After two incredible playoff wins, Patrick Mahomes is ready for his Super Bowl moment

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While the Chiefs made mortal Derrick Henry, the 49ers beat up Aaron Rodgers as badly as they did in November. Niners 37, Packers 20, and it wasn’t that close. It makes for a fascinating Super Bowl: Kansas City’s franchise quarterback against the peculiar Jimmy Garoppolo; the Niners, with imaginative play-designer and play-caller Kyle Shanahan, have routed two playoff foes with a 75-25 run-pass ratio. The Niners’ strong defensive front (nine playoff sacks, 26 hits/hurries in two games) will be a nightmare for the Chiefs to navigate as they game-plan beginning this morning.

The opening line: Chiefs by 1. I have no idea what that means, or who should be favored. Just as I find it hard to think the Niners will struggle to run it and will certainly torment Mahomes, I think it’s just as hard to think that Mahomes will be shut down.

San Francisco last won the Super Bowl 25 years ago. Remember the gorilla getting ripped off Steve Young’s back?

Kansas City last won the Super Bowl 50 years ago. Remember Hank Stram yelling to matriculate the ball down the field?

You might be too young to remember either. Whatever, this should be a great football game between the 14-4 Chiefs and the 15-3 Niners, between the imaginative grandfatherly Reid, 61, and the imaginative wunderkind Kyle Shanahan, 40.

There’s a lonely little white pennant flying in the north end zone at Arrowhead Stadium, just below the American flag. The Chiefs take great pride in their lone Super Bowl championship, a 24-7 win over the Vikings on Jan. 11, 1970. But it’s been so long, and the drought so painful to the fans here, that the reminder is modest.

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Looked like the dry spell, made so painful by last year’s 37-31 overtime loss to the Patriots, might stretch to 51 years when this game was midway through the second quarter. On the first three Tennessee series, the Titans generated three scoring drives and 180 yards. Tennessee 17, Kansas City 7. Derrick Henry was his usual pile-driving and crease-finding self, with 61 rushing yards. The man was on pace for a 183-yard rushing afternoon, keeping in his recent tradition.

Tennessee scored seven more points. Henry gained eight more rushing yards.

Mahomes just owned the day after that, with touchdown drives of 58, 86, 73 and 88 yards. The Titans couldn’t catch him, and they couldn’t manage to keep anything going offensively. You can say, They got away from Henry; big mistake. “We just didn’t have the opportunities,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. Tennessee ran just 14 offensive plays over the next four series, covering nearly two full quarters.

Mahomes lasered a 20-yard strike to Tyreek Hill to make it 17-14; Reid thought it was his best throw of the day. Logan Ryan, who has played great this postseason, was in close coverage down the seam with Hill. “Tyreek had a guy right on him,” Reid said, “but Patrick’s throw was just beautiful. He reared back and just said, ‘There’s no way this can be stopped.’ He threw it in a window about this big.” Reid held his hands in a small square.

The game turned for good at the end of the last KC series of the half. With 1:51 and two timeouts left before the half, Mahomes had plenty of time to drive. He didn’t waste much of it. He still had the two timeouts left when he took a shotgun snap with 23 seconds left from the Tennessee 27-yard line. As Mahomes described, Hill and Kelce each had two cover guys trailing them—Hill doing a skinny post from the left slot and Kelce running up the right seam. This left some space to his left. “I knew we had an all-go type of route,” Mahomes told me. “The offensive line shut everybody down, so I knew I could run to the sideline and get the first down.” As he turned the corner at the 32, linebacker Derick Roberson had a shot at him and missed; then Rashaan Evans did the same around the 29. Then Mahomes, getting tight to the sideline at the 25 (a tight shot of the slo-mo replay showed he was three inches from the white stripe right then), and getting pursued by hefty defensive lineman DaQuon Jones, would step out just after the first-down marker at the 17-yard line. Replays showed Reid glaring intently at the ground near the sideline to see if Mahomes stepped on any white.

Here’s where the next-level smarts came in. Mahomes told me he knew he had two timeouts left, and with the clock running down to halftime, he knew it didn’t matter if he stayed in or went out of bounds as the clock wound down. :16, :15, :14 . . .

