How Super Bowl LIV was a perfect game for the Chiefs

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We haven’t even mentioned that Andy Reid can win the big one. Winning his 222nd NFL game on 2-2-20, and even pilfering a play from Kyle Shanahan’s playbook in the process (more about that later), the Chiefs actually played a perfect game, for them. This is why:

• They were behind by double-digits. KC rallied from 0-24 to beat Houston in the AFC divisional round, 7-17 to beat Tennessee in the AFC Championship Game, and 10-20 Sunday night in the Super Bowl. The difference this time: The first two deficits were in the first half. The Chiefs trailed the Niners by 10 with eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

• Reid’s play-design and play-calling, his best traits, were huge. Not just on “Wasp,” but on several back-and-forths on the sidelines with Mahomes, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Kafka. “That’s one of the advantages of sitting over there with [Mahomes],” Reid said. “You get a feel for what he likes.” All the coaches, and Mahomes, liked the play Shanahan first ran when he was offensive coordinator in Washington in 2010, overloading the offensive line with an extra receiver in a tight formation, and then having the receiver (in this case Sammy Watkins) leak out to an open seam up the left side. Mahomes to Watkins, gain of 28. Every week, Reid has his offensive staff draw up plays on the white board in his office, and in preparing for this game, that’s one of the plays they loved. In fairness, Shanahan called it first, but many teams call it now. And it came back to bite Shanahan on Sunday, on a second-quarter Chiefs field goal.

• Mahomes did what great quarterbacks do and what he’s done so often since being drafted 10th overall in 2017: He forgot the bad plays, fast. He threw the first two picks of his postseason life on consecutive series in the second half. One: A ridiculous throw right into the arms of Niners linebacker Fred Warner in Niner territory. Two: He threw a pass behind Hill, it was tipped, and it was picked. When I asked him about those at his locker, a couple of Chiefs officials shielding him from a small crowd, the look on his face was more embarrassment than anything else. Right here, the way this game turned reminded me of Russell Wilson in the 2014 NFC Championship Game. Remember? Wilson threw four picks to put Seattle in a huge hole against Green Bay, then led two TD drives to send the game to overtime, and won it with a laser touchdown throw to Jermaine Kearse. Wilson’s indomitable. Mahomes is getting to be on that level too, with three touchdown drives in the last half of the last quarter of the season.

“We got MVPat on our side!” defensive tackle Chris Jones crowed. “We don’t care if he throws a damn interception. He always comes back.”

The rest of the world . . . well, maybe we all weren’t so sure. This being a night game, and this column being ridiculously long, much has to be done as the game is in progress. Early in the fourth quarter, with the Niners up 20-10, Mahomes threw his second straight interception, and I went to the Award Section of the column. In the GOAT OF THE WEEK section, I typed in Mahomes’ name and wrote: “A bummer of a game—certainly the worst big game he’s played in his three NFL seasons—for the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL. With no indication that such a stinker was coming.”

Ooops. Good thing there’s a delete button on this laptop.

But when I got a few minutes with Mahomes post-game, he sounded like he’d have given himself GOAT OF THE WEEK if, in some other life, he’d been a sports writer with a silly column. When he talked about the interceptions, he was clearly pained.

“The first one,” Mahomes said, “was horrible. I tried to do too much, stretching the guy [Warner] and trying to make a perfect throw, which I probably should’ve never done. Hit him right between the 5 and the 4. [Warner is number 54.] And then the second one, to be in field-goal range and then to throw a tipped interception . . . I thought that was gonna hurt us a lot more than it did. It was definitely something that made me very sick.”

With 8:53 left in the game, Mahomes trotted out to the huddle. He told the other 10 guys to keep fighting, keep believing. “You gotta believe, 10,” he said to Tyreek Hill, who is number 10. Maybe he did, or maybe he didn’t. But if the Chiefs were to come back, they’d need Hill’s speed and the greatest moves of any receiver in football.

