KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cornerback James Bradberry grabbed JuJu Smith-Schuster coming out of the break and as he turned upfield.
The penalty flag came out with roughly 1:50 remaining.
It had been third down and the Philadelphia Eagles appeared to have gotten a critical stop only to have the penalty give the Kansas City Chiefs a first down — and the chance to bleed the clock to nearly nothing in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Jerick McKinnon broke free on the next play and could have walked into the end zone.
Instead, he slid at the 1-yard line and Patrick Mahomes kneeled twice, setting up Harrison Butker’s go-ahead field goal with 8 seconds remaining.
Butker, who’d missed a field goal earlier in the game, banged through the 27-yard field goal and with it delivered a 38-35 win.
“Tears just start falling as soon as we got that victory,” cornerback L'Jarius Sneed said. “As soon as Butker hit the field goal, tears just started to come down. It’s a wonderful feeling I can’t explain.”
Kansas City, which scored on all four second-half possessions after scoring only once on four first-half drives, has hosted the last five AFC Championship Games, won three of them and now owns two Lombardi Trophies in four seasons.
“This is probably the most unselfish group that I’ve been a part of,” defensive end Chris Jones said.
It is the Chiefs' third Super Bowl win overall.
“We started in Texas in the offseason — me meeting basically a brand new group of receivers and learning, learning what they did well and learning what we could get better at and guys leading from there,” said Mahomes, who became the sixth two-time Super Bowl MVP in NFL history. “I thought the guys accepted the challenge. It was a crazy year, but we ended up on top and you can’t ask anymore from those guys.”
Winning a second Super Bowl championship further burnishes Andy Reid’s Hall of Fame credentials.
It also makes Mahomes the first player since Kurt Warner in 1999 to win the MVP and Super Bowl in the season.
“We were rolling as an offense,” said tight end Travis Kelce, who finished with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. “We went into halftime and came out with a different mentality.”
The Eagles and Chiefs traded haymakers on their opening drives, but only Philly kept up the pace the rest of the first half.
Hurts scored on a 1-yard QB sneak, capping an 11-play march with an opening-drive touchdown.
Mahomes countered six plays later with an 18-yard touchdown to tight end Travis Kelce, which was the NFL record-tying 14th career postseason touchdown between the two.
The Mahomes-to-Kelce connection is tied with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski atop the all-time postseason TD list.
After a penalty-assisted defensive stop, Harrison Butker hit the left upright with a 42-yard field goal try.
Philadelphia answered on the first play of the second quarter with a 45-yard touchdown from Hurts to AJ Brown.
Needing a spark after a three-and-out, Kansas City got one from linebacker Nick Bolton, who poked the ball away from Hurts then scooped up the fumble and ran 36 yards to the end zone for the game-tying touchdown.
“A lot of players made some big plays, whether it was Nick Bolton scooping and scoring or the big hits tonight,” defensive tackle Chris Jones said.
Bolton's score was the Chiefs’ first defensive touchdown in Super Bowl history and the first by a former Mizzou football player.
But Kansas City’s joy was short-lived.
Hurts added his second touchdown, a 4-yard run to cap a 12-play drive, before Mahomes re-aggravated a high ankle sprain that set up Philadelphia for a field goal drive to close the half with a 24-14 lead.
The Chiefs cut into that lead in the third quarter, taking the opening kickoff down for a touchdown. Isaiah Pacheco did the honors with a 1-yard run.
The Eagles countered with a 17-play drive, which ate up 7:45 and ended with a 33-yard Jake Eliott field goal for a 27-21 lead.
Kansas City needed only nine plays to take its first lead of the game on a 5-yard touchdown from Mahomes to Kadarius Toney.
The defense forced a quick three-and-out and Toney returned the ensuing punt 65 yards to the Philadelphia 5-yard line.
It was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, breaking the record set by Denver’s Jordan Norwood in Super Bowl 50 (61 yards).
Toney’s special special-teams play in which he reversed field from left to right and found acres of space down the sideline also was the longest punt return in Chiefs history.
“I don’t know what the Giants were doing with KT, but he’s a dog,” said JuJu Smith-Schuster, who finished with seven catches for 53 yards. “(General Manager Brett) Veach and Andy Reid, they know how to pick and choose who to go get and fit into the puzzle of this team.”
Three plays later, Philadelphia lost rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore in coverage, who scored a walk-in touchdown that pushed Kansas City’s lead to 35-27.
But the Eagles answered one play after the Chiefs blew their own coverage, leaving DeVonta Smith open for a 45-yard gain.
Hurts scored his third touchdown on a 2-yard run and added the game-tying two-point conversion with 5:15 remaining, but it wasn’t enough to stave off Mahomes and Kansas City.
“Two-time champ — I’m happy, overjoyed, ecstatic,” defensive end Frank Clark said.