again on a field goal by Butker. The kick came from 57 yards and eclipsed the Super Bowl record that Moody established in the first half. It ended a nine-play drive that covered 47 yards and came with 5:01 left in the third quarter.
A turnover set up KC’s first touchdown and a 13-10 lead. McCloud fumbled on an attempted punt return deep in his own territory after teammate Darrell Luter Jr. had the ball deflect off his leg. Mahomes found Marquez Valdez-Scantling for 16 yards with 2:28 to go in the third.
San Francisco had been stymied in the second half but Purdy presided over a 75-yard drive that ended on a 10-yard pass to Jennings. The extra-point kick was blocked, however, so the 49ers held a 16-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Butker added a third-field goal – this time from 24 yards – and the game was tied at 16-16 with 5:46 to go. Then Moody made a 53-yarder with 1:53 left and the 49ers held a 19-16 lead.
But Mahomes then drove his team 75 yards in 1 minute 50 seconds to set up a 29-yard field by Butker to tie it at 19-19 with three seconds remaining in the first overtime.
In the end, the game was a cliffhanger decided late. Until then, the big story was everything else in Las Vegas this past weekend.
The strip was gridlocked by football fans who paid an average US$8,600 each for a ticket to the big game. To celebrate, Allegiant Airlines, the stadium sponsor, offered US$58 fares on all of its routes. And a local wedding chapel promised to marry any couples named Taylor and Travis for free.
The Super Bowl has fairly well become a national holiday in the United States. A record 114 million American viewers were expected to watch on television, along with 17.5 million Canadians, a record for the most-watched TV event in the country’s history. The existing mark is 16.7 million for the 2010 Olympic gold-medal hockey game in Vancouver.
This year advertisers paid US$7-million for a 30-second spot. In 1967, the Super Bowl’s first year, the price was $40,000. Among others, hockey great Mark Messier was featured in a commercial to highlight a new flavour of potato chip from Lay’s as the kickoff to its “Betcha Can’t Pick Just One” campaign.
Super Bowl Sunday has also become an eating and drinking fest. LegalBet Canada, a website that monitors online betting, predicted that Americans would swill 325.5 million gallons of beer, enough to fill 492 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Twenty-nine million pounds of chips would be eaten, along with 12.5 million pizzas and 1.38 billion wings.
Gamblers, of which there are many, made San Francisco a slight favourite entering the skirmish. The American Gaming Association expected a record 67.8-million Americans to bet an estimated US$23.1-billion on the contest and whacky things around it.
Among those so-called “prop” bets were a number around Swift: How many times would she be shown during the broadcast?; Would her navel appear?; What colour lipstick would she wear? and, Would Travis propose after the game?
Other wagers available included which song Usher would sing first during his 13-minute halftime show, how long would it take Reba McEntire to perform The Star-Spangled Banner and what colour sports drink would be poured on the winning coach. Perhaps the oddest of all: Would the coin, when flipped before the game, land on the ground? Somewhere out there somebody expected a bird to swoop in and fly off with it at the last second.
For the record, Swift – who, it can be said, won a Super Bowl in her rookie season – wore a black-cropped corset, red lipstick and a #87 necklace.