Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Kansas City Chiefs Wins Back-To-Back Super Bowls Against San Francisco 49ers; Two Hostages Rescued From Gaza In Special Operation; "The Swift Effect" Gives Unexpected Boost To NFL Season. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 11, 2024 - 23:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. And what a finish at the Super Bowl.

The Kansas City Chiefs beating the San Francisco 49ers in overtime to repeat as NFL Champions.

CNN's Andy Scholes is at the Super Bowl live in Las Vegas. He joins me now by phone for the moment. We'll get him on camera later.

Andy, I think it's the second time ever in Super Bowl history that a game went to overtime. What a time to be a Chiefs fan. Break it down for us.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Right, Michael. It was the second time it's gone to overtime. And poor Kyle Shanahan, the head coach of the 49ers, he's been on the wrong end of both of those overtime games. The first one was between the Patriots and the Falcons when the Patriots made that epic comeback to win the Super Bowl after being down 28-3.

Shanahan was offensive coordinator for the Falcons in that game. And here he was the head coach of course of the Niners. And what a game this was. You know, the first half, awful for the Chiefs offense. They just could not get anything going. It was their worst offensive performance in 54 games points wise for them. But in the second half Patrick Mahomes just coming through big time.

He -- when the game was on the line he made the plays that mattered most, Michael, and in O.T. when he had the chance, he had to go 75 yards with a chance to win his third Super Bowl title, and he did just that. A game-winning touchdown on the final play of overtime to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

And Michael, you know, people were complaining early on, this game is boring, it's not great. It was one of the most fantastic finishes we've ever seen in Super Bowl history.

HOLMES: Yes. Heartbreak for the 49ers to lose for the second time to the Chiefs in recent years. And I guess also for quarterback Brock Purdy who was the first Mr. Irrelevant, the last man picked in the draft to lead a team in the Super Bowl. SCHOLES: Yes, you've got to feel for the 49ers. They definitely did

play their hearts out. And for Brock Purdy it would have been just the ending. I know it's been a fairy tale ending to what's just an incredible two years of his career. He was the first ever Mr. Irrelevant to lead his team to the Super Bowl. And here he was with a chance to walk away winners.

There were some big plays in this game. The Chiefs were fourth and one in overtime. The Niners if they stopped them there they would be Super Bowl champions right now. But, again, it was Mahomes making the play when he absolutely had to. And he's just proven over and over again why he's considered one of the best to ever do it.

They're just handing Andy Reid the Super Bowl, the Lombardi Trophy right now, with some big cheers from the Chiefs fans in attendance. You can assume that they're going to name Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl MVP. He threw for 333 yards, two touchdowns. Made all the big plays. It's just a fantastic performance.

And now, Michael, you can really start that discussion. Is Patrick Mahomes going to one day catch Tom Brady's seven Super Bowls and end up the greatest of all time? It is a real possibility as Mahomes is just 28 years old and has just had arguably the best first six years of a career of anyone ever.

HOLMES: Yes. I know we're going to talk a bit later about the many ups and downs. Travis Kelce didn't have a great night. I mean, he wasn't horrible but he didn't have a great night. But, you know, what struck me as somebody who wanted the Niners to win was it showed again the importance of an extra point.

SCHOLES: Oh, my goodness. Right. And that was a fear for a lot of 49ers fans the whole really -- the playoffs and into the Super Bowl was that their kicker rookie Moody, you know, he's got a strong leg but he's been really shaky. Missing a field goal, an extra point in almost every single game this season. And man, that really came to bite them, right? We went to overtime with the game tied of course. Had he made that, who knows what would have happened. You know, the Niners could have likely come out on top.

HOLMES: All right. Andy Scholes, thanks for the update there. We are going to get back to you live on the field after a quick break. We'll be back with you in a few minutes. Thanks very much, Andy Scholes.

All right. Now, we are following new developments, meanwhile, out of southern Gaza where Israel's military says two hostages have been rescued from the city of Rafah in the south during a special operation overnight.


That word as the Palestine Red Crescent Society says the city has been targeted by Israeli airstrikes and gunfire that has killed dozens of people.

CNN's Nic Robertson joins me now from Tel Aviv with the very latest. Nic, let's start with what we know about this operation and rescue.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, this is huge, huge, huge news here in Israel. I mean, people waking up in Tel Aviv and across other parts of the country today. This will be something that they've been waiting for, hoping for, that the IDF could free hostages.

