Super Bowl 2020: Chiefs' Damien Williams opens eyes with Super Bowl LIV performance, should have been MVP
Williams, a former Dolphin, felt disrespected during Super Bowl week in Miami, so he took it out on 49ers
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- There were a lot of things on Damien Williams' mind Sunday before, during and after Super Bowl LIV. It was a time to reflect. It was a time to celebrate. It was a time to show the world who he was.
It was a day when Williams became a star. And he should have been the MVP for the Chiefs, who beat the 49ers, 31-20, in Hard Rock Stadium to become NFL champions.
Williams had 17 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. He added four catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. He became the first ever player to accomplish that feat in a Super Bowl -- rushing for 100-plus yards and scoring a rushing and receiving touchdown -- and his two fourth-quarter scores helped Kansas City rally from a 20-10 deficit.
Patrick Mahomes was named the MVP after he had 286 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, along with 29 rushing yards and a touchdown. I asked Williams if he felt he deserved the MVP award, but that didn't matter to him -- at least that's what he said publicly immediately after the game.
"I feel like we should have won the Super Bowl," Williams said. "We had a goal to win that trophy, and we did that."
For Williams, he accomplished plenty during Super Bowl LIV. He opened plenty of eyes about who he is as a player.
Williams was an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma in 2014. He spent four non-descript seasons in Miami with the Dolphins before signing as a free agent with the Chiefs in 2018, and he was just a backup to Kareem Hunt.
After Hunt was suspended and eventually released last season, Williams got a chance to showcase his skills. He seemed poised for greatness as the main running back for Andy Reid in 2019, but injuries forced him to miss five games and parts of several others this season.
And then came Super Bowl LIV. Afterward, Williams was able to get a lot off his chest about his career.
"I came in with a chip," Williams said about having a chip on his shoulder after being undrafted. "It hasn't gone anywhere."
He also said he heard for two weeks about how great the 49ers run game was, while no one said much about him or the Chiefs' rushing attack. That apparently was a motivating factor Sunday.
Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman combined for 17 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown, and Williams took pride in outrushing them by himself.
"You try not to pay attention to the media and everything," Williams said. "But to not hear your name or anything and just how we do things on the ground ... I pay attention.''
Williams also said he spent a week in Miami thinking about his time with the Dolphins. He wished he had more success with the Dolphins, but it took him ending up with the Chiefs for him to break out.
His teammates in Kansas City recognized his greatness, which was on display in Super Bowl LIV.
"Feed that man," Travis Kelce said of Williams. "He's one of the hardest working guys in the business."
Added Tyreek Hill: "His mentality, his attitude, the way he runs the ball, it's just different. Damien is just a beast in this offense."
Fullback Anthony Sherman said that Williams was running as hard as he's ever seen him against the 49ers, noting that he refused to go out of bounds. And everyone on the Chiefs was in full celebration mode when Williams scored the 38-yard touchdown run to seal the game with just over a minute remaining.
"The best feeling is when you can run the ball when they know you're going to run the ball," Sherman said. "I knew Damien was going to bring it tonight. He made his presence felt tonight."
Williams had a game to remember in Super Bowl LIV. He easily could have been the MVP, but Mahomes took home the award.
That didn't seem to matter to Williams. He was thrilled with the victory. He was happy to showcase his skills in the city where he got his start but couldn't have any sustained success. He was smiling knowing he was the best running back on the field.
Maybe now, Williams will get the respect he's been searching for after playing with a chip on his shoulder his entire career.
"He came in with his hair on fire," Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher said. "For an offensive lineman, there's nothing better than blocking for a guy like that."
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