Super Bowl MVP Mahomes rallies Chiefs to win on hurt ankle
Published 10:56 pm Sunday, February 12, 2023
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes and his ailing right ankle are headed for a Super Bowl victory parade.
After aggravating the sprained ankle he suffered three weeks ago Sunday, the All-Pro quarterback led the Kansas City Chiefs to a thrilling 38-35 come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to hoist his second Lombardi Trophy and earn Super Bowl MVP honors.
The league’s MVP finished with 182 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also had 44 yards rushing, including a 26-yard sprint with just over 2 minutes left in a 35-all game as Kansas City was driving for the winning score.
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Harrison Butker put the Chiefs on top with his 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds to go.
“He’s the MVP,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said about Mahomes. “That’s all that needs to be said: MVP.”
Mahomes reinjured his ankle late in the first half when Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards spun him to the ground. He lay there before getting up and hobbling off the field in a scene reminiscent of earlier in the playoffs.
Mahomes no doubt benefited from some extra treatment thanks to a longer halftime to allow for Rhianna’s performance inside State Farm Stadium. And by the time the field was cleared of the stage, No. 15 was at the head of the pack as he led the Chiefs back to the field, facing a 24-14 deficit but knowing they would get the opening kickoff.
Mahomes proceeded to march them 75 yards and Isiah Pacheco crashed into the end zone to close within 24-21. When the Eagles answered with a field goal, Mahomes led another 75-yard march and this time hit Kadarius Toney for the score.
A 65-yard punt return by Toney set up Mahomes’ 4-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Skyy Moore that made it 35-27.
Mahomes’ final scoring drive was pure guts.
The Eagles had just scored and made the 2-point conversion to knot the game 35-all with 5:15 left. Mahomes hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a first down, then hit Travis Kelce, before his long run got Kansas City into field-goal range. The Chiefs benefited from a defensive holding call on third-and-8, then got down to the goal line before killing the clock and sending Butker onto the field for the winner.
Mahomes’ ankle was a big question mark for the AFC championship game, when he only had a week to recover from the initial injury sustained in the divisional round against Jacksonville. But he insisted this week that he felt good on it, and Reid likewise said his star quarterback had no limitations for the Super Bowl.
Mahomes was moving around well in the first half Sunday, too. He scrambled for a big gain on Kansas City’s opening series and was doing a good job of buying time against the NFL’s top-ranked team in sacks this season.
Then came the fateful series, when the Chiefs were trying to match a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 21-14 lead.
Mahomes was flushed from the pocket, stepped forward and scrambled to his left, then Edwards lassoed him and spun him to the ground. Mahomes lay there for a moment with his facemask buried in the turf before getting to his feet and hobbling to the sideline in a near-carbon copy of the image from three weeks ago at Arrowhead Stadium.
Mahomes returned after halftime to lead the Chiefs to victory that night.
He did the same thing on the game’s biggest stage Sunday.
Phi–Hurts 1 run (Elliott kick), 10:09.
KC–T.Kelce 18 pass from Mahomes (Butker kick), 6:57.
Phi–A.Brown 45 pass from Hurts (Elliott kick), 14:52.
KC–Bolton 36 fumble return (Butker kick), 9:39.
Phi–Hurts 4 run (Elliott kick), 2:20.
Phi–FG Elliott 35, :00.
KC–Pacheco 1 run (Butker kick), 9:30.
Phi–FG Elliott 33, 1:45.
KC–Toney 5 pass from Mahomes (Butker kick), 12:04.
KC–Moore 4 pass from Mahomes (Butker kick), 9:22.
Phi–Hurts 2 run (Hurts run), 5:15.
KC–FG Butker 27, :08.
|Total Net Yards||340||417|
|Time of Possession||24:13||35:47|
RUSHING–Kansas City, Pacheco 15-76, Mahomes 6-44, McKinnon 4-34, Moore 1-4. Philadelphia, Hurts 15-70, Gainwell 7-21, Sanders 7-16, B.Scott 3-8.
PASSING–Kansas City, Mahomes 21-27-0-182. Philadelphia, Hurts 27-38-0-304.
RECEIVING–Kansas City, Smith-Schuster 7-53, Kelce 6-81, McKinnon 3-15, Ju.Watson 2-18, Gray 1-6, Toney 1-5, Moore 1-4. Philadelphia, Smith 7-100, Brown 6-96, Goedert 6-60, Gainwell 4-20, Pascal 2-11, B.Scott 1-9, Watkins 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–Kansas City, Butker 42.