What we know about this, Fernando Simon Marman, 60 years old, and Louis Har, 70 years old from Nir Yitzchak which is a kibbutz very close to the south end of Gaza. They've been held since October 7th, were freed in a raid that the IDF said that they've been planning for some time. They were waiting to set the conditions for it. They were able to put a covert team onto the second floor of a building in the vicinity of the location where the two were being held.

And then they say by distraction they targeted -- or for distraction they targeted a battalion, a Hamas battalion in that area. We understand from the Palestinian Red Crescent in Rafah that overnight there had been 60 fatalities of Palestinians. The local hospital in Rafah saying it's overwhelmed, can't treat them according to the Palestinian Red Crescent information. Two mosques and about a dozen houses were hit.

Now we're not clear if this was the distraction of which the IDF is talking about, if this was part of their military operation to free the two hostages, but we're told that the hostages are taken to a hospital here on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The operation happened around about 1:00 a.m. in the night here. So we're talking about five hours ago this all took place.

The two men are in good medical condition. There was only one light IDF injury in the operation, we understand. Also that the families of the men, we understand, and this is first early information we're getting here, either are with the two released men or will be with them very soon.

Of course for all the hostage families this means so much. It means that the military is actively trying to get their hostages out, free them. There's only been one other instance of this, and you have to go all the way back to the end of October, when a young female IDF soldier was released by the IDF, freed by the IDF in a military operation. But this one, this operation in the heart of Rafah, covertly done, will be for the military at least a huge momentous moment. There's been massive pressure on them to be able to release hostages here -- Michael.

HOLMES: Yes. On the military and also Benjamin Netanyahu. I mean, is the rescue likely to in any way temper the huge criticism Netanyahu has faced over his handling of the hostage situation or not put much of a dent in that at all? What do you think?

ROBERTSON: Yes, well, as the IDF is noting, there are still 132 hostages to go. So this will be a moment for Prime Minister Netanyahu where he can feel that his approach is the right one. He continues to say it's important to go into Rafah to go after the last of the Hamas battalions there. He continues to say it's military pressure on Hamas that will bring the hostages home.

This is a narrative that's been wearing thin with the families. They absolutely don't feel that the hostages have been prioritized. So this is likely to give the prime minister a little bump, but it's going to be a little bump unless the IDF can secure more hostage releases. We know that the head of Mossad is meeting with the head of the CIA, the Egyptian intelligence chief, the Qatari prime minister on Tuesday in Cairo. So just over a day's time.

There's a meeting about the release of the other hostages. We know that President Biden spoke at length about Prime Minister Netanyahu on the phone yesterday, 45 minutes. We're told two-thirds of that conversation was about the release of the hostages. So this certainly will give the prime minister something to say that his methods, his tactics, his approach is the right one and he's getting this all right.

But I don't think this is going to sustain him above all the criticism that's been leveled at him for the Hamas's brutal attack on October the 7th taking place. There's a lot of criticism of the prime minister for that event in and of itself, never mind the subsequent handling.


So let's see what people here wake up and say. But that sense that something has changed, that the army's got a little bit of the initiative, that there's a success here to talk about, this is going to dominate conversations here today -- Michael.

HOLMES: All right. Good to have you there, Nic, in Tel Aviv. Nic Robertson, we'll check in with you a bit later. Thanks, Nic.

All right. Now we're going to be taking you back to the Super Bowl with Andy Scholes and Coy Wire after the break.


SCHOLES: And welcome back live to Las Vegas. On the field at Super Bowl LVIII, where it is a Kansas City Chiefs party right now. The team celebrating right behind me as you can see. Travis Kelce just had all the Chiefs fans going. He had them singing "Viva Las Vegas." He had them singing "We Have the Right to Party." And the fans just loving it.

Taylor Swift was right by the stage back there almost in tears watching her boyfriend Travis Kelce celebrate his third Super Bowl title in the past five years.


And what a game this was in the end. Patrick Mahomes, he had the chance in overtime to go 75 yards to win the Super Bowl, and he did just that, hitting Mecole Hardman with time winding down to beat the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes, the Super Bowl MVP for the third time in his career, and here he was on the podium just moments ago.


PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK: It's the start of one. We're not done. I know we're going to celebrate tonight. Celebrate the pride of Kansas City. But we're not done. We've got a young team. We're going to keep this thing going.


