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It’s safe to say that Super Bowl 55 didn’t go according to plan for Patrick Mahomes. For virtually the first time in his NFL career, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback looked human; thanks to a perfect storm of challenges, he was running for his life all night and failed to throw a touchdown pass. His performance, however, still made quite an impression on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Thanks to NFL Films, we’ve gotten a bit of insight into what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ sideline was saying about Patrick Mahomes on Sunday Night. Even in defeat, the KC quarterback still earned some high praise from his opponents.

Patrick Mahomes’ stats were seriously ugly during Super Bowl 55

Under normal circumstances, Patrick Mahomes’ stats are unbelievable in the best possible way; you’ll look at the box score and find yourself asking if he really threw for hundreds of yards in a single quarter. On Super Bowl Sunday, however, things were quite a bit different.

While everyone can point their finger at various root causes, ranging from injuries to bad play-calling, the Chiefs found themselves facing a perfect storm. Todd Bowles’ Buccaneer defense took away the deep ball while pressuring Patrick Mahomes; a patchwork offensive line was unable to withstand that pressure, forcing the quarterback to run for his life on seemingly every play. Once the Chiefs fell behind and had to throw, the issues only compounded.

In the end, Mahomes posted one of the worst stat lines we’ve ever seen from him. The quarterback finished the night completing 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards; he failed to throw a touchdown but did throw two interceptions.

Even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers bench was impressed with the Kansas City quarterback

A box score, however, doesn’t tell the entire story of a game. While Patrick Mahomes did struggle, he also did his best to produce some Mahomes magic, escaping the pocket and trying to make something happen. Those desperation passes usually fell incomplete, but they still impressed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Thanks to clips captured by NFL Films, we now know that Tampa’s receiving corps thought pretty highly of Mahomes’ efforts, even in defeat. “Mahomes is unbelievable,” Mike Evans said on one occasion. “He is a magician,” Chris Godwin added after another pass. “I’m convinced.”

The video also showed Goodwin, Evans, and Scotty Miller sitting on the bench after Mahomes threw a pass while he was falling and parallel to the ground. As you’d assume, the receivers couldn’t believe what they just saw.

Patrick Mahomes is still a special player, even with a heavy Super Bowl defeat on his resume


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In the time of hot takes and rapid reactions, it’s easy to treat Super Bowl 55 as a permanent stain on Patrick Mahomes’ NFL resume; he had a chance to beat the GOAT head-to-head and failed miserably. At the end of the day, though, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is still a special player.

As mentioned above, just about everything went wrong for Mahomes on Super Bowl Sunday. He was playing through a foot injury behind a patchwork offensive line; his receivers dropped some key passes, and Kansas City didn’t get much help from the referees.

While the quarterback did finish the game with an abysmal stat line, he still showed some of what makes him special. You can’t teach escapability, arm strength, and improvisation; with all due respect to Tom Brady, for example, he simply can’t run around for 10 seconds, hold off two defenders, and throw a strike while falling to the ground.

As the saying goes, “game recognized game.” If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receivers, who play alongside the NFL’s GOAT, are impressed by Patrick Mahomes throwing incomplete passes, then you know he was doing something special.

Patrick Mahomes has spent three seasons as an NFL starter and made it to one AFC Championship and two Super Bowls. Whether you call him a “magician,” a generational talent, or anything else, one heavy defeat doesn’t change that reality.