LAS VEGAS — The first Super Bowl held in Las Vegas was perfectly dramatic for the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Patrick Mahomes was born for that stage. Destiny met dynasty in Super Bowl LVIII.
The Chiefs quarterback led Kansas City to its second straight Super Bowl title on Sunday, throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman Jr. with three seconds left in overtime for a 25-22 victory against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium.
It was also the Chiefs’ third Super Bowl title in five seasons.
Mahomes was in elementary school the last time a team won back-to-back Super Bowls. There were eight repeat winners during the first 39 Super Bowls, but none over the last 18. When New England defeated Philadelphia 24-21 on Feb. 6, 2005, for its second straight title in Super Bowl XXXIX, the losing coach was Andy Reid.
On Sunday, Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP for the third time, joining Tom Brady (five times) and Joe Montana (three) as the only three-time winners.
Now, Reid has hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the third time as the Chiefs coach.
After a slow start, Mahomes finished strong, completing 34 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns. His pass to Hardman ended a seesaw battle that saw four lead changes in the fourth quarter. Mahomes also rushed for 66 yards.
Travis Kelce, held to one catch in the first half, made nine catches during the second half and overtime for 92 yards.
Jake Moody kicked his third field goal with 7:22 left in overtime to give the 49ers a 22-19 lead, but Mahomes and the Chiefs would not be denied.
Super Bowl LI is the only other game in the series to go into overtime. New England rallied from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit to win 34-28 against Atlanta. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons in that game. He also was the coach in Super Bowl LIV, when the Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to defeat the 49ers 31-20.
Harrison Butker sent the game into overtime with his fourth field goal, a 29-yarder that tied the game at 19 with three seconds left in regulation.
Moody had kicked a 53-yard field goal with 1:54 left in regulation, giving the 49ers a 19-16 lead.
That was plenty of time for Mahomes, whose 22-yard pass to Kelce put the ball at the San Francisco 11 with 10 seconds left in regulation. That led to Butker’s game-tying kick.
The game had been billed as an offensive duel between Mahomes and San Francisco’s Brock Purdy. But for most of Sunday night’s game, defenses came up with the big plays.
The Chiefs trailed by 10 points during the first half before kicking a field goal shortly before the intermission. Kansas City also had two turnovers.
Butker kicked a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 16 with 5:46 left in regulation.
San Francisco converted a key fourth-down play early in the fourth quarter to regain the lead. Purdy completed a 3-yard pass to George Kittle, setting up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings with 11:22 left in regulation. But the extra point was blocked, and San Francisco led 16-13.
Jennings became the second player in Super Bowl history to throw and catch a touchdown pass. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles did it in Super Bowl LII.
The Chiefs got a big break with 2:32 left in the third quarter. A Kansas City punt hit the foot of a 49ers player, forcing rookie Darrell Luter to try to field the ball. It was recovered by Jaylen Watson at the San Francisco 16. Mahomes wasted no time, hitting Marquez Valdes-Scantling four seconds later on a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Chiefs their first lead, 13-10.
Moody’s Super Bowl field goal record was short-lived, as Harrison Butker sent a low line drive through the uprights for a 57-yarder that trimmed San Francisco’s lead to 10-6 with 5:01 left in the third quarter.
Mahomes and the Chiefs rebounded from a mostly lethargic first half but were unable to get a touchdown. Kansas City settled for a 28-yard field goal by Butker with 23 seconds left before intermission.
San Francisco grabbed a 10-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first half. Purdy tossed a lateral to Jennings, who then found Christian McCaffrey on the opposite side of the field for a 21-yard touchdown reception. It was McCaffrey’s ninth scoring pass of the postseason.
Mahomes completed a 53-yard pass to Hardman to the 49ers’ 9-yard line. Isiah Pacheco, the first running back since Tony Dorsett in 1977-78 to start Super Bowls in each of his first two seasons, fumbled on the next play and San Francisco recovered with 11:59 left in the half.
San Francisco took a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter when Moody kicked a Super Bowl-record 55-yard field goal with 14:48 left in the half. That mark would not last through the night.
The game between two of the NFL’s more efficient offenses ended in a scoreless tie after one quarter. San Francisco outgained the Chiefs in yardage, 125-16, during the opening period.
San Francisco opened strong and moved the ball into Chiefs territory on its first drive, but McCaffery’s fumble was recovered by Leo Chenal at the Kansas City 27.
By winning his third Super Bowl, Mahomes becomes the fifth quarterback to lead his team to at least three titles. He joins Tom Brady, with seven; Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, with four; and Troy Aikman, with three. The 28-year-old joins Aikman as the only quarterback to win three Super Bowls before his 30th birthday.
Mahomes also became the first player in the four major men’s professional sports with three championships and at least two league MVP awards in his first seven seasons, ESPN reported. Larry Bird did it with the NBA’s Boston Celtics between 1979 and 1986.
Kansas City remained unbeaten at Allegiant Stadium. The Chiefs are now 5-0 in Las Vegas, including a Week 12 victory against the Raiders earlier this season.
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