Updated:Feb 13, 2023 1:15 pm
After an amazing regular season and the exciting playoffs, we are finally here. Super Bowl LVII (that is 57 for those who do not understand roman numerals) was between the AFC Champions the Kansas City Chiefs, and the NFC Champions the Philadelphia Eagles.
Coming into this game, both Kansas City and Philadelphia had the same number of wins in the season, they had scored the same number of points in the season, and they were both their respective conferences’ number-one seeds. These teams were basically inseparable, meaning that the game was on paper, a close encounter.
In addition to the parity shown in both teams, history would be made at this Super Bowl. This is the first Super Bowl in which both quarterbacks were black, and the Kelce brothers were the first pair of brothers to play in the Super Bowl, albeit for different teams.
So, who would win the Super Bowl? Would be it a close game, or a blowout? Let’s look back at Super Bowl LVII.
The Eagles would have the opening possession of the game and would come out firing. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts would successfully and quickly drive the ball down the field and into the Chiefs’ red zone. Philadelphia would continue moving the ball up to the 4-yard line. Then, Kenneth Gainwell would run the ball into the endzone for the opening score of the game. Except, this play (like all touchdown plays) was reviewed. The review found that Gainwell did not make the touchdown, but was one yard short. This meant that his 4-yard rushing touchdown was actually a 3-yard rush to the Chiefs’ 1-yard line. This was only a minor inconvenience for the Eagles, as on the next play, Jalen Hurts would score a one-yard rushing touchdown to give the Eagles the lead.Embed from Getty Images
It was then time to see what the Kansas City Chiefs could do in reply to the Eagles’ early score. Led by the newly crowned MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs came onto the field hopeful. Then, the Kansas City Chiefs did something that they have been doing all season long. On their opening drive, the Mahomes and the Chiefs quickly drove the ball down the field and into the Eagles’ red zone. On the Eagles’ 18-yard line, Mahomes found Travis Kelce, who ran the ball into the endzone for the touchdown. This was not surprising. We have seen throughout the Mahomes era in Kansas City that once their opponents take the lead, the Chiefs reply with a score very quickly to wipe the lead out. Two touchdowns from the opening two drives in the Super Bowl, that is rare.
The Eagles would punt the ball on their next drive, thus handing possession back to the Chiefs. Picking up from where they left off, Mahomes and company quickly moved the ball into the Eagles’ half. But, unlike their previous drive, this one stalled at around the 24-yard line. This led to a 42-yard field goal attempt from Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. For him, this is a standard kick that should score. But, as we have seen this year, the kickers have struggled. Butker kicked the ball and it began to move to the left. It continued to move to the left, and then hit the goalposts, in what NFL fans refer to as a “Doink”. Call it whatever you want, it was a missed field goal.
Philadelphia then had the ball in a drive that started at their 32-yard line. Hurts moved the ball up to the Chiefs’ 45-yard line just as the first quarter came to an end. On the first play of the second quarter, Hurts found his reliable target in A.J Brown and threw a 45-yard touchdown pass, to return the lead to the Eagles. In the reply to this score, the Chiefs could not get anything going on offense and were forced the punt the ball back to the Eagles. If this was a game of tennis, this would have been seen as a break of serve for the Eagles.
But, all good things come to an end. The Eagles next drive started well. It looked like they were building on the momentum from the previous drive, But then, things became sour for the Eagles. On 3rd and 5 on the halfway line, Hurts fumbled the ball. This was then scooped up by Chiefs defender Nick Bolton, who would run the ball in for a touchdown that tied the scores up again.Embed from Getty Images
So, how would the Eagles respond to this mistake? It turns out, the fumble did not phase them at all. On their next drive, the Eagles drove the ball down the field and then deep into the Chiefs’ red zone. Then, from the Chiefs’ 4-yard line, Jalen Hurts scored his second rushing touchdown of the game. His 4 yard-rushing touchdown gave the Eagles the lead again.
Kansas City would punt on their next drive. However, what happened on this drive would have repercussions for the whole game. A couple of weeks ago, during the AFC Divisional round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Patrick Mahomes sustained an upper ankle injury just before the end of the first half. Luckily for Kansas City, Mahomes played the rest of that game, and the following week’s AFC Championship game with this injury. 2 weeks later, this injury seemed to have not healed, as after being sacked, Mahomes appeared to be in some discomfort from his ankle. Questions were now being raised as to whether Mahomes would be able to play the rest of the game. Questions which would be answered later in the match.
Philadelphia would have the final drive of the first half. This was not without controversy. We have already seen many elements of these teams’ seasons reappear in this game. Let’s have another one, shall we? In the NFC Championship game, a controversial catch from DeVonta Smith was ruled legal by the referee. This play would lead to the Eagles scoring their first touchdown of the match. However, after the touchdown, we all saw the replay of this catch, which should have been ruled incomplete. At Super Bowl LVII, we had the same issue. A pass from Hurts to Smith, that would have put the Eagles into the Chiefs’ red zone was reviewed. After minutes of deliberation, the ruling on the field was overturned. This pass was incomplete. It did not stop the Eagles from scoring, however. Hurts and company drove the ball down to the Chiefs’ 17-yard line, and then Eagles kicker Jake Elliott scored a 35-yard field at the time ran out.Embed from Getty Images
This meant that at halftime of Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles had a 24-14 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs.
This first half had everything. The main story at halftime was the injury to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Luckily for him, this is the Super Bowl. While every other NFL game has a halftime length of 12 minutes, it is around 30 minutes for the Super Bowl. This gave him extra time to rest and recover for the second half.
