There are very few quarterbacks who get the ball with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl with one good ankle and proceed to lead their team right down the field and leave little time remaining. Usually their team either scores with more than enough time left for the other team to score or they have to punt the football back to the opponent.
Unless you have Patrick Mahomes on your team.
He led the Kansas City Chiefs to the Philadelphia Eagles' nine yard line while using up all but eight seconds before Harrison Butker's go ahead field goal made it 38-35. Mahomes was already one of the league's most decorated players thanks to his tremendous arm strength, pocket awareness, and improvisation. With Tom Brady retiring, one can say it's Mahomes' league. Given he now has two MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs (only the third player to accomplish this feat) it's safe to say he has set the bar for the next generation of young quarterbacks.
During this NFL season, a new wave of elite quarterbacks cemented themselves as the future of the league. With Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady finally showing signs of age, the spotlight fully turned to a number of other signal callers waiting to establish a new age: Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence. All of those guys have proved themselves as leaders who are capable of elevating their squads. With only Rodgers remaining from the previous era of great quarterbacks, it's now their time to shine. Yet despite their brilliance, they will all be looking up to Mahomes for a long time.
What Patrick Mahomes did this year was nothing short of spectacular. Despite winning the Super Bowl three years ago, some people thought the Chiefs might regress after they traded superstar receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason. But by the end of the regular season, any talk of a down year was long gone. Mahomes established himself as the frontrunner for MVP right from the start and never looked back. He threw for a career high 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns while leading the Chiefs to a 14-3 record. But it was in the playoffs where Mahomes showed how great he truly is.
For the majority of the playoffs, Mahomes played through an ankle sprain that made it difficult for him to walk at times. Yet he continued to add one chapter after another to his incredible career, while taking down the trio of Lawrence, Burrow, and Hurts. Every game saw Mahomes do something incredible. First it was playing the entire second half of the divisional round after injuring his ankle. Then it was defeating Burrow, his supposed kryptonite, in the championship game. He concluded his magical run in the Super Bowl by orchestrating a magnificent second half against one of the league's best defenses that saw Kansas City score on every possession.
Teams always look for a guy who can dramatically change their fortunes the moment he steps on the field. Only a few players can be seen as a franchise-changing pick, but Mahomes fits that category. Kansas City might have been a good team before Mahomes, but with him at the helm along with head coach Andy Reid and tight end Travis Kelce, they are the team to beat. Legendary NBA coach Pat Riley once said "The great ones will lift you above and beyond."
Mahomes has done just that.