SCHOLES: Yes, and Mahomes -- I mean, so they were two-point underdogs in this game. He said, well, you know what, we are never the underdog. We never feel like the underdogs. And he proved once again why he's considered one of the best to ever do it. Mahomes, just 28 years old. He now has three Super Bowl titles. Could he one day catch Tom Brady, who has the record of Super Bowls with seven?

We'll of course have to wait and see. But as you can see, the party's still going on behind me. The players all celebrating with their families. Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, they're somewhere back in that crowd right now. And this party's going to go on for quite a while as the Kansas City Chiefs once again Super Bowl champions.

And this is just a heartbreaker for the 49ers. You know, they had so many good stories themselves. Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, the very last pick in the draft just two years ago. They were a yard away from winning this Super Bowl in overtime. But when Patrick Mahomes absolutely had to make a play, he did it and came through.

Here, let's take a listen to what Travis Kelce had to say after this thrilling finish here in Las Vegas.


TRAVIS KELCE, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS TIGHT END: Viva Las Vegas! Viva Las Vegas! Viva! Viva! Las Vegas!


SCHOLES: You know, people joked all season long that the NFL is scripted. Well, after this one, you know, it's hard to maybe argue against that because of the way it ended. I mean, just an epic finish. Travis Kelce, you know, he didn't have the best first half. Two catches for 10 yards. He got in a little bit of a skirmish with his head coach Andy Reid. He bumped him. Thought he should have been on the field during a play where the Chiefs fumbled.

But in the final minutes of the fourth quarter in overtime, Mahomes to Kelce. It's one of the greatest quarterback-receiver duos in NFL history. And they were once again coming through left and right making big plays to propel the Chiefs to once again winning the Super Bowl.

And what can you say? You know, the past, what, three months all we've been talking about is Kelce and Taylor Swift. Well, it ain't ending anytime soon because Kelce's ending this Super Bowl once again on top, a Super Bowl champion. And I can promise you one thing, he will certainly be leading that parade and that party once they get back to Kansas City. Big cheers right here, a big crowd over there. I assume Travis Kelce

might be making his way over there, celebrating with some of the fans. I will say this. Allegiant Stadium here where we are, it was probably 70 percent 49ers fans, only 30 percent Kansas City Chiefs fans. But those 30 percent Chiefs fans, they're hanging around. They want to watch their team celebrate their third Super Bowl title in the past five years.

We've got some players running by right now. They're coming through here to do interviews. But it's going to be quite the party for Kansas City. And they've done this before. They're no strangers to this. Patrick Mahomes, three Super Bowl titles now in just six seasons as a starter. Arguably the best start to a career from a quarterback that we've ever seen.

We're going to have much more from the Super Bowl right here live in Las Vegas after a quick break.



SCHOLES: All right. Welcome back live to the field here in Las Vegas, where the Kansas City Chiefs just won the Super Bowl over the San Francisco 49ers in just thrilling fashion. The second ever overtime game we've had in a Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes now three Super Bowl MVPs in his career in just his sixth season as a starter. It was an amazing game. Slow to start but a thrilling finish. Let's take a look how it all went down.


SCHOLES: And Taylor Swift in the house for this one to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce. She even chugged her drink when she was shown on the jumbotron during the game. And lots of punting in the first half as well as a couple of big fumbles. Isiah Pacheco here losing the ball as the Chiefs were on the verge of scoring. And that led to Kelce just being furious at Andy Reid that he was not in the game on that play. He even almost knocked Reid over.

And the drama continued with just a heartbreaking injury for the 49ers and their star linebacker Drake Greenlaw. He injured his Achilles when preparing to go back into the game. He had to be carted off and would not return. The 49ers fans, though, would finally get something to really cheer about in the second quarter. A trick play. Juwan Jennings gets it and fires it across the field to Christian McCaffrey who would score the game's first touchdown.

We would go into halftime with the Niners leading 10-3. And San Francisco, though, would make a big mistake in this one. Chiefs punting. It would go off a Niners player's foot. They wouldn't be able to grab it. Chiefs get the ball. The very next play Mahomes to Marquez Valdes scaling for the touchdown. Chiefs take their first lead in this game 13-10 after getting a big fourth down conversion on their next drive. Purdy would find Jennings again for a touchdown. Jennings joining Nick

Foles as the only players in Super Bowl history to both throw and catch a touchdown in the game. Niners extra point, though, would get blocked. So it's 16-13 Niners with 11:22 to go. Chiefs, they would then tie it on a field goal.

