MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Chiefs’ usual playmakers, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, made their usual plays.
And Damien Williams made a case to join that playmaker list.
Williams capped an impressive postseason with a tremendous performance in Kansas City’s 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. The undrafted running back scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns — one receiving and one rushing — to seal the victory.
“I thought Damien did a great job,” coach Andy Reid said. “Damien’s put together three games now that have been powerful. When needed, he just bears down.”
Williams finished the postseason with six touchdowns. He scored three in the Chiefs’ divisional-round win over Houston, a game in which they came back from 24 points down. He had a rushing touchdown against the Titans in the AFC Championship Game.
His play in the Super Bowl was huge, a big reason the Chiefs are bringing the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Kansas City for the first time in 50 years.
Mahomes, of course, was the Super Bowl MVP after throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and leading the Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit. But Williams scored the game’s last two touchdowns. He caught a 5-yard pass from Mahomes to give the Chiefs a 24-20 lead with 2:44 left and added a 38-yard touchdown run with 1:12 remaining. He took the handoff from Mahomes, made a cut and then raced down the left sideline for the touchdown.
“He’s angry,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “He runs so angry, man. He gives our offense this edge. I think a lot of people don’t realize it until he gets the ball in his hands. We believe in him a lot. He’s that guy for us, he’s the attitude of our offense. We’re just happy he’s continued to perform well. He looks forward to these moments.”
Williams carried the ball 17 times for 104 yards and caught four passes for 29 yards.
“Feed that man,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “Two-six is one of the hardest-working guys in the business. He doesn’t complain about a thing. He comes in to work and puts in the work. At the end of the day, we know he’s going north and he’s getting in the end zone.”
On the touchdown that proved to be the game-winner, Mahomes was moving right and dropped it off to Williams. He made a dash for the right pylon, and his right foot stepped out of bounds just as he extended the ball over the goal line. The play stood after being reviewed.
Williams, 27, started his career with the Dolphins. He played two years under Adam Gase, now the Jets’ coach, and credited him for making him a better pass-catcher.
Williams is showing a more well-rounded game, as he’s become a three-down back for the Chiefs. But that wasn’t his role when he signed with Kansas City in 2018 after a falling-out with Gase.
The Chiefs already had rushing champion Kareem Hunt. Williams knew he was Hunt’s backup and would get some work on special teams. But the Chiefs waived Hunt late last season after a video surfaced of him shoving and then kicking a woman.
Williams stepped into the role of lead back and continued to show improvement. He knows that all the attention his Pro Bowl teammates receive open up opportunities for him — and he’s taking advantage of them.
He scored seven touchdowns in 11 regular-season games, just one more than he did during Kansas City’s championship run. When the Chiefs needed yet another playmaker, he certainly stepped up.