Mahomes adds another Super Bowl comeback to his ledger

Patrick Mahomes reacts to the cheers of the crowd during the Chiefs' victory celebration Wednesday in Kansas City. (Associated Press)
Patrick Mahomes reacts to the cheers of the crowd during the Chiefs' victory celebration Wednesday in Kansas City. (Associated Press)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Big Super Bowl comebacks have gone from rarities to frequent occurrences -- thanks in large part to Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady.

Mahomes led Kansas City to its second Super Bowl title in four seasons when the Chiefs rallied from 10 points down at the half to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 on Sunday.

The first championship for Mahomes also required a second-half rally when Kansas City turned a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit into a 31-20 victory against San Francisco in the 2019 season.

Brady is the only other quarterback to engineer two double-digit comebacks in the Super Bowl, erasing a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Seattle 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX and the record rally from 28-3 down in Super Bowl LI to beat Atlanta 34-28 in overtime.

Before the four double-digit comebacks by Brady and Mahomes in the past nine Super Bowls, no team had ever rallied from at least 10 points down in the second half to win a Super Bowl.

The only double-digit comebacks of any kind in the first 48 Super Bowls came when Doug Williams and Washington turned an early 10-0 deficit to Denver into a 42-10 win in Super Bowl XXII and when Drew Brees and New Orleans did the same to Indianapolis in a 31-17 win in Super Bowl 44.

The only double-digit comeback in the NFL’s title game in the pre-Super Bowl era came in 1934 when the Giants rallied from 13-3 down in the third quarter to beat the Bears 30-13.

No quarterback has been better at erasing big deficits than Mahomes. The Chiefs have a 14-10 record (.583) with Mahomes at quarterback after falling behind by at least 10 points. The next highest winning percentage in the Super Bowl era for a QB who faced at least 12 double-digit deficits belongs to Brady at .378 (42-69).

III

The Super Bowl broke many recent trends, with Mahomes being responsible for ending many of them.

Mahomes followed up his second regular-season MVP award by winning the Super Bowl, ending a stretch of nine straight losses by the MVP in the Super Bowl. The last MVP to win it all before Mahomes was Kurt Warner in the 1999 season.

Warner and Mahomes both pulled off the MVP double, winning both the regular season and Super Bowl awards in the same season. The only others to do that were Steve Young (1994), Emmitt Smith (1993), Joe Montana (1989), Terry Bradshaw (1978) and Bart Starr (1966). Joe Namath won the AFL Player of the Year and Super Bowl MVP in the 1968 season.

Mahomes joined Brady and Montana as the only players to win multiple regular-season and Super Bowl MVP awards.

Mahomes also was the first player to lead the league in yards passing and win the Super Bowl. The previous passing leaders were 0-6 in the big game.

The Chiefs also won the game after also winning the coin toss -- ending an eight-game losing streak by the coin toss winner. Seattle was the last to do it in Super Bowl XLVIII against Denver.

III

Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts delivered a memorable performance in a losing cause.

Hurts went 27-of-38 for 304 yards and a touchdown, ran 15 times for 70 yards and three TDs and scored on a 2-point conversion in one of the most prolific performances in Super Bowl history.

Hurts set the record for most yards rushing ever by a quarterback in a Super Bowl, tied Terrell Davis’ record for most TD runs by any player, tied James White’s mark with 20 points scored and joined Steve Young and Joe Montana as the only players ever to account for at least 370 yards and four TDs (rushing and passing) in a Super Bowl.

After losing in his first Super Bowl start, Hurts will have to overcome some historical trends if he wants to end up on the winning side eventually.

Of the 34 starting quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl, 31 of them won in their first try as starter. Hurts will try to join Len Dawson, Bob Griese and John Elway as the QBs to lose their first Super Bowl start and win one later in their careers.

III

The Eagles will be looking for new coordinators on both sides of the ball, with offensive coordinator Shane Steichen getting the head coach job in Indianapolis and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon taking over in Arizona.

This marks the first time in nine years that one team lost both coordinators to head coach jobs on other franchises. The last time it happened came after the 2013 season, when Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was hired in Minnesota and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden got the job in Washington.

Barring any late surprises, the coaching cycle is done for this year with all five openings filled. Frank Reich went to Carolina, DeMeco Ryans to Houston and Sean Payton to Denver.

Only one of the five jobs went a minority candidate (Ryans), leaving the NFL with just six minority coaches for a second straight season: Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles, who are Black; Miami’s Mike McDaniel, who is biracial; the Jets’ Robert Saleh, who is of Lebanese heritage; and Washington’s Ron Rivera, who is Hispanic.

The promotions for Ryans and Gannon means eight of the 22 (36.3 percent) head coaching jobs in the past three cycles have been filled by coaches from defensive backgrounds. That’s an increase from the previous five cycles when only 8-of-33 (24.2 percent) jobs went to defensive coaches.

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