Taylor can't help but bite her nails watching. Chiefs, though, would get a big stop. Niners would take the lead on another Moody field goal. And Mahomes then would get the ball back with about two minutes to go with his chance to win his third Super Bowl. Under 20 seconds here, Mahomes to Kelce the 22-yard pickup. Chiefs, though, would have to settle for a field goal. So we would go to overtime in the Super Bowl for just the second time ever.

Niners get the ball first. They drive down the field but could not convert in the red zone.


They would take a three-point lead on a field goal. So, again, Mahomes with the ball, chance to go win the Super Bowl. And this time he would come through, leading the Chiefs on an epic 75-yard drive. Mahomes hitting Mecole Hardman on the final play to win the Super Bowl. Final score, Chiefs win 25-22. Their third Super Bowl title in five years.


SCHOLES: All right. We're back here live on the field. I've got Coy Wire joining me.

Coy, oh, my goodness. That was one -- I mean, we talk early in the game it's like, oh, punt, punt, punt, fumble, fumble. Very sloppy. It wasn't Chief-like. It was one of their worst offensive performances in the first half in years. But again, what can you say about Patrick Mahomes?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It wasn't Chiefs-like, until it was.

SCHOLES: Until it was. You're right. Yes.

WIRE: But, you know, we were back there saying how that last drive when he had to go 75 yards to either tie or win this game, we both said Tom Brady would make it happen.

SCHOLES: Would do it.

WIRE: And everyone talks about Patrick Mahomes being a GOAT in the making and sure enough he proved that he is that cutthroat competitor that we all thought he was.


WIRE: He put the team on his back, marched down the field for the game-winning touchdown. Just like it was scripted of course. SCHOLES: You're right. I said that a moment ago. Are we sure this

wasn't scripted? Because how perfect it is that Travis Kelce struggled in the first half, two catches for 10 yards, not very Kelce-like. But the 49ers did have that injury to Dre Greenlaw. He's their best guy to really shadow Kelce. That really kind of opened it up in the second half. And Kelce came through with a lot of big plays.

WIRE: Yes. There was always a saying when I played in the NFL and still to this day, the big-time players make big-time plays in big- time games. And Mahomes found Kelce and he was the one to go ahead and give them that crucial catch down close to the goal line, get them within distance. Two big catches really in the end of the game there.

And, you know, I just talked to Mama Kelce, Donna, and I asked, you know, how does this feel, you know, and she said it's unreal. She said there was a lot of ups and downs this season, this game as well. And here she is now back-to-back champs. She said it's unreal.

SCHOLES: And the Kelces, I mean, they're like the Kennedys. They're so famous now.

WIRE: Yes.

SCHOLES: Because, you know, last year it was the Kelce bowl, Jason versus Travis. Travis won that one, too. And we talked about the Kelces on top, and again you're here in the spotlight. Taylor Swift she was on the field. You were almost right next to her back there.

WIRE: I was right next to her.

SCHOLES: She was in tears almost when Travis had the crowd going.

WIRE: Yes. Lots of kisses, lots of hugs, lots of sweat from Travis on her and her fantastically done hairdo. I don't think it messed up her makeup at all. But I did try to get a question in and she had about 20 looked like armed men around her swiftly escorting Swift off the field. But I did get a chance to catch up with Coach Andy Reid as he was being brought down from the trophy ceremony.

I said, Coach, how did you make it happen? He punched me in the gut, he said, good to see you, buddy. And then he said, look, he said perseverance and defense. And I asked him what his celebratory meal is going to be.

SCHOLES: Cheeseburger.

WIRE: Cheeseburger. Of course we knew that. But we don't talk enough about this Chiefs defense, right? We always talk about the offense, justifiably so, with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid's wizard-like game calling. But their defense on the biggest stages always steps up. And they did once again, shutting down essentially when they needed to and holding to a field goal one of the most prolific offenses we've seen in quite some time.

SCHOLES: They got the big stops. And now Mahomes and Kelce, I mean, you know, we talk about them now, the Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and they're breaking their records. And here's what Travis Kelce just had to say about the legacy that he and Mahomes are leaving there in Kansas City.


KELCE: The goal has always been to get three. But we couldn't get here without getting to two. And having that target on our back all year. And I love these guys right here. The men that we just won this thing with, family forever, baby. I couldn't be more proud of you guys. And how about it? We get a chance to do it three times in a row. How do you get excited for that, baby? You go party in Las Vegas and get back to it.


