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With victory, Patrick Mahomes breaks 52-year-old Super Bowl streak

On Sunday night, Kansas City’s quarterback did something that’s never been done since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One of the big stories about the Kansas City Chiefs38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles is about how quarterback Patrick Mahomes broke a longstanding curse. No NFL MVP quarterback had won an NFL championship since 1999 MVP Kurt Warner won Super Bowl XXXIV for the St. Louis Rams.

But honestly, it wasn’t really much of a curse. While it’s true that it had been more than two decades since it had happened, current NFL MVPs had won eight of the 29 post-merger Super Bowls preceding Warner’s victory — and four of the previous seven. And since Warner’s win, the NFL MVP had appeared in eight of 21 NFL championships.

Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana — who was named 1989’s NFL MVP before winning Super Bowl XXIII — always used to say, “The ball is shaped weird — and sometimes it bounces funny.” A bounce here or there in any of those Super Bowls could easily have broken that MVP “curse.”

With this victory, however, Mahomes wipes out one of the NFL’s most bizarre statistics: In the 53 Super Bowls played since the NFL merger in 1970, 15 NFL quarterbacks have led the league in touchdown passes before playing in the Super Bowl — and eight have won it. 17 Super Bowl quarterbacks had the league’s best passer rating before appearing the in the championship game — and nine then won. 13 quarterbacks played in the Super Bowl after leading the league in completion percentage. Five of them won the championship game.

But until Mahomes stepped onto the field at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Sunday evening, no NFL quarterback had ever led the league in passing yards before winning the Super Bowl. In most seasons, we knew that the streak would remain unbroken long before the game was played — because only six quarterbacks had ever made the championship game after leading the league in yards: Dan Marino (1984), Kurt Warner (2001), Rich Gannon (2002), Tom Brady (2007 and 2017) and Peyton Manning (2013). But none of those six quarterbacks played for the winning team.

But thanks to Mahomes, this very unusual streak has finally been broken.

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