Patrick Mahomes wills Chiefs to 38-35 Super Bowl victory against Eagles

One the most brilliant Super Bowl displays of quarterbacking prowess in league history — between Chiefs wunderkind Patrick Mahomes and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts — was decided by a run.

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Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Lombardi Trophy after his team defeated the Eagles 38-35 in the Super Bowl.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes holds the Lombardi Trophy after his team defeated the Eagles 38-35 in the Super Bowl.

Matt Slocum/AP

GLENDALE, Ariz. — One the most brilliant displays of quarterbacking prowess in Super Bowl history — between Chiefs wunderkind Patrick Mahomes and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts — was decided by a hobbled run.

With the score tied with 2:55 left Sunday, Mahomes took a first-and-10 snap, looked downfield and sprinted up the middle. Willing his sprained right ankle to move — he hurt it last month against the Jaguars and limped after being tackled in the second quarter — Mahomes ran straight ahead into the emerald expanse of State Farm Stadium. Twenty-six yards later, the Chiefs had the ball at the Eagles’ 17.

An Eagles defense considered the best in the league during the regular season couldn’t stop the Chiefs in the second half. Their last attempt to do so was thwarted when cornerback James Bradberry was flagged for holding on third-and-eight with 1:54 left.

‘‘I tugged on the jersey,’’ Bradberry said.

The Eagles tried to let the Chiefs score but couldn’t do that right, either. Running back Jerick McKinnon slid down at the 1 on the next play. Two kneeldowns later, kicker Harrison Butker jogged onto the field for the easiest hardest kick of his life — a 27-yard field goal — with 11 seconds left that gave the Chiefs a 38-35 victory when the Eagles’ Hail Mary fell short.

For Mahomes, there was enough adrenaline to dull the pain.

‘‘There’s nothing that’s going to keep me off that football field,’’ he said after being named the Super Bowl MVP.

Tight end Travis Kelce was amazed.

‘‘Toughest son-of-a-gun you’ve ever met,’’ Kelce said. ‘‘Texas gunslinger who’s not going to let anything get in the way.’’

The end of the game capped a master class at the most important position in the sport. Mahomes went 21-for-27 for only 182 yards but threw three touchdowns, two in the fourth quarter, and finished with a 131.8 passer rating. He was almost perfect when it mattered most, completing 8 of 9 passes for a 132.2 passer rating in the fourth. His lone incompletion was a throwaway in the end zone.

‘‘It’s just who he is,’’ said Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy, the former Bears head coach. ‘‘He lives for these moments.’’

Mahomes now has won two Super Bowls in three tries, despite being the Chiefs’ full-time starter for only five seasons.

‘‘I’m not going to say ‘dynasty,’ ’’ he said. ‘‘We’re not done yet.’’

That dominance must torture Bears fans. Last week, Mahomes said he thought he sat atop the Bears’ quarterback list in 2017 but didn’t think they would draft a quarterback. He was wrong on both fronts. The Bears traded up to draft Mitch Trubisky.

The Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round in 2020 and since have developed him into a star. The Bears only can hope to do the same with quarterback Justin Fields.

Hurts was 27-for-38 for 304 yards with one touchdown and a 103.4 passer rating. He ran 15 times for 70 yards and three touchdowns.

It was a performance unlike any in Super Bowl history. When Hurts ran for a four-yard touchdown to put the Eagles ahead 21-14 with 2:24 left in the first half, he became the first player in Super Bowl history to run for two touchdowns and throw for at least one.

Hurts’ first rushing touchdown capped the Eagles’ opening drive and came on their trademark: a one-yard quarterback sneak in which running backs shoved Hurts through the line of scrimmage. His touchdown pass was a 45-yard throw from the right hash to the left wing of the end zone to A.J. Brown.

Hurts’ third scoring run was another rugby scrum that pulled the Eagles to 35-33 with 5:15 left. On the two-point conversion, he ran a quarterback sweep left to tie the score. The Chiefs then drove for the winning field goal.

Hurts committed the lone quarterbacking miscue when he took a snap in the second quarter, ran, then looked to throw before simply dropping the ball. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton picked it up and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.

Twice in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs threw touchdown passes on masterful trickery by head coach Andy Reid. With 12:04 left, receiver Kadarius Toney split right, jogged in motion to the left, then stopped and broke for the right pylon upon the snap. When Mahomes lobbed the ball for him, he was wide-open for a five-yard touchdown.

Less than three minutes later, receiver Skyy Moore did the same thing, except on the left side, for a four-yard score.

In between was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history. After the Eagles fell behind 28-27 to trail for the first time all game, they went three-and-out. Toney fielded the ensuing punt at the Chiefs’ 30 and worked his way across the field and up the right sideline for 65 yards.

The Super Bowl records for longest kick return and punt return now both belong to a player coached by Dave Toub. The former Bears special-teams guru was at the helm when Devin Hester started the Super Bowl with a touchdown return 16 years ago.

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