There were reports coming in from the Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday that the edges of the seats at the arena were worn off by the end of Super Bowl LIV. Such was the edge-of-the-seat action on offer on the night. Well into the third quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs offence that had scored 51 points in its opening playoff game and 35 in its second, managed just 10 points as they stood on the brink of defeat on the biggest stage of the NFL. However, what transpired in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV action will be forever etched in the memories of NFL fans, and one man was at the centre of it all - Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes.
The 49ers were just 9 minutes away from joining the elite club of the 2000 Ravens, the 2011 Giants and the 2013 Seahawks as one of the most impregnable Super Bowl defensive units in recent history. They would have fancied themselves to go all the way too, courtesy of Patrick Mahomes sub-par first-half showing. In fact, Patrick Mahomes entered the Super Bowl without a post-season interception. The Super Bowl LIV MVP was intercepted on multiple occasions by the 49ers on the night. However, Patrick Mahomes' second pass touchdown was his 12th pass touchdown plus touchdown scored this season, an NFL postseason record. A night of contrasting numbers for the Super Bowl LIV MVP, but a memorable night, nonetheless.
There were shades of Tom Brady in Patrick Mahomes' display; the way he turned on the style to pull the Chiefs through late in the game. As far as NFL quarterbacks go, it was a disappointing night for 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo. With just over 1:33 left in the game, Garoppolo overthrew for Emmanuel Sanders by five yards. It could have been a potential touchdown for the Niners, but the Chiefs then swung the game in their favour. Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo were on opposite ends of the spectrum on the night. However, it wasn't just a victory for the Chiefs, but also the dawn of a new era for the league of modern NFL quarterbacks.
The fact that Jimmy Garoppolo went cold just when Patrick Mahomes went red-hot at the Hard Rock Stadium set the tone for a fourth-quarter blitz. In the blur of Patrick Mahomes' driving passes, the 49ers struggled to wrap their heads around the Chiefs' flashy offence. Such was the late resurgence from the Chiefs. That Patrick Mahomes finished 26-of-42 for 286 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, adding 29 rushing yards along the way will not come across to many as extraordinary numbers, but what the Chiefs star did well was to compartmentalize the bad stretch for coming out all guns blazing towards the end. Much like 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
In the regular season, Lamar Jackson led the NFL in passing and total touchdowns in the calendar year. In fact, with 1,206 rushing yards this season, the 2019 MVP finished with more rushing yards than the Miami Dolphins (1,156). The two standout quarterbacks in the NFL this season have been the ones reinventing the mould of the traditional quarterback. No longer does the quarterback merely carve open the opposition. The likes of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are beginning to redefine what it means to be a quarterback in the NFL. Mahomes, with his flashy offence, driving passes and rushing yards and Lamar Jackson with his blitzkrieg runs, are taking over from the old guard of Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
In the end, the Super Bowl was defined by a late surge from Patrick Mahomes. With less than half a quarter to play, everything went haywire for the Niners. Patrick Mahomes stepped in that chaos, wilted the Niners defence and threw an incredible 44-yard off-balance strike to Tyreek Hill. The Niners caved in and Patrick Mahomes turned the tables; not only on the Niners but also on the old guard of NFL quarterbacks.