SCHOLES: Kelce, one of the best sound bites in NFL history for sure. But, Coy, you know, we just talked about how good Kelce is and what he's able to do on the field. And him and Mahomes. I mean, you played in the NFL. Where in your opinion are Mahomes and Kelce in terms of the greatest combos we've ever seen?

WIRE: They have obviously the physical tools individually to be great players, which they are. But then when you get two players like that who are in such accordance with one another, we see stuff on TV all the time kind of looks easy, especially we see stuff in slow motion. But this stuff in the NFL happens in a split second. And the way they're able to feel each other's intentions and they can outplay any defensive scheme.


It doesn't matter whether you're playing zone or man, they know exactly how they're going to beat you because they've done it time and time again. That experience is incredible. There's been a lot of talk about Travis Kelce didn't look himself this year. Is he getting too old? About a decade in the league. Look, he still caught more than 1,000 yards receiving this year. And then on the biggest stage against the best team he finds a way to get it done and shine once again as the superstar that he is.

SCHOLES: Yes, and we -- a lot of people started counting this Chiefs team out. And I think that's what's going to make this Super Bowl title even sweeter than the other two they already have. Because remember when they got blown out by the Raiders on Christmas Day and then they're like, oh, the Chiefs are now going to have to go on the road in the playoffs and win games, which they had never done before.

But then they beat the Bills, then they beat the Ravens and all of a sudden they were back here. So, Coy, I mean, I'll ask you. I mean, do you think they're appreciating this one so much more, considering what they had to go through to get here?

WIRE: I think so because there were a lot of have-never-done-befores, you know, with this team even though they already won two Super Bowls. But as you mentioned, in the playoffs Mahomes had 15 career playoff starts and he had never played in a true away game other than a Super Bowl. But he went on the road to Buffalo, beat Josh Allen and the Bills, went on the road to Baltimore, hostile environment, beat Lamar Jackson, the league MVP.

And here he was again in a Super Bowl, which probably feels like a home game to them now because they've been here four times in the past five years now. Three Super Bowl titles to what is our current day dynasty.

SCHOLES: Yes. And I talked to Mahomes and Kelce over the summer because they were here for the golf match, which they won. They said they both -- they love Las Vegas. They won that golf match. Coming into this Super Bowl they were 4-0 here in Allegiant Stadium. Basically, Las Vegas is now the home away from home for Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes.

I mean, but what's next, Coy? I mean, three Super Bowl titles now for Mahomes. He's 28 years old. We just got done with the greatest career we've ever seen in NFL history with Tom Brady. I mean, the discussion is now open, right? Mahomes could get to seven or more.

WIRE: Yes. It's quite feasible. I think he's proven, he's solidified himself as that clutch champion. And, you know, for you to be able to do that it takes so much discipline, so much sacrifice, so much dedication. He has more physical tools than Tom Brady ever had, but he has that same mentality and mindset. And the things that made Tom Brady's teams so great was that infiltrates your entire locker room.

They see how the brightest star in the game, how hard he works, how much film he studies, well, if he's doing it then I have to do it, too. And so they've got that magic formula here right now. You know, Patrick Mahomes is receiving that Lombardi Trophy on the stage and he says don't ever, Kansas City are never underdogs.

SCHOLES: Underdogs.

WIRE: Remember that.

SCHOLES: With him as the quarterback for sure they are not. So, Coy, when we look back at this Super Bowl, it's, what, 10-3 at halftime. It's very slow getting to that point. Lots of punting. Nobody likes when the punters are the stars. What are you going to remember from this game? Obviously the ending. But is there a certain moment you're like that was the moment for me?

WIRE: You know, I just -- the season was scripted. So I kind of knew the ending. The Chiefs were meant to win this thing all along. But I think it's just the fact that they did it when they were down 10 points at one point, there were seven times in Super Bowl history when a team was down by seven points -- I'm sorry, a team had a 10-point lead, ended up losing it. And unfortunately for Kyle Shanahan he's been part of three of those.


WIRE: But for the Chiefs to mount that comeback yet again, I mean, this is a repeat of this Super Bowl match-up four years ago. SCHOLES: Yes. The Chiefs were down 20-10 with seven minutes to go.

WIRE: And they have another 10-point comeback to go on and eventually in overtime win the football game.


WIRE: Incredible testament to their will, their heart and their determination.

SCHOLES: Yes. There's always, yes, just a couple moments when you watch Super Bowls you're like, oh, man, fans are going to remember that one for a long time. I think the Niners fans are really going to look at that punt that went off the player's foot and then they weren't able to recover it. That really just swung the entire momentum of the game. The very next play Chiefs score a touchdown, take the lead. And from that moment on I think a lot of people were like I don't think Mahomes is going to lose this game.

