Super Bowl LIV didn’t quite live up to the high-scoring shootout hype that many expected. Nonetheless, the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs needed a little magic to come from behind and win their first championship in 50 years.
Patrick Mahomes became the youngest player to win both the league MVP along with a Super Bowl MVP. Although Mahomes came up with a couple of plays late in the game to help propel his team ahead, he was far from the best player on the Chiefs that night. The third-year quarterback was pedestrian at his best moments during the first 53 minutes of that game.
A handful of Mahomes’ teammates made a valid case for the MVP including Damien Williams, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Chris Jones.
Damien Williams was the clear choice to win the Super Bowl MVP. The running back led the way with 104 rushing yards and 29 through the air while adding two touchdowns; including the final score, a 38-yard rush to go ahead by 11 points.
Williams was able to navigate through the likes of Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner all night long averaging 6.1 yards per carry. The back converted four total third and fourth downs en route to the victory.
Hill was the second most deserving for the award. The wideout reeled in nine of his 16 targets for 105 yards. Hill navigated the San Francisco secondary effectively for most of the night. The most important play of the night found its way to Hill with just over seven minutes to play; Mahomes completed a 44-yard pass to a wide-open Hill to set up the first of their three late touchdowns.
Mahomes didn’t do Hill many favors on Sunday night. Both of his interceptions came on throws intended for Hill. The first of which was a misread route by Mahomes which should’ve been an easy completion. The second pick was thrown behind the back shoulder of the receiver and was deflected into the hands of 49ers safety Tarvarius Moore.
Watkins caught five of the six balls thrown his way and averaged close to 20 yards per catch. The former fourth overall pick totaled 98 yards on five catches.
While Watkins never found the endzone, he bailed out the offense any time they needed a big play. Watkins’ receptions of 28, 4, 19, 41, and 38 yards firmly planted him in the MVP conversation.
While Chris Jones’ performance doesn’t necessarily make a dent in the stat sheet, in terms of late game plays, Jones was quietly the most clutch player on the field. While the Chiefs defense was quiet for most of the game, Jones batted down three Jimmy Garoppolo passes in the fourth quarter.
All three passes defensed came in between three Chiefs unanswered touchdowns. Two of which sent the Niners to third down on drives that ended in a punt and a turnover on downs with under two minutes to play.
Mahomes looked skittish from the opening snap; the San Francisco defensive front kept mounting pressure with each passing play. He wasn’t able to extend plays the way he normally likes to for most of the game. The best way to describe the first 53 minutes of his game is pedestrian.
The quarterback began to play like himself late in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs eventually wore down the defense and their offensive speed took advantage of the opportunity. While Mahomes certainly contributed to the late-game comeback, he was far from the most deserving to be name Super Bowl LIV MVP.