The celebration could wait
There’s a compelling argument to be made that Chiefs running back Damien Williams should have been Super Bowl MVP. While Patrick Mahomes engineered Kansas City’s fourth-quarter comeback, his performance was fairly pedestrian by the lofty standards he’s set for himself (26-of-42 passing for 268 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions). Williams, meanwhile, rushed for 104 yards on just 17 carries and scored two touchdowns (one running and one receiving).
It was a breakout performance for a guy who went undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2014 and hadn’t had more than 11 carries in an NFL game before the Chiefs signed him in 2018. Better yet, it happened in Miami, where he played his first four seasons in the league.
If there was an undrafted running back we expected to be talking about after the game, it was San Francisco’s Raheem Mostert, who was cut by six teams before his star turn in the NFC Championship Game. But Mostert couldn’t recreate his performance against the Packers as Kyle Shanahan decided to call more pass plays than runs.
After the game, as the confetti started to fall, Williams wasn’t on the field with his teammates. He had run down the tunnel to find Mostert so the two could share a few words and swap jerseys.
Later, Williams went on NFL Network and explained why he wanted to find Mostert in the confusion. The two actually have a deep bond.
“I know what it meant to him and to me to be undrafted,” Mostert said. “He went through seven teams. I don’t think you’ve ever heard of two undrafted guys coming into this game as a starter. We talked all the time throughout the year. It was nothing new like, ‘I’m just going to come holler at you now because we’re on the same stage.’ No, that’s my friend. At the end of the day, I’m making sure he’s good. This is a tough loss.”
That’s an MVP-caliber sentiment, at least.
I was right!
Remember that extremely emo photo Tom Brady tweeted on Thursday that had Patriots fans thinking he was leaving? Remember how I said it was probably a tease for a Super Bowl ad? Well, look who was right.
I’m just glad it wasn’t an ad for his TB12 line of magic potions.
The best of SI
It looked like another disappointment on the big stage for Andy Reid until the Chiefs’ offense rose from the dead in the fourth quarter. ... Patrick Mahomes is here to stay after his crowning moment in the Super Bowl. ... Scenes from inside the Niners’ locker room. ... Kyle Shanahan suffered another Super Bowl collapse, three years after 28–3. ... The Chiefs’ first touchdown of the night was scored on a play they stole from the 1948 Michigan team.
Around the sports world
Patrick Mahomes’s kneel-downs at the end of the game cost some bettors a bunch of money. ... In non-Super Bowl news, Adam Schefter reports the Raiders are prepared to make a run at Tom Brady. ... Ian Rapoport reports, meanwhile, that the Patriots are willing to pay Brady as much as $30 million to keep him in Foxborough.
This was the play that swung it
Or was this the play that swung it?
That’s Niners GM John Lynch imploring his team to call a timeout at the end of the first half. San Francisco got the ball with 59 seconds left in the half and all three timeouts in its pocket. Kyle Shanahan elected to play it conservatively and run the ball up the middle, content to go into halftime tied. Some points there would have really helped.
I didn’t think it was that much of a snoozer
This is such a great idea
You deserve it, Andy
Travis Kelce is going to party harder than anyone else
Look at the time stamp
... and on this one
Now he’s actually doing it
Congratulations to this high schooler on putting together a championship-winning roster
Not an exaggeration to say this was the best halftime ever
A-Rod was going nuts
That’s one way to do it
Watch the full version of every Super Bowl ad. ... A group of would-be robbers tried to barricade an armored truck with burning cars but the driver evaded their trap. ... How to spot a deepfake.
J.J. Watt’s Rudy parody on SNL
This guy spent a year only eating food he grew or foraged
Too many birds
A good song
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