On second-and-15 from the KC 35-yard line, Mahomes underthrew Hill on a 16-yard stop route up the right seam. Like, really underthrew him. Hill dove for it and it was ruled a good catch . . . but at the last second, Shanahan threw the challenge flag. He won the challenge. Third-and-15 now.

Earlier in the half, in those sideline confabs you always see Reid having with Mahomes (and Bieniemy and Kafka), Mahomes told Reid he loved Wasp. “Yeah, yeah,” Mahomes told me. “I just wanted to run it to get it out there and give Tyreek a chance to make a play. How they were playing, I knew it would be Tyreek one on one with the safety.”

This was the same play Mahomes used in the AFC Championship Game last year. The Patriots blanketed Hill, holding him to one catch for 42 yards. That one catch came on the Wasp play. On the play, KC uses a three-by-one formation. Wideout Sammy Watkins is wide left, Hill inside, and Travis Kelce inside of Hill. On the right side is backup tight end Blake Bell. So the Chiefs ran the play in the first half. “A set-up,” Kafka the quarterback coach said. Deep safety Jimmie Ward, in the first half, saw Hill run right at him. And so midway through the fourth quarter, with the same play-call and same formation, Ward obviously assumed Hill was coming at him again. With Watkins running a short in-cut and Kelce idling through the middle to attract attention, Hill sprinted at Ward.

Then Hill cut to the corner. Ward wasn’t ready for that.

The line of scrimmage was the Chiefs’ 35. Mahomes, who’d taken a Pistol snap at his 30, ambled back to the 22 (“The line had to give me a bunch of time, and those guys did,” Mahomes said, correctly). Meanwhile, Hill was floating into a spot around the 25-yard line of the Niners, absolutely wide open. San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will have nightmares about this play that ruined his heretofore superb defensive plan. From the Chiefs 22 to the Niners 22, that’s how far this ball traveled—56 yards in the air. And it landed right on Hill, with Ward arriving a half-second too late. Gain of 44.

That led to a rollout one-yard TD pass to Kelce. And when Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t come up with a drive on the ensuing Niners possession, Mahomes responded with a 65-yard drive in two-and-a-half minutes to take the lead. Damien Williams scored the last two TDs for the Chiefs, and he won the battle of undrafted running backs: Williams, 104 yards and two scores to Raheem Mostert’s 58 yards and one touchdown run.

This was a perfect game for the Chiefs not because they played a perfect game. It’s because the game illustrated everything Reid has built in Kansas City. He has the quarterback who, though just 24, has become a part of the decision-making process. Reid built a team that trusts he’ll put them in the best position to win. He built a team that’s all-for-one, one-for-all; even after this game, he was still harkening back 54 weeks, to the AFC title game loss to New England, when the departed Dee Ford jumped offside, enabling the Patriots to have life late. “It wasn’t Dee Ford,” Reid said. “It was all of us. We were all four inches off.” That kind of stuff is corny and all, but his players know it’s Reid. The same way he deflects blame for the Donovan McNabb Super Bowl faux pas slow-play 15 years ago is the way he takes on the heavy stuff to this day.

“Can I tell him the practice story?” Kansas City medical czar and longtime Reid confidant Rick Burkholder said in Reid’s office post-game.

“Go ahead,” Reid said.

“So it’s 10 degrees outside the Wednesday before the [AFC title game], and Andy tells the team practice would be outside,” Burkholder said. “They don’t flinch. They figured there must be a reason for it, I guess.”

“I paused after telling them,” Reid told me, “and nobody gasped.”

“What’d you do? Practice inside?” I asked.

“Yeah, like always,” Reid said.

“The point is, they want to win it for him, and he wants to win it for everybody else,” Burkholder said.

