MIAMI — Patrick Mahomes had two goals in mind when he became the starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The first was to bring back to Kansas City the Lamar Hunt Trophy signifying the AFC Conference championship. Hunt is the late founder of the Chiefs, and the conference title had not been back in Missouri in 50 years.
The second, and most important, was to help Chiefs coach Andy Reid win a Super Bowl championship.
Mahomes accomplished both objectives this season, capping the remarkable run by leading the Chiefs to a comeback 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Miami with an MVP performance.
In the process, Reid got his elusive Super Bowl title after 21 years of trying.
Now, arguably the greatest coach in NFL history without a Super Bowl championship can join the other greats who capped their career hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
It is validation for a coach who has won 336 regular-season games and now 29 playoff games. Once criticized as a great regular-season coach who could never win the big one, Reid can finally put all that talk to bed.
He was one of the coaching greats before Sunday. But his place in coaching lore is now solidified.
“I don’t think he needed the Lombardi Trophy to prove that,” Mahomes said. “But just to do that, it puts all that doubt aside, and he’s going to be listed as one of the all-time great coaches in history.”
He’s also one of the most liked.
“Honestly, that’s the best part of this,” said Chiefs offensive guard Mitch Schwartz. “He deserves it. Twenty years of stories about him, every single one is positive. You can’t find anything negative about him, and to be in this business, to work in the environment we work in, tough and competitive, for everybody to be glowing about what an amazing person he is and really rooting for him, says a lot.”
In typical fashion, Reid didn’t make Sunday about him.
“Listen, I’m happy for the Hunt family most of all. They’ve been through a lot over the years, For them to have this back in their hands, I think it’s tremendous, And for the city of Kansas City, it’s great. And then for our team, I told them I’d coach another 20 years if I could have that group right there. They’re a beautiful bunch, resilient, tough, tough-minded. Very tough-minded as you saw tonight. I’m so proud of them.”
Reid spent the first 14 years of his head coaching career with the Philadelphia Eagles, who he helped lead to the Super Bowl in 2004. But they never quite got over the hump. The win on Sunday left him thinking about his time in Philadelphia.
“Phenomenal players there. We were so close so many times,” he said. Basking in the glow of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory, Reid said his heart also goes out to those Eagles players. “They have a little piece of all of this. It’s humbling to think about all that. I do appreciate every bit of it.”