WIRE: Yes. You had the punt muff, you had the fumble by Christian McCaffrey. He's not going to sleep well over that one. You had the blocked field goal.

SCHOLES: The extra point. Yes.

WIRE: That would have been the difference in this game. It would have never made it to overtime. So these are the types of things when you look at the other side of this Super Bowl is the loss and the pain and the agony. That's something these guys have worked so hard, blood, sweat and tears. They're out here limping, they're huffing and puffing, barely able to make it through the rest of this game.

That's how tired and exhausted they are and they were this close in overtime, this game went to. This close to winning their first Super Bowl in 30 years. It's going to hurt for a while.

SCHOLES: Certainly will. And Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant, I mean, you can't say enough about him.

WIRE: We can't say that anymore. We can't say Mr. Irrelevant anymore.

SCHOLES: We can't call him Mr. Irrelevant.

WIRE: Right.


SCHOLES: I mean, he went from the last pick in the draft to taking over this team. And, you know, a lot of people, were the lights finally going to be too bright for him? They were not. He played a good game.

WIRE: Yes. I mean, look, he is 21-6 now as an NFL starter. Made it to the Super Bowl in just his second year in the league. And he was dubbed as this game manager. And to former NFL players that's someone who's not very athletic and just uses the system around him and players around him. And he does that well but he is very athletic. He has the heart of a lion. He's so much more than a game manager.

Some precision, just pinpoint accuracy tonight at times showing what allowed him to be a Super Bowl quarterback. And he is that in his young career. Just 24 years old. Great future ahead for Brock Purdy.

SCHOLES: For sure. I would not be shocked if we see Brock Purdy in another Super Bowl in the near future.

All right, Coy, well, we're going to take a quick break, but we are not done here in Las Vegas. We'll have much more on the Chiefs winning their third Super Bowl in the past five years coming up.

WIRE: I'm going to go get a cheeseburger.



MAHOMES: Just know that the Kansas City Chiefs are never underdogs. Just know that.


SCHOLES: And Patrick Mahomes said something similar earlier in the week, that he never feels like an underdog. And I tell you what, it's going to take a lot for him to be an underdog in another Super Bowl. And Patrick Mahomes right now at the podium speaking live about winning 25-22 over the Niners. Let's go there.

MAHOMES: Able to play three great teams to get to this game and play another great team and win all those games, it was a true road in the playoffs, and we were able to come through and be Super Bowl champs.


MAHOMES: Yes, it's culture, man. I got brought into this culture.


Alex Smith was leading this team. They had the pieces in place. And Coach Reid was the ultimate leader. And I got brought in and I just kind of try to exemplify that and keep pushing and be even better. And that's why at moments like this we have guys come through. And it truly is special. It really is special just to be able to say we're back-to-back champs.


MAHOMES: Yes, I mean, I hope people remember not only the greatness that we have on the field but the way that we've done it. I mean, I feel like we enjoyed every single day. We have fun. We play hard. And it's not always pretty but we always continue to fight to the very end. And I know you get fatigued of the team sometimes, of one team winning, but we try to enjoy it and just enjoy the moment that we have together and enjoy just kind of what we can do every single day to bring the best out of each other. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)

MAHOMES: I don't know if you (INAUDIBLE) this week, man. I played with Mecole for a long time. He's always ready for the moment. I mean, he's someone that continues to practice hard and get better. And obviously that receiver rotation we were bouncing around a lot of guys all year long and those guys continue to work. And I mean, just like last Super Bowl, man, it's like you never know who's going to be. But everybody's ready for the moment. And he was ready for that moment and a couple of big plays.


MAHOMES: Yes, the play call. I think it started because Clyde was the first one to run it, and Trav was the other guy, part of it, so it's like Tom and Jerry, you know, that whole thing. But it was -- that's the concept of the play and then the motion was the exact same motion that we ran the Super Bowl last year. And they actually covered it pretty well at first, and then I kind of looked back and looked back to him. And it's -- that's a little risky always, so I was a little like, hey, let me make sure it's open. But obviously Coach Reid, man, knows when to call those plays at right time.


