National Football League
Patrick Mahomes' superhuman effort rallies Chiefs to Super Bowl 2023 title
National Football League

Patrick Mahomes' superhuman effort rallies Chiefs to Super Bowl 2023 title

Updated Feb. 13, 2023 10:57 a.m. ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Wincing with pain, hobbling on an injured ankle and facing a fearsome opposing defense and a (mostly) unflappable rival quarterback, Patrick Mahomes proved that still only one truth matters.

At times, when things break a certain way, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is unstoppable.

That’s how it was at State Farm Stadium, with Mahomes leading the Chiefs to a second championship in four seasons, an epic 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

It was a stunning turn of events, courtesy of a second-half rally sparked by the brilliance and tenacity of the two-time NFL MVP.


"He’s the MVP," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Mahomes. "That’s all that needs to be said. MVP. And you saw it tonight."

Mired in a 10-point hole before Rihanna did her thing at halftime, things couldn't have looked bleaker for Kansas City. Mahomes’ final action prior to the interval saw him tripped to the ground, his right ankle — already sprained — twisting beneath him.

By the time he returned for the second half, Mahomes was recovered enough and ready enough to launch into a touchdown drive that changed the momentum of the contest.

"I told you all this week there’s nothing that’s going to keep me off that football field," Mahomes said. "I just want a shoutout to my teammates — we challenged each other, we needed everyone to win this football game — so shoutout to my teammates. We’re Super Bowl champs!"

Mahomes claimed another Super Bowl ring, again winning the game's MVP award, and giving the Chiefs one to accompany the title from three years ago, back when the world was very different, and all things seemed possible for the exhilarating young QB.

There have been a couple of frustrating years in between, but the fact has never wavered that Mahomes at his best is a problem for which there is no solution, however hard and imaginatively Nick Sirianni and the Eagles tried.

Patrick Mahomes leads game-winning drive

With the score tied at 35-35, Patrick Mahomes drove the Chiefs for the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl LVII. Mahomes' 26-yard run on a bad ankle keyed the march.

Nothing in football can turn a game more quickly than the Mahomes-Reid combo, but it wasn’t easy. More than that even, for long stretches this contest had a very Philadelphia kind of feel to it.

Jalen Hurts took the NFC champion down the field on the opening drive of the game before being shoved over the line as the Eagles showed why they’d been so dominant during the regular season.

But Mahomes responded quickly and soon hit his stride. He found Travis Kelce early in his first drive of the afternoon and did so again to finish it off, a perfect back-shoulder toss that the big tight end comfortably collected in the end zone.

Hurts was rolling too, though, and would end the night with three rushing TDs, another passing one and a run for a two-point conversion. He didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. Someone had to be.

"Put some respect on our name"

Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce talk with Erin Andrews about overcoming a 10-point halftime deficit.

After Harrison Butker doinked a field goal against the upright, Hurts used the first play of the second quarter to let one fly form midfield, and A.J. Brown maneuvered himself into position to take a diving catch in the end zone.

Soon after, K.C. benefited from a slice of fortune that will long be remembered. 

Hurts felt pressure, transferred the ball between his hands and had it slip away. Nick Bolton picked it up and took it to the house, and suddenly things were even when the Eagles had been eyeing a healthy lead.

But Hurts was unflappable. Another scoring drive ensued, including a 28-yard scramble on fourth down, and the Eagles also added a field goal to go ahead 24-14 at the break.

With Mahomes limping, there was a clear favorite. We should have known better.

History speaks to how Mahomes can never be counted out. Neither can the Chiefs, and the start of the third quarter was one of those inevitable drives with only one outcome. 

Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco took it home after Mahomes was fearless in going the length of the field. The QB ran when medical sensibility would have advised otherwise and threw with pinpoint accuracy.

"Mahomes is the MVP. That's all that needs to be said"

Andy Reid credits Patrick Mahomes for leading the Chiefs to the franchise's third Super Bowl championship.

The Eagles followed with a field goal, but Mahomes was hitting his stride now, and his targets were finding just enough space.

Kadarius Toney scored on a short pass, then ran back a critical punt return – the longest in Super Bowl history – minutes later to put the Chiefs near the doorstep. Mahomes then found Skyy Moore to put the Chiefs up 35-27, and the Eagles looked spent.

Not quite. Hurts had a final salvo left, a huge heave and a brilliant Devonta Smith catch set up a TD and the tying two-point conversion.

Ultimately, though, it just set up Mahomes for the final effort — one that will sit squarely in the fable of his career legacy. There were big moments, none bigger than his hobbling sprint up the middle with 2:20 left, which enable the Chiefs to control the end. 

Holding penalty extends drive

James Bradberry's controversial holding call on JuJu Smith-Schuster helped position Kansas City for the game-winning kick.

A pass interference call helped, and Butker was able to slot the winning kick home as the seconds ticked away.

It was an epic triumph in what was a truly epic game. Centered around one reality: Patrick Mahomes has the edge, always. This time, once again, he made the most of it.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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