Sometimes you just need a little push to remember your greatness. Even though new players bring their own unique abilities and skills, the greats who have been around for a long time demonstrate why they should not be overlooked.
Even though many people have become accustomed to Patrick Mahomes’s magic, Sunday’s victory in Super Bowl LVII was just a small reminder of the man’s greatness.
In the 38-35 victory of the Kansas City Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles, Mahomes was able to add to his ever-expanding list of extraordinary performances despite suffering a serious injury to his ankle and facing what is arguably the best defense in the league.
He also enters rare territory at the age of 27.
Mahomes became the only quarterback in NFL history to win two Super Bowls and two league MVP awards in his first six seasons. Additionally, he established a new record by becoming the first Black quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls.
He is already being hailed as one of the game’s greats, whereas others may have longevity.
Just ask one of his favorite targets, Travis Kelce, who said that the quarterback will be the “best to ever do it when it’s all said and done” and is the “best to do it right now.” Their touchdown catch from Mahomes was their 14th touchdown playoff connection as a pair, the second most in postseason history.
He even came up with an appropriate name for Mahomes, giving him the nickname “M-V-Pat” right after the team won in Arizona.
Mahomes, as always, maintained his modesty. Mahomes stated, “I mean, I told y’all before this season, we got coach Andy Reid, we got guys like Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, Frank Clark.”
“We’re gonna be the Kansas City Chiefs! At the end of the day, we’re gonna be the Kansas City Chiefs, and we’re gonna celebrate this right here, baby! We’re gonna celebrate this the right way!”
‘He wants to be the greatest player ever’
Just over a month ago, Mahomes’ season appeared to be over.
He suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which required him to seek medical attention and caused him to miss time during the game. Even though he helped the Chiefs win, it looked like the ankle might be a big problem.
Even though he had to walk around against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game, Kansas City won the game thanks to his accuracy in the air.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP appeared to have reaggravated his ankle injury in the second quarter against the Eagles. Television cameras captured him grimacing in pain on the sideline and hobbling to the locker room at halftime. Just when things appeared to be going his way, with all of the hard work put in and Mahomes looking sprightly again at State Farm Stadium, he appeared to have reaggravated his injury.
It appeared as though Kansas City was losing its chance to become the next NFL dynasty as the Chiefs trailed by 10 points and Mahomes was injured once more.
However, the man’s hour comes with 30 minutes remaining in the 2022 season.
After Rihanna’s performance, Mahomes came out for the second half like a madman, completing 13 of 14 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns to pull the team out of a hole.
After the game, Mahomes stated, “We just challenged each other, man, to leave everything out there, and I don’t wanna say we played tight in the first half, but you didn’t see that same joy that we play with.”
“And I wanted guys to just know that everything we worked for is for this moment. You have to enjoy this moment. You can’t let the moment overtake you. And I thought the guys did that in the second half and they fought to the very end. That’s all you can ask. These guys leave everything they have on the football field.”
It was yet another masterpiece in Mahomes’ collection that we have come to admire.
With the assistance of head coach Andy Reid and tight end Kelce, Mahomes appears to have the answer for every time you write him off.
Reid cited his quarterback’s professional demeanor as a result of his father’s time playing Major League Baseball as a contributing factor after the Eagles were defeated.
Reid explained, “[Mahomes] grew up in a locker room, he’s seen the greats and he strives to be the greatest.” That’s how he does things, without saying anything.
“I mean, he wants to be the greatest player ever. That’s what he wants to do and that’s the way he goes about his business and he does it humbly. I mean, there’s no bragging. He could stand up here and give you these stats that are incredible that he’s had but he’s never gonna do that. That’s just not him. We appreciate that.
“And then when it’s time for the guys around [him] to raise their game, he helps them with that. The great quarterbacks make everybody around them better including the head coach. So he’s done a heck of a job.”
Just the beginning?
Although this is only Mahomes’ sixth season in the league, he continues to accumulate accolades and statistics.
The former Texas Tech quarterback finished with 182 passing yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Eagles, earning him his second Pete Rozelle Trophy, which is given to the Super Bowl MVP.
He has consistently finished as the league leader in passing yards and touchdowns ever since his 2018 season, when he won the NFL MVP award for his first season as a starter; During the regular season this year, he threw for 5,250 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, and just 12 interceptions.
He has established himself as the standard for quarterbacks his age and has already surpassed many of his great predecessors with his two Super Bowl rings and two MVP awards.
He is the first player since Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams in 1999 to win both the MVP and the Super Bowl in the same year. He also has a chance to join Tom Brady and Troy Aikman, two great former Dallas quarterbacks, in winning three Super Bowls in their first seven seasons.
If not for Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, he could have already won three championships. According to Mahomes, the loss was a learning experience for a young quarterback who was enjoying a high point at the time.
“The first Super Bowl I thought was, I mean obviously I didn’t win it the first year that I started, but I thought the first Super Bowl was just kind of like: ‘Oh, this is amazing.’ Like we won the Super Bowl, like this is happy, like a little kid winning a prize at the fair,” he said.
“Whereas this one, you’ve dealt with failure, you understand how hard it is to get back on this stage and to win this game. I mean, I played the Super Bowl where I got blown out where it was, I got all hyped up and then you go out there and you don’t do anything.
“Then I lose the AFC Championship game in overtime when I thought we had a chance to win the Super Bowl that year and have a full brand-new team and have to go through the strain of being better and better every single day. It gives you a greater appreciation for winning this game.”
However, watching him in person or on television is a true demonstration of a master at work that goes beyond the numbers and awards.
Mahomes has developed into a walking highlight reel, whether it’s a scramble away from an approaching rusher when it appeared impossible to escape or a pass with an arm angle that leaves you incredulous at how he produced such power and accuracy.
We may also be witnessing the early stages of what could be the career of the best quarterback in NFL history, given that he still has three years to go before turning 30 and that sports stars typically perform well into their fourth decade.