MIAMI (Reuters) - The Kansas City Chiefs ended a half-century Super Bowl drought with a dramatic 31-20 comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a breathtaking finish to the National Football League’s 100th season.
With the Chiefs trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter, quarterback Patrick Mahomes engineered three scoring drives in just over five minutes, hitting Travis Kelce and Damien Williams with short touchdown passes to take the lead.
Williams then raced 38 yards for the clinching score, sparking wild celebration for long-suffering Chiefs fans who had not seen their team hoist the Lombardi trophy since their victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
“We never lost faith, I mean that’s the biggest thing,” said Mahomes. “Everybody on this team, no one had their head down and we believed in each other and that’s what we preached all year long ... we found a way to get it in the end.
“Those guys around us, the leaders of this team, they have the mindset that we never give up.
“We’re going to fight to the end.” San Francisco had looked well on their way to a first Super Bowl in 25 years, holding a 10-point advantage and with time running down, but few leads are ever safe from Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense.
In the divisional playoffs, the Chiefs fought back from 24-0 down to beat the Houston Texans and then erased a 10-0 Tennessee Titans advantage in the AFC championship.
The 24-year-old Mahomes becomes the second-youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl adding to his credentials as the NFL’s next superstar.
Mahomes, who completed 26 of 42 attempts for 286 yards and two touchdowns, appeared out of sorts for nearly three quarters of the game but stepped up and took charge when it mattered to earn the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours.
Mahomes is the youngest to win both the NFL and Super Bowl MVP awards.
The win was also validation for Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who had more career regular-season wins (207) than any coach without a Super Bowl win until Sunday.