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

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

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The NFL playoffs are in full swing and Super Bowl 2023 will be here before we know it! See below for answers to all of your questions about the big game. Be sure to tune to NBC and Peacock every week for Sunday Night Football games this season and extra content from Mike Florio, Matthew Berry, Chris Simms and more.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

Four teams are left heading into the Conference Championships and only two will make it to Super Bowl LVII. Ahead of this weekend, here’s everything you need to know about the biggest game of the NFL season.

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

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

When was the last time Rihanna released an album?

Rihanna’s most recent album “Anti” came out in 2016. The Barbados native has spent the last few years venturing into various business industries including beauty, fashion, and makeup. Additionally, the superstar welcomed her first child, a boy, in May of 2022.

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

Which NFL team has the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history?

The Patriots and Steelers are not only familiar with playing on the big stage, but they also know what it takes to come out on top. New England and Pittsburgh are tied for the most Super Bowl victories in the NFL with six each. The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys have won five Lombardi Trophies each and the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants are tied with four Super Bowl championships.

  • New England Patriots: 6
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 6
  • San Francisco 49ers: 5
  • Dallas Cowboys: 5
  • Green Bay Packers: 4
  • New York Giants: 4

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


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. 

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.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

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!

2023 NFL Playoffs: What to know about SF QB Brock Purdy Ahead of NFC Championship game

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The NFC crown is up for grabs on Sunday, and it will be Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles squaring off with Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers to secure a ticket to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona. These two high-powered teams have both had seasons for the storybooks, but possibly no story this year has been greater than that of “Mr. Irrelevant’s” emergence.

From the 262nd pick in the draft to a third-string quarterbacking role, the odds of Purdy making a splash in the NFL seemed all but impossible at the start of the season. But just months later, the 23-year-old finds himself captaining one of the league’s most storied franchises on a playoff run in hopes of bringing a sixth Lombardi home to the Bay.

The 49ers will take on the Eagles in the NFC Championship game Sunday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. EST. Let’s take a closer look at Purdy’s emergence from “Mr. Irrelevant” to QB1.

RELATED: 49ers vs. Eagles NFC Championship matchup, series history

Where did Brock Purdy go to college?

Before Purdy was a Niner, he was first an Iowa State Cyclone.

In fact, Purdy rose to stardom in Ames much like he is now doing in San Francisco. Purdy entered the picture at Iowa State as the third-string quarterback, in line for field time behind quarterbacks Kyle Kempt and Zeb Nolan.

The season-opener, however, shook things up. Kempt suffered an MCL injury against Iowa, bumping up Nolan to the role of signal-caller. Nolan then saw a rough three-game stretch, forcing ISU coach Matt Campbell to give the freshman Purdy an opportunity.

Purdy would take this opportunity and run with it. He first entered the scene mid-game against Oklahoma State, leading the Cyclones to a thrilling victory over the Cowboys as they edged them out, 48-42. Purdy was now the man for Iowa State.

In his four-year career, Purdy was simply a winner. He finished his time in Ames as Iowa State’s career leader in passing yards (12,170), total offense (13,347), touchdown passes (81), completions (993), passing efficiency (151.1) and completion percentage (67.7). The wide-eyed freshman with an opportunity developed into the winningest quarterback in Cyclones history (30-17).

RELATED: Eagles DC warned 49ers of ‘electric’ atmosphere at the Linc

Jalen Hurts vs Brock Purdy collegiate record

Sunday’s Conference Championship will not be the first time that Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy have gone head-to-head. The Cyclones faced off with the Oklahoma Sooners in November of 2019.

While the senior Hurts and his offense diced up Iowa State’s defense early, Purdy would charge his team to a comeback from the 35-14 halftime deficit. Purdy led an epic resurgence coming out of the locker room, outscoring the Sooners 27-7. A savvy drive from the sophomore late in the fourth resulted in a 33-yard touchdown to Sean Shaw Jr., cutting the deficit to 42-35 with three minutes remaining.