“So I tried to cut it back, and I did, a little,” he said. “And luckily I hung onto the ball.” Cornerback Tramaine Brock tried to rip it from his grasp at the 5, and Mahomes hung on. Then, he said, “I was going for it.”

When he fell a yard past the goal line, this stadium erupted. I hadn’t heard a sound like that all season, in any stadium.

In the end zone, Mahomes was surrounded by amazed mates. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson bowed to him with both arms going north to south in an exaggerated “we are not worthy” motion. “I was like, throw your hands up for this guy!” Robinson said. “He already showed you he’s got an MVP arm. Now he shows you he’s got MVP legs.”

He might have shown the same thing a year ago today. The Patriots and Chiefs went to overtime tied at 31, and Mahomes and Tom Brady were trading big plays and shredding defenses. New England’s Matthew Slater won the overtime toss, and Kansas City never touched the ball in overtime. Pats, 37-31. After the game, Brady sought out Mahomes. They sat alone for five minutes, in a room in the bowels of Arrowhead Stadium. Brady played consoler-in-chief. Mahomes said: “The biggest thing he said was, ‘Stay with the process and be who you are.’ He didn’t want me to change at all. He wanted me to go out there and take advantage of every single day. When you hear it from a guy like that, who’s had the success at the level that he’s had for his entire career, you know you’ve got to take advantage of every single day if you want to be great.”

Mahomes almost didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but he did turn it on at his home in Kansas City. “I used that,” he told me, “to just make sure that I did everything to prepare to be in this moment now—and not be sitting at home.”

His first real bit of leadership came after 2017 rushing champ Kareem Hunt was fired during the 2018 season for lying to the team about domestic assault. This happened two days before the Chiefs were to play at Oakland in November, and before the team left on a Saturday morning, Mahomes—the fifth-youngest player on the team—asked to speak to the team, with no coaches in the room. Reid let him. Mahomes, who’d seen player leadership when he was a kid running around in baseball clubhouses with his ballplaying dad, Pat Mahomes, told the team it was okay to still love Hunt, but they’d come too far to let something, anything, derail the season. “You can’t fake that stuff,” he said. “It has to be genuine.”

“That,” Reid told me recently, “is why we’re in good shape with this kid.”

But this season is not just the Mahomes Revival Show. Reid needs some redemption. Sunday’s win was his 221st career victory (including playoffs). That’s sixth all-time. The five above him—Shula, Halas, Belichick, Landry, Lambeau—have won NFL championships, and Belichick, a good friend, has won six. Reid hasn’t won one. His lone trip to the Super Bowl, 15 years ago, came with the Eagles, who lost to New England 24-21. Maybe deep down it eats at Reid. How could it not?

But Saturday night, Reid was sharing a table and a bite at the team’s post-meeting snack with the team’s VP of sports medicine and performance, Rick Burkholder, who came from Philly to Kansas City with Reid in 2013. Burkholder said he was nervous, and Reid asked why.

“Because I want so bad for us to win it for you,” Burkholder said.

“No,” Reid said. “We need to win this for the guys, for the team. It can’t be about one guy. It’s got to be for everybody.”

Reid was the last Chief left now. There was an industrial-strength vacuum cleaning the locker room of all the random confetti from the celebration out on the field. I asked Reid what he’d do to celebrate this second Super Bowl trip, and first for the Chiefs since the Nixon administration.

“Go get a cheeseburger,” he said.

The guy fits pretty well in Kansas City. As does his quarterback.

You may have heard the name Michael MacCambridge. He’s an author, an excellent writer. He lived most of his young life in Kansas City and grew to love the Chiefs. He went to the game Sunday and texted me this after midnight: “As we were leaving the stadium, numb and jubilant, you could see people with a look of relief in their eyes that they were leaving Arrowhead for the final time in a season elated rather than crushed. It was so delightful that some people seemed almost baffled. My friend Greg Emas, who I attended the game with, said, ‘We really don’t know how to do this. We don’t have any practice at it.’ “

Then MacCambridge wrote: “Lots of ghosts exorcised. And that starts with 15. He’s not haunted. And that’s why the Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

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Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes have gone head-to-head six times and each matchup has been both high-stakes and high-scoring affairs between the two legendary quarterbacks who have an even 3-3 overall record against each other. See below for a breakdown of the Brady vs. Mahomes rivalry.

