Fri, 21 Feb 2020

Mahomes displays cool demeanor on Super Bowl Opening Night

Field Level Media
28 Jan 2020, 12:55 GMT+10

Patrick Mahomes is well aware of one Super Bowl trivia item in particular.

Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Kurt Warner are the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to win a Most Valuable Player award and play in a Super Bowl in their first three seasons. On Sunday, that list will expand to three when Mahomes takes the field for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

The 24-year-old smiled and shook his head at the milestone Monday during Super Bowl Opening Night in Miami.

"It's pretty surreal to be anywhere mentioned with those two guys," Mahomes said during an interview broadcast on NFL Network. "It's a tribute to my teammates, it really is. I got put in a great situation, and I try to maximize it every single day."

Mahomes and his teammates fielded questions from countless media members during the prime-time event at Marlins Park, which is about 12 miles south of where the Chiefs will square off against the San Francisco 49ers this weekend. It will be the biggest moment in the burgeoning career of the young quarterback who shined at Texas Tech before the Chiefs drafted him at No. 10 overall in 2017.

Warner was in his second season when he won the 1999 MVP award and led the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl title that season. Marino also won the MVP in his second year, 1984, but his Miami Dolphins lost in the Super Bowl that season.

If Mahomes is nervous about trying to duplicate Warner's feat, he didn't show it in front of dozens of cameras at Opening Night.

A calm demeanor has helped Mahomes set regular-season records as he pursues a Super Bowl title. After taking over full-time starting duties last season, he went on to pass for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2018.

However, the Chiefs' 2018 season ended abruptly with a 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game. Mahomes was forced to watch from home as Tom Brady and the Patriots picked up another ring.

"When you're that close, you want to make sure you get back the next year," Mahomes said. "All the guys on the team, we just took it one day at a time, went through the process, maximized every single day that we had and found a way to get here."

By comparison, this season included a few more challenges, including a knee injury that kept him out of two games. He still shined, throwing for 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Mahomes is quick to credit his coach, Andy Reid, and his teammates at any mention of success. The Chiefs' offense averaged 379.2 yards per game this season, which ranked sixth in the NFL.

"We have a lot of weapons, I'll say that," Mahomes said. "We went out there and scored a lot of points, put a lot of good tape out there, so now it's about playing a really, really good defense and just playing the way we know we can play."

About that defense: The 49ers finished second in the NFL, allowing only 281.8 yards per game.

"They're good everywhere," Mahomes said. "They play off each other, they know the scheme, they do it well. So for us it's about going through the process, going through the game plan and just executing the plays when Coach Reid calls them."

If Mahomes looks as comfortable Sunday as he did Tuesday night, the odds might be in his favor.

"We know we're playing a great opponent, but we're going to try to win the game," he said. "Get one for Coach Reid, get one for Kansas City, and get one for everybody (on the team)."

--Field Level Media

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