Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has played in many big games during his NFL career — including three previous trips to the Super Bowl. But the superstar quarterback admits he still gets nervous before a big game.
“You’re always going to have nerves going into the Super Bowl,” Mahomes told reporters during Monday’s Super Bowl Opening Night in Las Vegas. “It’s about embracing those nerves and understanding that they’re going to be there — [and] then, going out there and being who you are. Obviously, I’d say my first one was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in the Super Bowl, but I think now it’s just about going out there and playing the game.
“There’s going to be a lot. We’re in Vegas, we’re in the spot in the world where you would want to be playing this football game. But you’ve just got to go out there, embrace your nerves, and be who you are.”
Mahomes’ maturity (and his long list of accomplishments) makes it easy to forget that he’s only 28 years old. In just his seventh pro season, he will be starting his fourth Super Bowl on Sunday evening.
“I don’t think I could have ever foreseen what was going to happen at the start of my career,” observed the two-time NFL MVP. “Obviously, you want to get to the Super Bowl; that’s your ultimate goal. To be able to be in my fourth one, it truly is surreal. I just try to appreciate it every single time because you don’t even know if this will be your last. I’ve been blessed to be with a great organization and with a lot of great players around me.”
Mahomes has a 2-1 Super Bowl record. His most recent win was a year ago against the Philadelphia Eagles. A third victory would launch him (and the Chiefs) into legendary territory. Only seven other franchises won back-to-back Super Bowls — a challenge Mahomes says he is ready to embrace.
“Being able to win back-to-back Super Bowls is special,” he acknowledged. “There’s like a small group of teams that have been able to do that… It’s a great challenge and we’re going to have to play our best football — but I think we’ve got the guys to do it.”
Still, Mahomes insists he is motivated by something else, too. In 2021, Kansas City suffered a crushing 31-9 Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s something the quarterback will never forget.
“I’ve lost the Super Bowl — and I know how bad that hurts,” he said. “You want to make sure you stay away from that feeling... when you lose, you’re in that locker room and you feel like you were that close — but you didn’t get it. That feeling? I’m almost more addicted to staying away from that feeling than I am [to] hoisting the trophy.”
There’s no question: Mahomes is a once-in-a-generation player. But he remains just as motivated as ever — not only to win, but to continue his career without remorse
“What drives me my entire career is [that] I don’t have any regrets,” he revealed. “I understand how lucky I am to be in the situation: to get drafted to Kansas City, to have Andy Reid as my coach, to have Travis Kelce as my tight end. [It’s] like I got drafted here, and I just ended up with all these guys.
“I don’t want to look back at my career and say I regret how I went out there and performed. Every single day — if that’s working out, watching film [or] whatever it is — if I get everything that I have, I can be satisfied with the results. That’s what drives me every single day.”