By Brian Costello
(MAINNEWS) – GLENDALE, Ariz. — Patrick Mahomes took another step toward immortality on Sunday night, this one with a limp.
Mahomes overcame aggravating his sprained right ankle in the first half to lead a second-half comeback for the Chiefs in a 38-35 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl 57. The Chiefs trailed by 10 points at halftime but Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the second half and led Kansas City to a game-winning field goal drive in the final minutes.
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made a 27-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining in the game to give the Chiefs their third Lombardi Trophy and second in four years.
Butker scored the game-winner, but Mahomes was the hero.
Three days after winning his second league MVP award, the 27-year-old from Tyler, Texas won his second Super Bowl and added to his legend.
Playing on an ankle injury he suffered three weeks ago in the divisional round of the playoffs, Mahomes reinjured the ankle just before halftime when Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards tackled him and his ankle rolled. Mahomes limped off the field but did not miss a snap or a beat.
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He led the Chiefs down the field on a touchdown drive to open the second half, running the ball when he had to escape pressure.
On the game-winning drive, Mahomes ran for 28 yards and put the Chiefs into field-goal range with 2:30 left to play. With the score tied 35-35, the Chiefs then got help from Eagles cornerback James Bradberry on third down when he was penalized for holding to give the Chiefs a new set of downs. That set up Butker’s game-winning kick.
Mahomes finished 21 of 27 passing for 182 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 44 yards.
The Eagles dominated the first half, setting the tone on the first series of the game, going 75 yards on 11 plays on a drive that was capped with a 1-yard sneak for a touchdown by Jalen Hurts. The Eagles’ quarterback used his arm and his legs on the drive with passes of 23 yards and 13 yards and runs of 11 and the 1-yard touchdown.
Kansas City answered on its first possession with Mahomes connecting with Travis Kelce twice, the second pass an 18-yard touchdown to tie it up 7-7.
Hurts showed his arm on the first play of the second quarter when he threw a 45-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Brown, who made a nice adjustment on the ball to catch it while cornerback Trent McDuffie seemed to lose sight of the ball.
The Chiefs could not do anything offensively but got a defensive touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 in the second quarter. The defensive score came when Hurts fumbled as he tried to shift the ball from one arm to the other on a run and lost control of the ball. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton scooped the ball up and raced 36 yards for the tying touchdown.
Hurts was unfazed by his blunder, though, and opened the next series with a 14-yard run. He then converted a fourth-and-5 with a 28-yard run, eluding a shoestring tackle from Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna. The Eagles converted another fourth down at the Kansas City 8 when Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi was penalized for a neutral-zone infraction. Hurts then ran it in from 4 yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the game and third overall to give Philadelphia a 21-14 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half.
The game then looked like it was taking a drastic turn with 1:33 remaining when Mahomes scrambled and was tackled by Edwards. As he was going down, Mahomes’ right ankle turned, the same ankle he injured three weeks ago in a playoff win over the Jaguars. Mahomes got up limping badly and was in clear pain on the sideline.
The Eagles got the ball back and were able to get a 35-yard field goal from Jake Elliott as time expired in the half to go up 24-14 at halftime. Hurts accounted for 246 of the Eagles’ 270 total yards in that opening half.
Mahomes led the Chiefs onto the field after halftime and looked like he was favoring the ankle a bit while warming up but did not miss a play. He showed no ill effects from the injury, escaping pressure and throwing to Kelce for 11 yards on one play and then rolling right and hitting Justin Watson on another. He then scrambled 14 yards to get the Chiefs inside the 10. Running back Isiah Pacheco scored from the 1-yard line to cut the score to 24-21.
Elliott extended the lead to 27-21 with just under two minutes left in the third quarter by hitting a 33-yard field goal.
Mahomes got the ball back and marched the Chiefs 75 yards on nine plays, connecting with JuJu Smith-Schuster four times on the drive that ended with Mahomes hitting former Giant Kadarius Toney for a 5-yard touchdown and a 28-27 lead. Toney was wide open after motioning in and then breaking outside, leaving Eagles cornerback Darius Slay inside. It was the first time the Chiefs led in the game.
The Chiefs’ defense then came up with a stop, forcing a three-and-out from the Eagles. Philly punted on fourth-and-3 from its 32. Toney was again a hero, returning the punt 65 yards through major traffic to the Eagles’ 5-yard line. Three plays later, Mahomes connected with a wide open Skyy Moore for a touchdown and a 35-27 Chiefs lead.
It felt like the Chiefs had taken control of the game but then Hurts responded with a 45-yard pass to DeVonta Smith, who was wide open, to get the Eagles to the 1-yard line. Hurts ran it in for his third rushing touchdown of the game and then also scored the two-point conversion to tie the game 35-35 with 5:15 remaining, setting up the final dramatic minutes.