Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid declared quarterback Patrick Mahomes should be named NFL MVP for the 2022 season.
In a thrilling AFC Championship Game that went down to the wire, Mahomes overcame his frustrating ankle injury to lead the Chiefs past the Bengals with a 23-20 win at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes entered the game without a win in three meetings with Bengals star Joe Burrow, but the MVP favourite ensured he finally got one over his rival as kicker Harrison Butker sunk the clinching field goal to win with just three seconds remaining.
The win means the Chiefs have reached the Super Bowl on three occasions in the past four years after hosting five successive AFC title games at home. Mahomes has been a starter in the NFL for just five years since taking over from Alex SmIth in 2018 - the year he won MVP.
Mahomes has enjoyed a stellar campaign en route to his third Super Bowl appearance. The 27-year-old threw for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns while he compiled a rating of 105.2 - and Reid believes his quarterback deserves hardware for his performances.
“I'll say it again, Mahomes should be named MVP for the season,” Reid said after the victory over the Bengals. “He proved it again on Sunday.”
Reid also praised the toughness of Mahomes after the quarterback played through pain and adversity due to the high ankle sprain he suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
Despite his pain and the fact he was visibly limited, Mahomes managed an incredibly gutsy run in the closing moments of the game to draw a penalty from Joseph Ossai, setting up Butker to fire the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.
Reid saved special praise for his defence and the pass-rush in particular, as the unit tallied five sacks on Burrow that proved to be crucial in winning the game. He added: “Chris Jones had an unbelievable game along with Frank Clark, the whole defence played spectacular.”
Mahomes and Reid reached Super Bowl LIV where they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 before the duo lost a year later against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as Tom Brady won his seventh ring. The Chiefs will look to add another title to their collection when they play in the Super Bowl next week.
The Philadelphia Eagles - Reid’s former team - will face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona on February 12. The Eagles crushed the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the NFC Championship Game, and Reid is looking forward to the occasion.
“I can't wait for us to play each other in this game, it's going to be awesome,” Reid, who coached the Eagles for 14 seasons, said. “What a great Super Bowl it's going to be.”