MAHOMES: Yes. That was the play. I mean, calling the timeout I thought was important for us to go over there, discuss what we wanted in that moment. And we all agreed on that play. I knew before the play, it's more of a man design play style where Kelce comes from behind the line of scrimmage. And I talked to Rashid about maybe if you can set the little rub, if you can kind of set up open. And with them being so focused on that it opened right over for me to run. And I knew I had to get a yard. So I actually got down on that one. And we were able to get that first down and keep the drive going.

SCHOLES: Yes, Chiefs fans going to remember that final drive for a very long time, especially that touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman. Travis Kelce, though, playing a big role on those final drives in the fourth quarter and overtime. And here he is right now live speaking with the media.

KELCE: Man, with the target on our back, man, knowing that we're going to get everybody's best shot, to have the doubters, to have the road that we went through, man, it meant everything to even get to this point. But to find a way through adversity yet again for four quarters, five quarters, man, I couldn't be more proud of the guys and it's such an honor to be on this team and in this organization.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Patrick said you guys are going to keep it going. Do you want to be part of that journey?

KELCE: Man, I'll tell you what, man. I'm going to -- I'm going to go ahead and enjoy this one. And everything that just happened. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I've been able to go through three times now. And man, it gets sweeter and sweeter every time, baby.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Travis, after last year's Super Bowl you said it was the happiest year of your life. How does this year compare?

KELCE: Man. It's -- just when you think things couldn't be any better. I'll tell you what, being on the mountaintop with my brother is something special that I'll remember for the rest of my life. It brings me to tears even thinking about that moment. And being here all week with -- being there all week with him. But what we had to endure with this team, to see guys rise to the occasion, to see guys put stats aside, to see guys just put their heart in every single day and focus every single day for the person next to them, that's something special that I will not only learn from but I'll take with me and these memories last forever.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sunday to Sunday has anyone -- has any couple ever had a better week than Grammys and Super Bowl cleaning up?

KELCE: Man. On top of the world now, baby. It's a good feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It's not the whole (INAUDIBLE) after you had the struggles in Buffalo and coming back to this team in the middle of the season, to see Mecole (INAUDIBLE)

KELCE: Man, I couldn't be happier for my guy, man. I'll tell you, it brought me to tears seeing that he was the man that got us that -- this ring, man. It's -- you know, sometimes the media world can be pretty harsh on a guy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you, Travis!

KELCE: I love you, dog. Super Bowl champion, baby!


KELCE: Talk to them. Man, Mecole, he's one of my favorite teammates ever. It's because he just keeps showing up. And he keeps trying to find ways to win. Had a huge play for us early on that kind of sparked us. And then on top of that found a way to win the game for us. When everybody counted him out, even the Jets counted him out. And man, we were so excited when he got back in the building because he's the kind of guy that brings everybody together. He's got that kind of personality.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did you get sprung open on that third down right before the end of regulation right down that 11 yard? (INAUDIBLE)

KELCE: (INAUDIBLE) across, baby. We knew Fred was going to -- Fred Warner was going to play outside, leverage on me if it was man. Good thing my old ass can still run.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) KELCE: Just being accountable for the guys around me, being

accountable for Coach Reid, knowing that I asked him, you know, put it on me, man. Put it on me when it gets tight. You know, I live for moments like that. And I love Big Red for giving me those opportunities. You know, it's -- it's just -- it's a beautiful thing, man, when everything comes together like that.


SCHOLES: Yes. And there's really no doubt that Travis Kelce's going to be leading the party when the team gets back to Kansas City. And hey, that party actually has already started tonight. Take a look at the scenes right now in the city as fans have taken to the streets to celebrate their third Super Bowl title in the past five years. I'm sure that's going to keep on going throughout the week and they'll be celebrating with a parade at some point this week.

And they certainly know how to throw that parade because as I said they've done it now three times in the past five years.

But I want to bring in my CNN sports colleague, CNN contributor Christine Brennan to talk about this amazing Super Bowl that we just witnessed.

Christine, thanks for joining us. The Chiefs now the first team since the Patriots back in 2005 to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Tom Brady was of course leading those Patriot teams. Now Mahomes has back-to- back Super Bowl titles in his back pocket. What did you take away from this game and this performance by the Chiefs when it really didn't look like they had it in the first half?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR: No, Andy, it didn't. And in fact, you know, seven field goals, four for Kansas City, three for the 49ers, and it was kind of a dud. I think there were a lot of people that were watching it and kind of like this is the Super Bowl. And as you and I know, and Coy of course covered a lot of these, so I'm not there with you guys, what a scene that is certainly you're living right now. But you know, we know that these games have an ebb and flow to them. And this was one of those kind of defensive struggles.

