It took 50 years of waiting and another double-digit deficit for the Kansas City Chiefs to prevail in Super Bowl LIV. They defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in Miami, 31-20.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes gave Kansas City its first lead late in the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown run, but the game was tied at 10 going into halftime. San Francisco put 10 more points on the board in the third quarter, and held that 20-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
But on a third and 15, with the stout San Francisco defense on the verge of giving its offense back the ball, Mahomes connected with receiver Tyreek Hill on a 44-yard gain, the longest play of the night. Four plays later, Mahomes hit tight end Travis Kelce for a one-yard touchdown, pulling to within three, 20-17. The Chiefs defense then forced a three-and-out, and seven plays later, Mahomes connected with running back Damien Williams for a five-yard TD pass and a 24-20 lead. After a turnover on downs, Williams ran one in from 38 yards out, and the championship was clinched.
— NFL (@NFL) February 3, 2020
It marked the third consecutive comeback for the Chiefs, who trailed 24-0 to the Houston Texans in their first playoff game, and 17-7 to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game, before storming back to win both games by double-digit margins. Ditto for the Super Bowl.
“We never lost faith,” said Mahomes, who was named MVP, after the game. “That’s the biggest thing. Everybody on this team, no one had their head down. We believed in each other. That’s what we preached all year long.”
On the postgame stage, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell presented the famed Lombardi Trophy to Chiefs CEO/owner Clark Hunt and his mother, Norma Hunt, widow of Kansas City Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt, who is actually the person who coined the phrase “Super Bowl.”
“It’s a beautiful trophy and I can’t think of a better conclusion the 100th season of the NFL than receiving this trophy,” Clark Hunt said on stage. “I’m so happy for our players, coaches and fans, and especially [head coach] Andy Reid. Nobody deserves this trophy more than Andy Reid.
“And I want to thank the Lord for blessing our family with all these incredible people who have helped us bring this championship home. To the Chiefs kingdom, you guys are world champions once again!”
“I want to thank the Lord for blessing our family with all of these incredible people.”
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) February 3, 2020
Hunt offered similar praise to God after the Chiefs won the AFC championship two weeks ago, for which they were awarded the trophy named after Lamar Hunt.
“I want to thank the Lord for blessing us with this opportunity,” Clark said then. “The glory belongs to Him. And this trophy belongs to the best fans in the National Football League!”
It is the Hunt family’s faith in Christ that has established the culture of the Chiefs organization.
“He sets the precedent, obviously. He’s the leader here and he’s always been very receptive to having chaplains right in the mix of things,” punter Dustin Colquitt told Sports Spectrum earlier this week, referring to team chaplain Marcellus Casey.
“It’s really a faith-filled environment at the stadium and with their family. So it makes it really easy as a chaplain to have a positive impact with the players and with the coaches,” Casey said recently on the Sports Spectrum Podcast.
“There’s definitely a lot of Christians in the organization, and when it starts at the top, that’s pretty powerful, with the owner, and he kind of sets it from there,” offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski told Sports Spectrum this week.
That culture has had an impact on Mahomes, whom the Chiefs selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He has often spoken publicly about his faith in God, and being the leader of the Chiefs, his faith has helped some of his teammates in their walk.
“When the main guy, Pat Mahomes, is a huge follower in Christ, it’s easy to be a follower as well,” running back Darwin Thompson told Sports Spectrum earlier this week.
“My mom and dad both raised me in the church,” Mahomes said earlier this year in a video for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “Just being able to come up through the church, I built a great relationship with God and I’ve tried to keep that as I’ve gotten older. Faith is huge for me.”
Mahomes threw for 286 yards on Sunday, with two touchdown passes, two interceptions, and the touchdown run. In winning the game’s MVP award, the 24-year-old becomes the youngest player in NFL history to win both a Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP, the latter of which he claimed for the 2018 season.
Amidst all the early success, Mahomes aims to glorify God in his actions.
“Before every game, I walk the field and I do a prayer at the goalpost. I just thank God for those opportunities and I thank God for letting me be on a stage where I can glorify Him,” Mahomes said in the FCA video. “The biggest thing that I pray for is that whatever happens, win or lose, success or failure, that I’m glorifying Him.”
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