Sports writer Laurence Piper recaps the Kansas City Chiefs’ controversial win against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII
The Super Bowl is an event that has become so much more than just the game itself from the adverts and the viewing parties to the celebration and of course the halftime show. No other championship game truly compares to the spectacle that is the culmination of the NFL Season, and Super Bowl LVII lived up to the hype with an incredible half-time performance from the one and only Rihanna and a football game for the ages.
Super Bowl LVII was a heavyweight slugging match between two explosive offences and dynamic QBs. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles traded blows throughout the entirety of this game at times combining for a total of 73 points the most since Super Bowl LII in 2018 as well as 757 total yards. For the majority of the game, it seemed like neither team could be stopped from scoring as the notion of defence was relegated to merely an afterthought.
The stout Eagles’ defence I had so much confidence in prior to the game was carved up by QB Patrick Mahomes in a demonstration of why he is the successor to the great Tom Brady. He passed for 182 yards and ran for 44 yards whilst also throwing for 3 TDs earning himself a well-deserved Super Bowl MVP title to go alongside his League MVP Trophy and now his second Super Bowl Ring. Other notable offensive performances on the Chiefs were rookie RB Isiah Pacheco who bruised the Eagles’ defence with his downhill aggressive run style for 76 yards and 1 TD as well as TE Travis Kelce who reeled in 6 catches for 81 yards and a TD. WRs Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney also both scored a touchdown, and the Chiefs’ offensive line was dominant in their protection of Mahomes against the stacked Eagles’ D-line.
Even though they fell ultimately short I would be remiss not to talk about the stellar performances on the Eagles’ side of the ball. QB Jalen Hurts, aside from the fumble in the 2ndQuarter that was returned for a TD, put the team on his back in a game that had the defence not underperformed would not have been close. He passed for 304 yards and 1 TD whilst rushing for 70 yards and a record 3 TDs in a statement game that cemented him as an elite NFL QB. On top of this WR DeVonta Smith had a 100-yard game whilst WR A.J. Brown went for 96 yards and a TD as his own O-line also had a good game keeping the Chiefs pass rushers at bay.
However, no Super Bowl would be complete without some controversy and this year it came in the form of what was, at least in my opinion and that of many others, a horrendous defensive holding call in the last two minutes of the game. That penalty essentially ended the game, leaving the Eagles without a realistic opportunity to tie or take the lead in their last possession. For the millions of people who watched what will go down as one of the most entertaining Super Bowls in recent history, this was a terrible way to see the game end, and I maintain that had this flag not been called the outcome of the game would have been very different with the Eagles’ most likely being able to at least tie the game and take it to overtime or perhaps even scoring the go-ahead TD to win.
In truth though the Eagles’ defence holds the bulk of the blame for the outcome, not that one bad call. Their pass rush failed to get any sacks despite coming into the game as one of the most prolific units of all time, whilst their secondary was torched by Mahomes and his comparatively underwhelming receiving corps. They gave up 6.4 yards per play and forced zero turnovers as they only managed to make the Chiefs punt twice. The credit for this must go to future Hall of Fame Coach Andy Reid who once again called a near-perfect offensive game as he made this dominant Eagles’ defence appear amateur. Great Coaches put their teams in the best position to win the big games and that is exactly what happened on Sunday.
Ultimately however, to the victor goes the spoils and the Chief’s players and their fans won’t care about the penalty in the final moments of the game, they won’t care that the Eagles defence didn’t show up on the day because in the Super Bowl, there are no do-overs, and they now hold the Lombardi Trophy once again. Eagles’ fans will no doubt be heartbroken, but they can take consolation in the fact that they will be a contender once again in the 2023/24 season. Until then the Chiefs will celebrate for a brief moment before they too turn their eyes to next season and the defence of their title as Mahomes and Reid will look to establish the first NFL Dynasty since Brady and Belichick. Final score 38-35 Chiefs Win Super Bowl LVII
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