Lots of mistakes. I mean, the 49ers, I've been listening to you guys, you know, talk to us as I've been, you know, awaiting to have our conversation. And the 49ers had that golden opportunity to start the second half after Mahomes threw the interception. And as you are talking about Patrick Mahomes, you know, there are many quarterbacks that would just say, wow, you know, this is a tough day for me or whatever.

Not Mahomes. There's magic there. He is a magician. He is a Houdini. He is throw all the cliches there. This is a guy that when he must do it he does it over and over again. And Kelce the same thing, of course, and the magic of that story. And Taylor Swift. I mean, if we had -- you and I had gotten together with Coy and decided we were going to write something like this at the beginning of the year I would have been, you know, been laughed out of the room. And yet there are champions who can pull this off. And we're seeing

someone who's a once in a generation player in Patrick Mahomes. And as you said, he's 28. And there could be many more Super Bowls yet to come for him.

SCHOLES: Yes, Christine, I always like to say I got to live in the era of Michael Jordan, of Tom Brady, and now, hey, we can now say we are living in the era of one of the other greats, Patrick Mahomes.

Christine Brennan, thank you so much for joining us here. Talking Super Bowl LVIII. And we're going to have much more live from Las Vegas throughout the night here at Allegiant Stadium. But the news is back after a quick break.



HOLMES: Welcome back. Taylor Swift wasn't just a good luck charm for the Kansas City Chiefs in Las Vegas, her impact was felt across the NFL this season. The singer attended the big game, of course, to support her boyfriend, Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce. The two recently announcing they were dating after months of speculation.

But in that short time, Swift has dominated the headlines and brought her army of Swifties and more to the sport, reportedly generating more than a $300 million boost to the Chiefs brand. Female viewership of the NFL's regular season last year was also up nearly 10 percent, according to Nielsen Ratings.

For more on the Swift effect and the big performances tonight, let's bring in CNN entertainment writer, Alli Rosenbloom.

Good to see you, Alli. There are certainly memes on Taylor. I saw one that said she's made the Super Bowl in a rookie season, and there was another one that said I heard Taylor Swift's boyfriend was playing in an (INAUDIBLE) concert. Why has she been such a thing during the playoffs?

ALLI ROSENBLOOM, CNN ENTERTAINMENT WRITER: Taylor has been a phenomenon this past year. I mean, her "Eras Tour" has just dominated in every respect. Everywhere she goes, she has an impact, and her very loyal fan base known as the Swifties, they follow her. And their impact is really felt.

HOLMES: Yes, the NFL has, for a long time now, wanted to attract more Gen Z and millennial fans, including young American women and girls to the franchise as its fan base gets older. Has that worked? And I guess the question is, will they stick around if Taylor's not there?

ROSENBLOOM: Well, that remains to be seen. But her presence at these games has really raised the consciousness of the sport.


And we've heard so many stories of dads and daughters bonding together because the daughters are starting to watch football with their dads now, and there's so many different types of these stories that have been told since Taylor started coming. And so I think that while the NFL won't confirm that she is totally responsible for this rise in female viewership, they definitely acknowledge that she has helped with the buzz of it. And I think that as long as Taylor's around the NFL, the Swifties will stick around as well.

HOLMES: And we know from one of Taylor's songs, actually, that haters are going to hate, hate, hate, and I think Taylor, she just -- she averaged I think it was 25 seconds on-screen per three-hour plus game since this love story began. What did you make of the blow back from some quarters for her being around? That seems crazy.

ROSENBLOOM: Yes, there's been a lot of discourse. A lot of the goodwill comes from the fans but there are people who don't want to see that much of her on the screen. Ultimately, it's up to the broadcasters on how many times they decide to cut to her throughout the game, and there's really no downside to doing so. So I think the haters are just going to keep hating and the broadcasters are going to keep doing what they're doing.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes, yes. Real quick before we let you go, what about halftime, Usher, big name there, rave reviews. What did you think?

ROSENBLOOM: It was amazing. He brought out so many special guests. It just felt like this amazing celebration of his 30-year career. Las Vegas, Atlanta, where he's from, it was just an amazing, wonderful, high-energy performance. He danced, he sang. He roller-skated. It was perfect.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. An extraordinary halftime. A good night all around. Alli Rosenbloom, good to see you. Thanks so much.

All right. Well, thank you for spending time of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. Our coverage continues after a break.