On the ensuing drive, Hurts made a disastrous mistake, throwing a pass into traffic that was picked off by Lawrence White. With the ball at the Oklahoma 35, Purdy could not be stopped, pulling off a few impressive plays before connecting with Charlie Kolar in the end zone.

The scoreboard now read 42-41, and the Cyclones wanted to end the game right then and there. Purdy dropped back for the two-point conversion, throwing a dart to La’Michael Pettway. The pass hit Pettway’s hands, but was then knocked away by Oklahoma defenders. While the epic comeback could not be completed, it was a game to be remembered.

RELATED: Brock Purdy views time at Iowa State as ‘blessing in disguise’

When was Brock Purdy drafted?

Brock Purdy found a home in San Francisco on Saturday, April 30 when he was selected by the 49ers as the 262nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. As Melanie Salata held up the “Mr. Irrelevant” jersey on the NFL Draft stage, no one knew that the name on the back of it would rise to relevance so quickly.

The seventh-round pick was passed over by nearly every NFL team, except for one. Not even the 49ers knew that this selection would hold so much magnitude, as Purdy was merely expected to be a third-string rookie sitting behind starter Trey Lance and backup Nate Sudfeld.

RELATED: CMC vows to be ready for NFC title game despite calf discomfort

How has Brock Purdy fared as an NFL starter?

San Francisco’s blueprint at the beginning of the season would be thrown out the door very quickly. The 49ers made the decision in late August to retain veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and release Sudfeld, allowing Purdy to remain in his third-string role.

When Lance suffered a crushing injury against the Seahawks in just the second game of the season, it seemed clear that Garoppolo was destined to lead the team to its third playoff appearance in four years. Garoppolo would go 6-3 in his next nine starts, making Super Bowl aspirations once again very real for the team that lost the big game just three years prior.

In a critical battle against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, however, that vision faded. Garoppolo suffered a broken foot on the final play of the team’s opening drive, and “Mr. Irrelevant” was now QB1.

Purdy’s first drive of the game ended in a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk to give San Francisco a 10-7 lead. As with his starting role in Iowa State, Purdy has yet to look back.

RELATED: Brock Purdy’s PFF grades show how well he operates under pressure

He drove the team to a 33-17 victory over Miami, finishing the day 25 for 37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. His starting debut came the next week, against none other than the great Tom Brady.

The rookie tore through Tampa Bay, becoming the first quarterback to ever defeat Brady in his first start. The game ended with an emotional hug from his father, who had witnessed his son take down a quarterback who has been playing pro football longer than Brock has been alive.

Purdy remains undefeated as an NFL starter. Since taking over in Week 13, “Mr. Irrelevant” has gone 7-0, with an overtime victory and two playoff triumphs. While many thought the rookie would crumble under postseason pressure, he has yet to let his team down. In the 49ers wild card battle against their division foe Seattle Seahawks, he became the first NFL rookie to score four touchdowns in a playoff game. While the divisional round success over Dallas wasn’t the prettiest victory, Purdy got the job done, advancing his team to the NFC Championship for the second consecutive year.

Will Brock Purdy play in NFC Championship game?

Now, the seventh rounder will clash with a daunting Philadelphia defense for the conference crown, with aspirations of becoming the first rookie quarterback to ever hoist a Lombardi. On Monday ahead of the Conference Championships, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told media that he’d be “very surprised” if quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was able to play in Sunday’s game, meaning that Purdy is still QB1, with Josh Johnson as the backup.

RELATED: When was the last time the 49ers made it to, won the Super Bowl?

Has a rookie QB ever started in a Super Bowl?

Should the 49ers advance to the Super Bowl, Purdy has a shot to cap an unbelievable season with a particularly remarkable accomplishment: No rookie quarterback has won a Super Bowl, and in fact, no rookie quarterback has ever started in a Super Bowl.

RELATED: Ranking potential Super Bowl LVII matchups

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023

Check out ProFootballTalk for more on the 2023 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, picks, recaps, news, rumors and more.