Mahomes is currently in his fifth season as the Chiefs starting quarterback. The 2019 Super Bowl MVP signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in July 2020, which was the richest contract in American sports history by total value. Over the last four seasons (2018-2021), Mahomes has led the league in both passing yards (18,707) and touchdown passes (151). The 27-year-old looks to lead the Chiefs to their seventh straight AFC West Title. Kansas City is the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

At 45 years old Tom Brady, who already holds 7 Super Bowl titles–the most in NFL history, is currently playing in his 23rd NFL season–one that many thought he wouldn’t see after an unpredictable offseason filled with rumorsretirement, and unretirement. But the greatest of all time is back–this time without the comfort of his longtime trusted TE Rob Gronkowski–and is not only facing the challenge of playing with a banged-up offensive line but is also adjusting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

Every past matchup between Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes (3-3 overall record):

  1. Oct. 14, 2018 (Week 6) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 43-40. Brady threw for 340 yards and 1 TD. Mahomes threw for 352 yards, 4 TD, and 2 INT.
  2. Jan. 20, 2019 (AFC Championship Game) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31, in overtime. Brady threw 348 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. Mahomes finished with 295 YDS, and 3 TD
  3. Dec. 8, 2019 (Week 14) – Chiefs defeated the Patriots 23-16. Mahomes totaled 283 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Brady had 169 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
  4. Nov. 29, 2020 (Week 12) – Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 27-24. Mahomes threw for 462 yards with 3 TD. Brady finished with 345 yards, 3 TD, and 2 INT.
  5. Feb. 7, 2021 (Super Bowl 55) – Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 playing on their home field at Raymond James Stadium. Brady threw for 201 yards and 3 TD and was named Super Bowl MVP for a record 5th time.
  6. Oct. 2, 2022 (Week 4) – Chiefs defeated the Buccaneers 41-31 at Raymond James Stadium. Mahomes went 23-of-37 for 249 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

In an interview with NBC’s Maria Taylor for Football Night in America, Mahomes discusses the trademarks of a Brady-led team.

“First off, they take advantage of mistakes,” Mahomes said. “If you make a mistake on the field, if I throw an interception or if you fumble, or if something like that happens, he’s going to make you pay and get points on the board and then he’s going to manage the game.”

Mahomes also knows that while Brady has a knack for capitalizing on mistakes, he does not often make many of his own.

“He’s going to make some plays when he needs to make plays, but at the same time he’s not going to make that big mistake. So you have to go out there and play a near perfect football game to win. Another thing, he’s never out of it and I think that’s something I try to pride myself on as well is never being out of the game. So whenever you play against a Tom Brady-led team, you make sure you keep that foot down on the pedal and try to do whatever you can to finish the game off.”

Patrick Mahomes absorbs Tom Brady’s lessons

Despite the difference in age and experience, Brady and Mahomes are alike in their impact on the game.

“You want to not like Tom but he’s just like the best guy,” Mahomes said. “So it’s hard to not like him, but to be able to play in golf tournaments, and him give me kind of advice and stuff like that. I mean, he’s the GOAT. You want to learn from the best and it’s really cool to have that relationship with him.”

Even when Brady and Mahomes have faced off in high-stakes postseason games, the advice continues. The two met in the 2019 AFC Championship game, when Brady was still playing for the New England Patriots. Both quarterbacks delivered stellar performances, but Brady managed to lead the Patriots to an overtime victory.

Following this loss, Mahomes tells Taylor that he is upset and spends a lot of time after the game sitting in the locker room. But when Mahomes finally walks out, Brady is waiting for him.

“He could be celebrating” Mahomes said. “He’s going to the Super Bowl and everything like that, and all he said to me, ‘Hey, just keep doing it how you’re doing it. You’re doing it the right way.’ And as a young quarterback, you just go out there and play and try to have fun and do whatever you can to put your team in the best position to win.

But when the GOAT’s saying that, he’s saying you’re doing it the right way, it shows you that you are doing it the right way. And so that was big for me”

While Brady has not revealed all his football wisdom to Mahomes, the Chiefs’ signal-caller looks forward to learning more.

“He won’t give me all the secrets yet,” Mahomes said. “But hopefully one day I’ll get the secrets and can put those into my game.”

