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There were plenty of storylines that made Super Bowl LVII historic in magnitude over and above the 38-35 Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the second-highest scoring Super Bowl in history.
Consider the Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid winning his second championship while facing a Philadelphia Eagles franchise where he holds the record in wins for a coach. There’s center Jason Kelce’s offense racing to light up more points than little brother tight end Travis Kelce Kansas City’s offense on the scoreboard.
There’s also the blow struck for inclusion with this being the first Super Bowl to feature two starting black quarterbacks. Both would have great performances to make this game a close one.
Philly’s balanced offense took the field first under their 24-year-old quarterback Jalen Hurts. While Hurts got credit for his touchdown on the opening drive on a QB sneak, all but one of the 11 plays on the drive demonstrated their offensive line’s dominance over the Chiefs defense.
Kansas City’s quarterback and 2023 league MVP Patrick Mahomes used the younger Kelce early and often (which was expected) to move the ball which set the table for their receivers and running backs to make a maximum impact in production collectively.
Kansas City @chiefs head coach Andy Reid talked about the role of newcomers to the team in the success of #SBLVII and the prowess of @Eagles head coach and #NFL #CoTY candidate Nick Sirianni #chiefskingdom @3ptcnvrsn pic.twitter.com/fxfcOExTF3
— Kyle Nash (@TheSoTG) February 13, 2023
As it would turn out, the threat of Kelce led Isaiah Pacheco, Sky Moore and former New York Giant Kadarius Toney to all put points on the board for the team. Pacheco got the game’s first big play with a 24-yard run. That left the Eagles reeling and set up Kelce for an 18-yard answer and a 7-7 tie.
Before the end of the 1st quarter, Kelce caught a 22-yarder that help set up a 42-yard field goal attempt. However, playing at State Farm Stadium where he was hurt earlier in the year, Harrison Butker failed to convert the opportunity to take the lead.
Kelce was dangerous as expected. He averaged 20 yards a catch in the first half and finished the night with six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.
The second quarter opened with Hurts emerging as the game’s would-be MVP candidate. When Kansas City started crashing down and daring the Eagles to pass, wide receiver A.J. Brown reminded them why he is a threat for the Eagles’ passing game, hauling in a 45-yard pass.
Regaining the lead at 14-7 was due to Brown’s impact, finishing with six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. DeVonta Smith lead the Eagles in catches with seven for 100 yards.
Philadelphia was in a position to blow the game wide open when Hurts committed the game’s first turnover in the second quarter. His fumble was taken 36 yards for a touchdown by Kansas City linebacker Nick Bolton.
After the Eagles’ defense forced a punt on the following drive, Hurts seemed determined to correct the error.
Hurts converted a 3rd-and-1 and a 4th-and-5 on runs while distributing the ball in the passing game. With help from the Chiefs jumping offsides on a 4th-and-2 in the red zone, Hurts eventually scored his second rushing touchdown to make it 21-14 from four yards out.
Philadelphia’s defense was expected to be a huge impact with their overwhelming front. While they failed to take the ball away, it was at this point they made their impact felt.
On a scramble by Mahomes in the closing minutes of the half, he took a hit that aggravated his high ankle sprain and left him in obvious pain.
2022 #MVP and #sblvii MVP Patrick Levan Mahomes II explains dealing with and play through the high ankle sprain issues in the game. @chiefs #chiefskingdom @3ptCnvrsn pic.twitter.com/8MnCoWbzRU
— Kyle Nash (@TheSoTG) February 13, 2023
The Eagles took advantage of this and gained the only two-score lead of the night on a 35-yard field goal in the half’s closing seconds, 24-14.
Hurts seemed to be physically compromised. Pairing that with his performance, he would eventually put up 304 yards with a 27-of-38 completion rate and a passing touchdown as well as three more on the ground with 70 yards on 15 carries.
But that’s when the Disney movie started. Perhaps aided by an extended halftime break thanks to Rihanna’s halftime show for more time and treatment, Mahomes came out and played to open the third quarter on offense.
That series ended up being the first of four consecutive scoring drives the Chiefs had to conclude the game. Pacheco pounded in a one-yard touchdown as part of his 15 carries for 76 yards on the evening.
While the Eagles’ defense failed to stop them on defense, Hurts kept his birds in the fight. When the Chiefs pulled ahead to 35-27, the Hurts pulled his team back into the contest with a shot to win.
The Eagles forced the Chiefs to third down in the red zone and a chance to limit them to a field goal with 1:30 left. Unfortunately for the Eagles cornerback James Bradbury was called for a defensive hold. Bradbury himself said in the postgame that, “it was holding, I tugged his jersey”.
While his numbers weren’t the greatest we’ve seen from him, Mahomes won the Super Bowl LVII MVP. He finished with 21-of-28 passing with 182 yards passing with three touchdowns and six carries for 44 yards including the Chiefs’ longest play of the game, a 26-yard run on a high ankle sprain.
While no one can predict the future, fans of both these teams appear to have a chance to be in the running to make it to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII. That being said, Kansas City will host an essential part of that process, the NFL Draft.