The Kansas City Chiefs fought back to beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime and win their third Super Bowl in five years.
The 49ers came into the first Super Bowl held in Las Vegas as the slight favourites and were twice on the brink of victory at Allegiant Stadium.
A last-gasp field goal by the Chiefs made it 19-19 to send the game into overtime, and although the 49ers edged back in front, Patrick Mahomes’ touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman meant defending champions Kansas City cemented their status as the first NFL dynasty since the New England Patriots.
The Chiefs have reached four of the past five Super Bowls and became the first team to win back-to-back titles since the Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
At just 28, Mahomes has become the sixth quarterback in NFL history to win three or more Super Bowls, while Andy Reid has become the fifth coach to win three or more. Tight end Travis Kelce labelled Reid “the greatest coach this game has ever seen” afterwards.
While Kansas City’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles last season was a high-scoring epic, this will be seen as a classic by anyone who likes to see defences get on top, with San Francisco leading 10-3 at half-time.
But Mahomes still proved the difference, steering the Chiefs within range to make their game-tying field goal before keeping alive the nail-biting drive which resulted in Hardman’s touchdown.
This year’s Super Bowl attracted arguably more interest than ever before, with the US television audience expected to eclipse the record 115 million for Kansas City’s win over the Eagles last year.
This was the first Super Bowl to be held in the entertainment capital of the world, Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at the end-of-season awards ceremony in Vegas on Thursday and then there’s Taylor Swift.
The music superstar’s relationship with Kelce has brought a wealth of new fans to the Chiefs and the NFL in general, and there have even been conspiracy theories about the team’s play-off run being rigged to maintain that new interest and help get US President Joe Biden re-elected.
Kelce, 34, ended the game with 93 receiving yards, with Mahomes passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns.
WHAT THEY SAID
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes: “The whole game was just a microcosm of our entire season. The defence kept us in there, with the offence making plays when it counted. I’m just so proud of the guys.
“I know we’re going to celebrate tonight, but we’re not done. We’ve got a young team and we’re going to keep this thing going.”
On Andy Reid: “I believe he’s the best coach of all time. I know he doesn’t have the trophies yet, but the way he’s able to navigate every single team he has, continue to have success no matter where he’s at – I don’t think I’d be the quarterback that I am if I didn’t have coach Reid as my head coach.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid: “Our defence played out of their mind. Our offence just kept persevering – kept pushing and pushing. I am so proud of the whole crew.”