We Did It! Again

Chiefs edge Philadelphia for Super Bowl crown, draw massive crowds for Downtown celebration.

By Dennis Boone

It wasn’t just coming back from 10 points down at halftime. It wasn’t just coming back behind a quarterback playing with one good leg. It wasn’t just racking up 38 points against one of the best defenses in the NFL this season.

All of them added up to a Super Bowl classic, one that came down to the final seconds before Harrison Butker’s 27-yard field goal secured victory: Kansas City Chiefs 38, Philadelphia Eagles 35.

That set the stage for the Feb. 15 victory parade through Downtown Kansas City, culminating at Union Station with team officials, players and coaches providing comments for a raucous crowd estimated well more than half a million.

Sports economists are generally in agreement that large-scale achievement on the field of play do little to elevate a community’s economic prospects. To the extent that they do, it may have more to do with fans feeling better about their lives and circumstances, and thus willing to spend more freely—up to a point, and within a certain time frame.

But there’s little doubt that a television audience estimated at 113 million—more than one American in three, among all age groups—tuned in for this year’s Super Bowl. It’s tough to imagine Patrick Mahomes path to greater name awareness, for Kansas City itself and the Chiefs as a brand, the game has, at least temporarily, raised the nation’s consciousness about this place. 

Back to the game itself. A great deal of media hoo-ha was expended about a holding call against the Eagles in final minutes, one that allowed the Chiefs to essentially run out the clock before Butker’s kick. And much was made of the high-scoring nature of this game, the third-most points in Super Bowl history. 

Too often overlooked in the post-game coverage was the role of the Chiefs’ defense. Eagle quarterback Jalen Hurts had his way throughout the first half in building that 24-14 lead, but holding the birds’ powerful offense to 11 second-half points was impressive. And the reality is, without Nick Bolton’s 36-yard scoop-and-score off of Hurts’ unforced fumble, the Chiefs probably wouldn’t have won this game. In that sense, defense does indeed win championships.

The offensive line, as well, is due its tribute. The Eagles came into the game with more quarterback sacks this season than any team in the league. They got to Mahomes … not once. Not for a sack, anyway. The one time they wrapped him up, he flicked the ball to Kelce for a first down. The O-line also paved the way for 158 badly needed rushing yards. As much as Philadelphia kept Mahomes on the bench with time of possession in the first half, the Five Linemen of the Apocalypse flipped that script in the second half to keep Hurts on the Eagles’ sideline.

Woven throughout the game were some other intriguing outcomes and data points:

• Mahomes, in just his third Super Bowl, has tied the legendary Tom Brady with comebacks of at least 10 points in the title game: They both found themselves in that tight spot three times, winning twice.

• By the way: 45 other quarterbacks in Super Bowl history have also been down by 10 points during their games. Their record? 0-45.

• This victory allowed head coach Andy Reid, who finally broke the Super Bowl championship hex in 2020, to pass Dallas great Tom Landry in post-season wins, with 22. With 10 more, Reid could pass New England’s Bill Belichick. 

• Travis Kelce’s over-the-shoulder catch for the Chiefs first touchdown moved him to No. 1 all-time among tight ends for postseason TDs, passing New England’s Rob Gronkowski. Kelce is six away from tying Jerry Rice for No. 1 all time leader.

• Mahomes threw touchdowns to a pair of new faces in 2022—Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore—and another newcomer, running back Isaiah Pacheco, notched his first post-season score.

• Toney’s 65-yard punt return to set up the Chiefs’ first lead was the longest in Super Bowl history.  


Here’s something to chew over: Walk the Chiefs victory parade route from its starting point at Sixth and Grand, all the way to the stage at Union Station, where the partying kicked up a notch.

If you make that trek, you’ve covered roughly 2,992 yards. 

Think that’s a lot? Well, it’s only about half of the yardage delivered on the playing fields in 2022 via Patrick Mahomes arm. On his way to what was statistically the best of his five full seasons as the Chiefs quarterback, Mahomes threw for 5,953 yards. And, of course, 48 touchdowns.

So he had plenty to boast about when he finally took his place on celebration stage, facing a massive crowd that filled lower Downtown all the way to the top of Liberty Memorial Hill. 

Plenty to brag about, but he didn’t brag. Instead, he started flinging compliments the way he tosses footballs—all over the place. And he threw out a promise, too.

“Before the started season, the AFC West, they said we were rebuilding. I’ll be honest with you: I don’t know what rebuilding means. In our rebuilding, we’re world champs. We appreciate everybody here; Arrowhead Stadium is one of a kind. Chiefs Kingdom one of a kind. This is just the beginning: We ain’t done yet. I hope to hit you all back next year, and hope the crowd is the same.”

For Reid—the only coach in NFL history who can claim double-digit playoff victories with two teams—the Lombardi Trophy’s residency here is a tribute to Kansas City itself.

“There are some great cities in America, but there’s no place you’d rather be and no greater place than to be right here,” he told the throng of more than half a million packed in around Union Station, up the hill to the Liberty Memorial. “It’s not often you’re able to say you have the greatest team in the world, the greatest players in the world, we have the greatest organization in the world—but most of all, the greatest fans in the world.”