The Big 12 has long been regarded as being below the caliber of the SEC and some of the other top Power-5 conferences in college football, but it has now produced a Super Bowl champion quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. And Mahomes actually believes playing in the conference contributed to his championship.
Mahomes joined NFL Network’s postgame show on Sunday after helping his Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20. He was asked by LaDainian Tomlinson how he rallied back from down 20-10 after throwing an interception in the fourth quarter and shared his reason.
54 greatest Super Bowl teams: 49ers have 3 in top 10, but not No. 1
As Super Bowl LIV approaches, here is a countdown of the 54 greatest teams to ever play on Super Bowl Sunday. And not all of them were the winners.With that in mind as Super Bowl LIV approaches, here are what I believe to be the 54 greatest teams to play on Super Sunday ...
“I kind of joke around about it sometimes, but I was kind of blessed to be in the Big 12 where you had to go and score, and if you threw an interception, you got the ball back, you try to score again. I’ve kind of had that mindset where no matter what happens the last play, just focus on the next play,” Mahomes said, crediting his college conference.
Mahomes also credited his coaches, especially offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, for preaching that mindset.
“Coach Eric Bieniemy is big on that … having people around me and coaches around me instills the confidence, I focus on the next play no matter what I did the previous play.”
Mahomes did not play his best game, but he came through in the end, and you can probably thank that mentality for helping the former Texas Tech quarterback come through.
How the Kansas City Chiefs arrived at Super Bowl LIV
It was a season of ups and downs for the Kansas City Chiefs, but the team got hot at the right time to punch its ticket to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Here's a look at how the Chiefs got to Super Bowl LIV.
The Chiefs opened the season with a dominant performance at Jacksonville in a 40-26 win. Patrick Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Sammy Watkins caught all three touchdown passes with nine receptions for 198 yards.
The Chiefs scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter after falling behind 10-0 at Oakland in the first quarter. Patrick Mahomes had another spectacular game, with 443 yards passing and four touchdowns, while DeMarcus Robinson played well in relief of the injured Tyreek Hill with 172 yards and two touchdown catches.
The Chiefs got a major scare at Detroit, but Patrick Mahomes was able to orchestrate a game-winning drive that led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Darrel Williams with 20 seconds remaining. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland also had a 100-yard fumble recovery for a score in the third quarter.
The banged-up Chiefs offense generated only 13 points in the team's first loss of the season. Marlon Mack rushed for 132 yards for the Colts, and former Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston made a critical fourth down tackle late in the contest.
Kansas City suffered its second consecutive home loss as the Texans effectively played keep-away, holding the ball for nearly 40 of the 60 minutes. Tyreek Hill was able to catch two touchdown passes in his return from injury, but former Chief Carlos Hyde rushed for 116 yards and one score.
The Chiefs defense really started to come together in a "Thursday Night Football" victory at Denver, but the dominating 30-6 victory wasn't the story of the night. Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap on a quarterback sneak early in the game, but the team was able to rally behind backup Matt Moore.
Without Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs fell just short at home vs. Green Bay. Backup quarterback Matt Moore still had a good game with 267 yards and two touchdowns, but the Chiefs defense couldn't stop Aaron Rodgers, who threw three touchdown passes.
The Chiefs were able to pull out a big win without Patrick Mahomes. Damien Williams' 91-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the highlight of the game, and Harrison Butker made two long field goals in the last 2:30 of the game to win.
Expert: This is the #1 Cash Back Card on the Market
Patrick Mahomes' return from a knee injury didn't go as planned at Tennessee. He was able to throw for 446 yards and three scores in the game, but the Chiefs squandered a late 32-27 lead after a botched field goal snap and quick touchdown drive by the Titans. Kansas City did have a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation, but Harrison Butker's field goal attempt was blocked.
The Chiefs were able to put their miraculous loss to Tennessee behind them with a 24-17 win over the rival Chargers at Mexico City. Kansas City picked off Philip Rivers four times, including an interception late in the game when the Chargers had a chance to tie.
The Raiders had a chance to take the lead in the AFC West in Week 13, but Kansas City had no problem in its second win of the year vs. Oakland. The Chiefs had three rushing touchdowns, and rookie safety Juan Thornhill also had a 46-yard pick six.
After losing to the Patriots in last year's AFC championship, the Chiefs were able to return the favor at Foxborough. Patrick Mahomes threw for 283 yards despite playing through a banged-up hand that he suffered early in the game.
Kansas City fought through the snow to dominate the Broncos for the second time in 2019. Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, while Travis Kelce had 11 catches for 142 yards. Tyreek Hill also had two touchdown catches.
Former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy couldn't muster much offense against the Chiefs defense in a 26-3 loss at Soldier Field. The Bears were held to only 234 yards of offense, and Patrick Mahomes threw for 251 yards and two scores.
The Chiefs capped off their regular season with a 31-21 home win over the Chargers despite trailing 14-10 in the third quarter. Mecole Hardman got the Chiefs going with a 104-yard kickoff return touchdown, and Damien Williams also had an 84-yard rushing score. Late in the game, Kansas City was able to celebrate after Miami upset the Patriots, giving the Chiefs a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
The Chiefs were able to make an incredible second-half comeback, going into halftime leading 28-24 despite a 24-0 deficit to start the game. Patrick Mahomes finished with 321 yards and five passing touchdowns, while Travis Kelce had 10 receptions for 134 yards and three scores.
The Chiefs punched their ticket to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years by knocking off a hot Titans squad. Patriots Mahomes helped the Chiefs take a 21-17 lead with 11 seconds remaining in the second quarter with an incredible 27-yard rushing touchdown. A 60-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins in the fourth quarter sealed the victory. Mahomes had 294 yards passing and three passing touchdowns, in addition to 53 rushing yards and his running score.
Report: Patriots irritated over report on Brady's pay .
The Patriots have responded in characteristic fashion after a report that they're willing to shell out to retain Tom Brady.Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday that the Patriots are prepared to offer Brady a contract of $30 million or more, presumably for one year. We probably won’t know how accurate that is unless Brady re-signs with New England, and we may never know if he winds up with another team. However, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston said the Patriots are irritated by the $30 million report.