Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes leads Kansas City to Super Bowl as he leans on faith

Following a 50-year wait, the Kansas City Chiefs are headed back to the Super Bowl. They won the AFC championship game Sunday over the Tennessee Titans, 35-24, the secure the franchise’s first Super Bowl berth since 1970, when they beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

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Sunday’s victory starred — not surprisingly — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the defending NFL MVP who threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns while also leading his team in rushing. He had eight carries for 53 yards and another touchdown, a 27-yard scamper with 11 seconds left in the first half that gave Kansas City its first lead, which it would not relinquish.

Mahomes’ performance follows his 321 yards and five TDs last week against Houston. In the 24-year-old’s short, three-year NFL career, during which he’s been a starter only two seasons, he has now played four playoff games and passed for 1,118 passing yards and 11 touchdowns with zero interceptions.

His next postseason performance will come against San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2 in Miami. By getting to the Super Bowl in just his third season, Mahomes becomes just the third player ever to do that and win an MVP in his first three seasons, according to CBS. Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Dan Marino are the other two.

Pretty impressive for a kid who starred under the Friday night lights of high school football in Texas — but even more impressive for a kid who nearly quit football. Before his junior year of high school, Mahomes he felt he hadn’t been given a fair shot at being the Whitehouse High quarterback. Also a gifted basketball and baseball player, Mahomes thought he might be better off focusing on one of those sports. But according to Sports Illustrated, his mother, Randi, urged him to pray about his decision on football. He ultimately stayed with it, excelled and signed on at Texas Tech before getting selected 10th overall by the Chiefs in the 2017 draft.

Mahomes’ faith in God began to take shape soon after his parents divorced. In seventh grade, he chose to get baptized because he wanted “to become a man in church,” Randi told The Ringer. As success and fame have come his way in the NFL, his mother continues to encourage him to pray.

“I want him to stay humble; that means a lot to me,” Randi told KSHB in Kansas City last season. “I always encourage him to pray and to thank God for his blessings that he has and his abilities.”

Mahomes did just that when he was awarded last season’s NFL MVP award.

“This season was special and there were a lot of people that helped me get to this point,” he said in his acceptance speech. “First, I just want to thank God because without Him none of this would even be here.”

He followed up on social media:

After his rookie season in 2017, Mahomes was asked about his faith by FSPN.

“My faith has always been a big part of what I do,” Mahomes said. “… I’ve grown up in church and [faith] really helps you know why you’re playing the game, and who you’re doing it for.”

Boasting the superior quarterback, Kansas City opened as the slight favorite to win Super Bowl LIV shortly after the teams won their conference championship games.

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