MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tyreek Hill admitted he had a hard time staying positive as the seconds clicked off the clock. The 49ers had scored 17 straight points against Hill’s Chiefs, had methodically turned a 10-3 deficit into a 20-10 lead with less than nine minutes to play in Super Bowl 2020.
“I was like, ‘Man, how are we going to pull this off?’ ” the Chiefs’ wide receiver conceded.
Patrick Mahomes saw that. It wasn’t just Hill; a lot of eyes on the Kansas City sideline had turned glassy and wide. But Hill is his favorite target. If the Chiefs had any hope of pulling off one more postseason comeback, the two of them needed to be on the same page.
“Ten,” Mahomes said, referring to Hill by his jersey number, “you’ve got to believe, brother. The same faith you’ve had all of your career, you’ve got to believe right now. It’s going to happen, man. I can feel it.”
Maybe half an hour after the Chiefs had indeed pulled off their third comeback in three playoff games, beating the 49ers 31-20, Hill marveled at his quarterback’s confidence.
“He brought the guys together and y’all saw what happened,” he said. “We pulled it off.”
Hill, not surprisingly, was in the thick of it all. Mahomes targeted him a remarkable 16 times and the two connected on nine of those attempts for 105 yards. Four of those catches came during the two drives that gave the Chiefs a 24-20 lead, including a game-changing, back-breaking 44-yard connection in which Hill somehow found himself wide open and Mahomes dropped a perfect rainbow into his arms.
That actually came a play after it seemed what would have been a 16-yard pass on second-and-15 barely slipped through Hill’s fingers, setting up a third-and-15, and the 44-yard game-changer.
“We’re something special,” Hill said. “If I can continue to play on this team for the rest of my career I would love that, because the band of brothers, the way we believe, the way we play for each other is crazy. We are all blessed to have one another.
“We all just want to win, and that was the end result today. We got it done.”