The touchdown pass that finished off the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-17, in overtime Sunday after a second miracle finish in a week, was simply great. It was the Eagles' second loss at home in two weeks, they were winless until this point, and people were losing faith. In Doug Pederson's first two seasons, the team went 14-2 and won their first playoff game before shocking the world with their Super Bowl appearance two weeks ago.
But this wasn't the success story that Chiefs fans expected. They watched both Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins lead their teams to Super Bowl appearances, and both won after great finishes. Plus, they knew the Colts and Patriots lost road games and needed turnovers. Tom Brady and Andrew Luck were shockingly miserable in Week 17, three weeks before they faced off in Houston.
And now, both had losses. But on that fourth-and-16 pass to Tyreek Hill, Mahomes called plays and controlled the sideline. On the same day the Browns won and the Colts lost, the Chiefs, who entered the game with just a 3-5 record and the fifth-ranked scoring offense, put up 45 points and chased the Patriots down.
"They're going to come back," Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said of the Patriots. "It's not easy to come back from a 16-point deficit, especially if you have all these opportunities against your own goal line. As bad as they played and as bad as they looked, they're not going to go away and I'm really confident they're going to find a way to come back."
The Patriots had two turnovers and only five first downs. Brady put up 17 points himself with two questionable interceptions and a lost fumble. The Patriots forced Mahomes into two picks -- he's the first player in NFL history to score 50 touchdowns and throw only eight interceptions in a single season -- and didn't sack him once.
It seemed the Chiefs were about to run away, which they did at the end of the third quarter. The Patriots were on their 24-yard line and ahead 17-6, when cornerback Stephon Gilmore was flagged for pass interference on Kelce. With a huge advantage at the NFL's third-most productive red zone offense, Mahomes led the Chiefs 95 yards to a touchdown and four-point lead.
But on the first snap of the fourth quarter, on fourth-and-1, with two Patriots on their 47, Josh Gordon dropped a pass with wide-open second-and-20. With Brady seemingly fumbling and the Patriots' defense once again forced into a fourth-and-long, New England found its stride and outscored the Chiefs 16-3 in the fourth quarter.
But when New England lost Graham Gano for a 32-yard loss on the ensuing kickoff, the Patriots still had a chance.
And Mahomes led an eight-play, 79-yard drive.
But Nick Foles threw for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left. On the game-winning touchdown, Rob Gronkowski made a drop, Rob Ninkovich picked up a DB and turned the corner on a stop blitz. Gronkowski's catch looked mighty — the star tight end made this catch about 20 times more often than another go-to play down the stretch.
After the Bills' Tyrod Taylor made a perfect throw on the opposing 24-yard line, Foles promptly threw the ball to linebacker Vince Biegel at the goal line. Mahomes took over on the next play.
The unbelievable came into play yet again on the play after the go-ahead touchdown, with the Chiefs attempting an onside kick that the Patriots recovered. Mahomes earned the nickname of "Captain Comeback" for his unbelievable plays this season. That nickname certainly applied to Sunday.
"If we got five more years like this, I'll be very, very happy," said Kelce. "It's an exciting thing. You can't give an inch."