Patrick Mahomes, an otherworldly talent, looked extremely mortal for almost 53 minutes during Super Bowl LIV. The Kansas City Chiefs' title chances were on life support. Down 20-10 and facing a 3rd and 15 from their own 35-yard line against a San Francisco defense that had taken on the form of a python, ruthlessly suffocating the breath from an arcade-inspired unit, it was now or never.
They say hope springs eternal. But for the world champion Chiefs, it sprung step by furious Tyreek Hill step. The fastest man in football was running free in fifth gear, exploring the luxurious space beyond the Niners' secondary. Mahomes, poised as ever, lofted a rain-bringing throw to his receiver as the world waited for fortunes to change.
By the time the ball came down into Hill's waiting arms, Kansas City had a new lease on life. The door had been cracked open. And the comeback was on.
The Chiefs outscored San Francisco 21-0 over the final 6:13. Mahomes, who was guiding his passes, started to throw them with reckless abandon and infinite confidence. He found Travis Kelce. He found Sammy Watkins. He found Damien Williams.
The Red Storm came fast and furious. It drowned the Niners defense. It did what it's been doing all year and, honestly, promises to do for years to come.
Mahomes is the face of the NFL. He is a surefire Hall of Famer if he stays healthy. His ceiling is the roof. There is no counting him out. To do so would be foolish.
In three straight games, it was the same story. Fall behind early, then finish with the fury of a thousand suns. It was if this team learned the story of Icarus and waited to fly so close to perfection only at the very end as to not have time to fall.
On Sunday night, they almost waited too long. On the biggest stage it looked like they were lost, looking to the wings for their line.
And then Mahomes remembered who he was. Hill remembered who he was. They remembered who they were. It was as if they stopped thinking, stopped being paralyzed by the moment and had fun.
Newton's first law is undefeated. Often tested but never beaten. An object at rest stays at rest unless compelled. Once in motion, it stays in motion.
Third and 15 was that unbalanced force. The moment everything, including history, changed.