So as pop superstar Rihanna finished her set, who would “Shine bright like a diamond” in the second half?
The Chiefs had the opening possession in the second half. This means that we would get an answer to whether Patrick Mahomes would be OK to play. He was, so all the worries about him not playing were at the moment for nothing. In terms of the match, this drive would be important. If the Chiefs were to score, it would not only keep them in the game but could be used as a springboard for a comeback. Mahomes looked like he was playing with no injury whatsoever. The Chiefs drove the ball right down to the Eagles’ one-yard line. Then, Isaiah Pacheco ran the ball in for a one-yard touchdown, to reduce the Eagles’ lead to three points.
We would then see a repeat of something we saw in the first half. Hurts would pass to Miles Sanders, who would then fumble the ball. The ball would again be scooped up by Nick Bolton, who would again run the ball in for a touchdown. Except, this play was reviewed, and the officials ruled that the initial pass to Sanders was an incomplete pass. This means that the subsequent fumble could never happen, so that and the touchdown was removed from the scoreboard. The Eagles would then successfully convert two third-down attempts (something they have been doing a lot in the game and this season) before another controversy happened. This time, on another third-down attempt, Hurts made a 17-yard pass to Dallas Goedert. Like the last play, this play also looked like it could have been an incomplete pass. After a bit of drama with substitutions that removed the next play from the game (if the play stood, a review would have not been allowed to take place as you are only allowed to review the previous play), Kansas City coach Andy Reid threw the challenge flag. The review came back, and the play was ruled a pass. The Eagles would continue moving the ball up the field via successful third-down attempts and even a successful fourth-down attempt. However, the Eagles could not convert on 3rd and 11 on the Chiefs’ 20-yard line. This meant that Jake Elliott had to kick a 33-yard field goal, which he did. This ended a Super Bowl record-tying 17-play drive.
On their last drive, the Kansas City Chiefs scored a touchdown. After the long Eagles drive, you would not be forgiven for thinking that any momentum that the offense gained might be lost. You would be wrong. In a similar way to their first drive of the second half, the Chiefs drove the ball deep into the Eagles’ red zone. Then, from the Eagles’ 5-yard line, former New York Giant Kadarius Toney caught the Mahomes pass for the touchdown to put the Kansas City Chiefs into the lead for the first time.Embed from Getty Images
Toney would again shine for the Chiefs soon after. The following Eagle’s drive went nowhere and they punted the ball back to Kansas City. Toney would receive the ball, and then proceed to return the ball 65 yards up the field. He would be stopped at the Eagles 5 line. His 65-yard return would be a Super Bowl record and would give the Chiefs an excellent field position to extend their lead. This is what happened. From the 4-yard line, Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to Skyy Moore to give Kansas City an 8-point lead.
Philadelphia’s next possession would be very important in relation to the game. They had to score to keep them in the game. After again converting 2 third-down attempts, Hurts threw a 45-yard pass to DeVonta Smith. This brought the Eagles down to the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. A score was inevitable from this position. Hurts would rush the ball in for his third rushing touchdown of the game. The scores were now level. 35-35, with 5 minutes to play.
Kansas City had possession. We all knew what they had to do, and we all knew that they could do it. The goal was simple, score a field goal and the Super Bowl is very likely coming home with you. The drive was impressive and both moved the ball up the field and remove d seconds from the clock. From the Eagles’ 43-yard line, Mahomes (whose ankle is still injured remember) scrambled the ball for what seemed like an agonizing 26-yard gain.
We were now in the final two minutes of the game. It was 3rd and 8, on the Eagles’ 15-yard line. An Eagles stop here would probably result in a field goal for the Chiefs, but would give the Eagles enough time to make a score of their own. On 3rd and 8, Mahomes’ pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster was incomplete. However, there was a flag on the play. Eagles (and former Giants) defender James Bradberry was penalized for defensive holding. This gave the Chiefs the first down. With time running down, the moment had arrived. All Harrison Butker had to do was kick a 27-yard field goal and the game would be won. He stepped up, and the ball went through the uprights to give Kansas City the lead with 8 seconds left.Embed from Getty Images
The Eagles had one play left to give them a win. It had to be a hail mary. Hurts stepped up and threw the ball. It was short by miles. As the ball hit the turf at Statefarm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the site of some of the best super bowls of all time, it becomes official.
The Kansas City Chiefs had beaten the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 to win Super Bowl LVII.
This victory gives Kansas City their third Super Bowl title. Patrick Mahomes was crowned Super Bowl MVP for his amazing performance. He also breaks the unwanted streak of Quarterbacks who win the season MVP not winning the Super Bowl. As for the Philadelphia Eagles, they came so close. They have played amazing football all season long, but today was not their day. If anything, this game (and season) sets up what could be an amazing 2023 NFC East battle, between the Eagles, the ever-competitive Dallas Cowboys, and the newly emerging New York Giants.
There are two types of Super Bowl game. The first are games that will go down in history as great games. In recent memory, the Giants defeating the undefeated Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons collapse and the Tom Brady Nick Foles offensive masterclass are all examples of this. The other type is games that no one except the winning team’s fanbase will remember. This game is an example of the former. Would I say that this is the best Super Bowl ever? No, that is and will always be Super Bowl XLII. But, if I was completely neutral and supported a team that had no rivalry with either the Chiefs or the Eagles, I would say that this game may be the greatest Super Bowl ever. Whatever it will come to be down the line, we can say that it was a great, entertaining game.
Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Super Bowl LVII Champions!Embed from Getty Images