(Reuters) - Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes produced a dazzling 27-yard touchdown run in leading Kansas City to victory over Tennessee in Sunday’s AFC Championship game but took little credit for the score, instead thanking his team mates for opening up a path to the end zone for him.
On second-and-10 in the waning moments of the first half, Mahomes stepped back and was 36 yards from the end zone as he looked to get off a pass before being clobbered by the Titans defense.
But with no good options catching his eye he took off running, evading two defenders before appearing as though he would step out-of-bounds at about the 25-yard line.
Mahomes stayed in-bounds by inches, however, and with the end zone looming cut back inside, spun out of an attempted tackle, and used his momentum to complete the touchdown as he fell to the ground.
In 12 seconds the entire complexion of the game had changed, as the Chiefs took their first lead over the Titans en route to an eventual 35-24 victory and a trip to the Super Bowl.
“(With) the offensive line blocking for me, it opened up and I just ran in and got some good blocks there at the end and found a way to get into the end zone,” said Mahomes, who led his team in rushing for the second week in a row.
“I have these weapons. I’m lucky to be part of this team and be here with all these guys. It makes my job a lot easier.”
Mahomes, 24, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, is an NFL marketing dream and looms as the face of the Feb. 2 Super Bowl in Miami.
The son of a Major League Baseball pitcher, Mahomes is as poised in interviews as in the pocket, something that will stand him in good stead in the two-week build-up to the season finale.
“We all believe in him,” said Kansas City head coach Andy Reid.
“Pat is a leader of the team and everybody knows that and respects him for it and that’s why we’re here.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford