Once again, Texas Tech football great Patrick Mahomes II is on top of the world after leading his Chiefs to a 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. It is the third Super Bowl win of Mahomes career and the third time he's been named the Super Bowl MVP.
There is no question that Mahomes is the face of the NFL, if not the face of American sports, yet he remained amazingly humble throughout his postgame press conference. In fact, he started off by giving credit to his coach and a player who was the starting QB for the Chiefs when Mahomes was a rookie in 2017.
"It's culture, man," he said. "I got brought into this culture. Alex Smith was leading this team and they had the pieces in place. Coach [Andy] Reid was the ultimate leader and I got brought in and I just try to exemplify that that keep pushing to be even better and that's why, in moments like this, guys come through. It truly is special, it really is special, to be able to say we are back-to-back champs."
Mahomes' humility in instance such as Sunday night are why he's so beloved. Sure, he's great on the field but he might be even better off of it. He's a team-first, others-first player who also just happens to be the best player in the world and one of the greatest of all time.
Yet his first remarks were about what others had built to allow him to succeed. He then went on to heap more praise upon his head coach, Andy Reid.
"I believe he's the best coach of all time," Mahomes said. "I know he doesn't have the trophies yet and I have a lot of respect for some of those great coaches but the way he's able to navigate every single team he has, continue to have success no matter where he's at, and for me, he brings out the best in me because he lets me be me. I think that's important. He doesn't try to make me be anyone else. I don't think I'd be the quarterback I am if I didn't have Coach Reid as my head coach. Other than that, he wants you to be the best person you could be and that's something that I think is truly special."
Reid now joins a group of just four men to have won three Super Bowl titles as a head coach. He joins Cuck Knoll, Bill Walsh, and Bill Belichick in that exclusive group.
Of course, there was a time this year when many wrote off the Chiefs. Losers of five of eight games at one point in the regular season, many were quick to throw dirt on the defending champions' coffin. However, Mahomes and Kansas City would rebound to claim the world title and, according to the MVP, those struggles only made this championship all the more special.
"It means more," he said. "To be able to battle through that adversity and come out better on the other side. I think it prepared us for the playoffs and obviously, we've had a lot of great playoff runs but this is going to be up there, just the way we continued to battle when times weren't great."
So how did Kansas City overcome those mid-season woes to repeat? Mahomes said that it was due to his team's championship mentality, forged by experience and success.
"It's that championship mindset," he said. "Whenever things aren't going great, we're going to continue to fight. In this game, we had times when we weren't playing great, especially the offense, and weren't able to step up to the occasion when the defense was making those stops. People are going to talk about the offense because we had those last few drives but the defense is what kept us in that game. That's out entire season. They're going to give us chances and we're going to make it happen when it counts."
Again, in those remarks, Mahomes humility was on display as he credited the defense. Of course, if anyone should appreciate a great defense, it should be the guy who had the worst defense in America holding him down during his college career at Texas Tech.
In fact, in 2015 and 2016, the two seasons he was Tech's full-time starter, the Red Raider defense ranked last and second-to-last in the nation in total defense. This year, the K.C. defense ranked second in the NFL in yards per game allowed and total points allowed during the regular season helping carry the Cheifs while Mahomes and a mediocre group of receivers figured things out on the fly.
Mahomes isn't satisfied though. In the true fashion of a champion, he already has his sights set on next year when he could make NFL history.
"I'm going to celebrate tonight. I'm going to celebrate at the parade," he said. "Then I'm going to do whatever I can to be back in this game next year, try to go for that three-peat. It's an ongoing thing in the NFL, I think Tom [Brady] said it best, once you win that championship and you have those parades and get those rings, you're not the champ anymore. You've got to come back with that same mentality and I learn from guys like that who have been the greatest of all time, the top of the level and so that's my mindset."