By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patrick Mahomes is still just getting started in his career, but he already has three huge pieces of hardware to his credit. And he did it sooner than any quarterback in NFL history.
Mahomes and the Chiefs are Super Bowl champions after a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Miami, a game in which Mahomes dug out of a 10-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter. The 24-year-old broke new ground in the record books with the win, becoming the first QB ever to win a Super Bowl and league MVP before the age of 25. He also earned Super Bowl MVP honors after leading the Chiefs' improbable comeback.
Though he came up short in the 2019 MVP race to the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, Mahomes finished with a 65.9 percent completion rate, 4,031 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and just five interceptions in 14 games - good for a 105.3 passer rating. He went 72-for-112 (64.3 percent) for 901 yards, 10 touchdowns, and two interceptions (a 111.5 rating) in the playoffs.
Mahomes didn't look as dominant as he did in the Chiefs' first two playoff wins for much of Super Bowl LIV. But he came alive when it mattered, making the game's most impactful plays as the Chiefs exploded for 21 unanswered points in the final seven minutes. From the time he faced third-and-15 from the Chiefs' 35 until his go-ahead touchdown pass to Damien Williams, Mahomes went 7-for-9 for 105 yards and two scores - a 154.9 passer rating.
Any criticism directed Mahomes' way after Sunday night would be toothless nitpicking. Mahomes did throw two interceptions in the game, neither of which were particularly advisable throws. Until the Chiefs woke up in the fourth quarter, it looked like the wunderkind QB would falter in his debut on the league's biggest stage.
Instead, he overcame his mistakes and made the most of his opportunities in crunch time. Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers did not.
We've seen similar clutch performances to overcome real adversity in a Super Bowl, from a certain QB in New England who wears No. 12. Mahomes may have a long, long way to go to catch that guy in terms of legacy and resume. But with a Super Bowl ring and MVP already in his cache, Mahomes is off to the best start of any QB in league history.
We'll see how many Super Bowls he ends up making from here. But assuming good health, there's no reason to believe Mahomes can't play at an extremely high level and keep the Chiefs in the mix for a decade or longer.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].