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NFL Championship LVII review: Mahomes leads Chiefs to epic win

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the NFL Championship for the second time in four years following a thrilling come-from-behind triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona's State Farm Stadium.

Sent off narrow underdogs for NFL Championship LVII, the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs were trailing 24-14 as Rihanna took the stage for the half-time show before a second-half turnaround saw them claim a 38-35 victory.

Rivals trade blows before Eagles get on top

Both Chiefs quarterback Mahomes and his Eagles counterpart Jalen Hurts arrived in Arizona with fitness concerns but the NFL Championship ultimately still boiled down to a battle between two of the NFL's strongest offences.

Dual-threat QB Hurts was first to make his mark in the early stages of the first quarter, using his power to score a touchdown via a quarterback sneak, but Mahomes quickly responded, finding his favourite target, tight end Travis Kelce, to level at 7-7.

Hurts would then put the Eagles ahead at the start of the second quarter, dropping a 68-yard bomb for an A.J. Brown TD before the Chiefs again hit back, this time via the defence as Nick Bolton recovered a Hurts fumble to tie up the game.

From then on, the first half was all about the Eagles as Hurts rushed for a second TD while on the other side of the ball, Chiefs fans were left to fear the worst as Mahomes, who was already nursing a high ankle sprain, limped gingerly away from a tackle.

Jake Elliott's successful field goal would put the Eagles ten points ahead at half-time.

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Magic Mahomes edges vanquished Hurts for MVP crown

The Eagles, however, were about to learn that Mahomes should never be written off as the regular-season MVP produced a masterful second-half performance to lead his team to a third NFL title.

The Chiefs superstar set the tone early in the third quarter, finding Kelce and Justin Watson with completions before scrambling on his own to the five-yard line, allowing bruising back Isiah Pacheco to punch in a third Kansas City touchdown.

Elliott's second successful field goal helped to restore some of the Eagles' margin before the start of the fourth quarter.

With the Lombardi Trophy on the line, Mahomes went to work, putting KC ahead for the first time in the game thanks to a 75-yard drive and a touchdown pass to wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

The Chiefs defence then came up big again, forcing the Eagles to punt to mid-season recruit Toney, who produced the biggest play of NFL Championship LVII, a 65-yard punt return - the longest in NFL Championship history - to immediately putting his team in the red zone.

Mahomes would find Skyy Moore for a touchdown but the Eagles hit back again through the remarkable Hurts, who found DeVonta Smith with a deep ball and then the end zone with his legs before tying the game with a two-point conversion.

However, with five minutes left on the clock, the stage was set for Mahomes, who would lead the drive which would win NFL Championship LVII, the quarterback passing his way through the Eagles defence before scrambling from the halfway line to the opposition's 20.

Philadelphia's defence looked to have done enough to at least limit the Chiefs to a field goal with time on the clock but a controversial holding call on third and eight allowed Kansas City to run down the seconds before Harrison Butker kicked the game-winning field goal.

Mahomes would scoop the NFL Championship MVP award for the second time in his career, as he did when leading the Chiefs to the Lombardi in 2020, the quarterback throwing for three touchdowns while also shrugging off his ankle problems to rush for 44 yards.

The 27-year-old was all heart, producing a legacy-defining performance, but spare a thought for Hurts, who would've been nailed-on to be named MVP had the Eagles claimed victory instead.

Playing in his first NFL Championship, Hurts threw for 304 yards and one touchdown and produced three of his own on the ground and there will be more big days ahead for the 24-year-old.

Coach Reid ready to return for Chiefs' title defence

With Mahomes in their ranks, Kansas City will fancy their chances of mounting a successful defence of their NFL Championship crown and the Chiefs are the 11/2 favourites to be celebrating further success at Las Vegas's Allegiant Stadium in 2024.

While the superstar quarterback will claim the plaudits, credit must also go to veteran head coach Andy Reid, who has now masterminded two Chiefs' NFL Championship victories but was subject of retirement rumours before the game.

However, Reid was quick to squash any talk of retirement after the game, telling reporters that he was "good with what I'm doing now".

The Buffalo Bills are next in the betting at 13/2 behind AFC rivals Kansas City with the San Francisco 49ers at 13/2. The vanquished Eagles are 8/1 to go one better in Nevada next season.

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