Patrick Mahomes embraces the Tom Brady mindset

While Brady and Mahomes are competitors, their respect from one another extends beyond the football field into their personal lives. Mahomes and his wife Brittany, have a young girl, Sterling, and are expecting a baby boy.

“You want to be able to be a family man and be with your family and you want to be able to do these different things, where you’re going into businesses and then helping out and shooting commercials and, at the same time, keeping football first.”

One of the biggest lessons Mahomes has taken from Brady is the importance of prioritizing football in addition to consistently improving at the game.

“That’s the greatness in Tom Brady is no matter how much off the field stuff he does, football is always the main priority and he makes sure to keep it that way,” Mahomes said. “And so you watch that and then at the same time you go back to him on the field and he’s always getting better. I feel like every single year he finds something he can get better at. And that’s what I want to do, is I want to keep getting better as my career goes on so that I can play hopefully, maybe not as long as him, but pretty long as well.”

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

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RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


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What are the longest field goals in NFL history and when were they kicked?

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The 2022 NFL season is upon us, and at a time when every point matters, field goals take on an added significance. Last season, Baltimore Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker converted the longest field goal in NFL history at 66 yards. Trailing 17-16 to the Detroit Lions in Week 3, Tucker successfully kicked a field goal that bounced off the cross bar and through the uprights to give the Ravens the victory as time expired.

Tucker’s kick broke the previous record that was set back in 2013. Cardinals kicker Matt Prater was the previous record holder with a kick of 64 yards against the Tennessee Titans. Prater, who played for the Denver Broncos at the time, converted the kick at the end of the first half to pull the Broncos within one point heading into the locker room.

RELATED: How to watch Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

The next field goal record is 63 yards and it has been achieved six different times in NFL history, most recently by Brett Maher in 2019 when the Cowboys were hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. In his three NFL seasons, Maher has kicked one 63-yard field goal and two 62-yarders. The first kick in NFL history of 63 yards happened in 1970 when Tom Dempsey of New Orleans sent a 63-yard kick through the uprights.

There are another five kickers throughout NFL history who have converted a kick of 62 yards. Earlier this season, Prater kicked a 62-yard kick against the Minnesota Vikings that had room to spare. The field goal was kicked from the center of the Cardinals’ mid-field logo and put Arizona up, 24-23, at halftime. With two of the kicking records in NFL history, Prater has established himself as a kicking legend in the NFL.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

What are the longest field goals in regular season history?

66 yards – Justin Tucker, Detroit vs. Baltimore, Sept. 26, 2021

64 yards – Matt Prater, Denver vs. Tennessee, Dec. 8, 2013

63 yards – Tom Dempsey, New Orleans vs. Detroit, Nov. 8, 1970

Jason Elam, Denver vs. Jacksonville, Oct. 25, 1998
Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland vs. Denver, Sept. 12, 2011
David Akers, San Francisco vs. Green Bay, Sept. 9, 2012
Graham Gano, Carolina vs. N.Y. Giants, Oct. 7, 2018
Brett Maher, Dallas vs. Philadelphia, Oct. 20, 2019

62 yards – Matt Prater, Arizona vs. Minnesota, Sept. 19, 2021

Matt Bryant, Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia, Oct. 22, 2006
Stephen Gostkowski, New England vs. Oakland, Nov. 19, 2017
Brett Maher, Dallas vs. Philadelphia, Dec. 9, 2018 (OT)
Brett Maher, Dallas vs. N.Y. Jets, Oct. 13, 2019

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

The longest field goals in playoff history do not quite match those of the regular season, but they are not far off. The longest kick in the postseason is 58 yards and two kickers have achieved the feat: Pete Stoyanovich of the Chiefs in the team’s 1990 Wild Card game against the Dolphins and Graham Gano of the Panthers before halftime of the team’s Wild Card game vs. the Saints.

What are the longest field goals in playoff history?

58 yardsPete Stoyanovich, AFC-FR: Miami vs. Kansas City, 1990
Graham Gano, NFC-FR: Carolina vs. New Orleans, 2017

57 yards –  Mike Nugent, AFC-FR: Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis, 2014
Wil Lutz, NFC-FR: New Orleans vs. Carolina, 2017
Greg Zuerlein, NFC: L.A. Rams vs. New Orleans, 2018

56 yards – Mason Crosby, NFC-D: Green Bay vs. Dallas, 2016


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube