Super Bowl LVII (57) Recap

Super Bowl LVII (57) Recap

The Kansas City Chiefs hosted the AFC Title Game for an NFL record fifth straight year under Walrus Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. On the verge of a dynasty, they risked becoming a dynasty that never was. The Cincinnati Bengals came out of nowhere and shocked the football world in 2021. The Bengals have never won the Super Bowl. Last year the Bengals exploded out of nowhere and shocked the Chiefs in the AFC Title Game in Arrowhead. The 2021 Bengals overcame a 21-3 deficit to win 27-24 in overtime. The Bengals fell short to the Rams 23-20 in the Super Bowl. This year was a rematch of the previous AFC Title Game. Again the game appeared destined for overtime. Then a critical personal foul with seconds left in the game allowed the Chiefs to kick the winning field goal for a 23-20 regulation victory. The Chiefs are headed to their third Super Bowl in four years. 

The NFC was more cut and dry. The Philadelphia Eagles coasted to a 13-1 regular season record before an injury to Jalen Hurts had them tube down the stretch. They lost a couple games but managed to hang on to the top seed with a first round bye and home field throughout the playoffs. Despite being seen as vulnerable, the Eagles blasted the New York Giants 38-7 in the Divisional Round and the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the NFC Title Game. The Eagles knocked out the 49ers third string quarterback Mr. Irrelevant and fourth string quarterback Josh Johnson. Kevin Sirianni started 2-5 last year in his rookie season. Yet he turned the team around to a 9-8 overall finish and then got the Eagles to the big game in his second season. The Eagles won their only Super Bowl five years ago. Now a new coach and new quarterback are seeking to do it again. 

This game is the first Super Bowl where both starting quarterbacks are black. More importantly, both quarterbacks are mobile and young. Many Super Bowls have been won with older quarterbacks who are traditional pocket passers. This game seems to be the passing of the torch to a new generation.  

The Chiefs are easy to define. Mahomes is a 25th century Buck Rodgers freak of nature. Reid became America’s Walrus by becoming one of the best offensive play-callers in the game. 

The Eagles are more complex. There is nobody who immediately stands out as a generational NFL best. Yet they gel together as a team. They are a blue collar bunch with a ton of speed on defense. 

This was the first time both top seeds were in the big game in five years, when the Eagles won it all over New England for their first ever Super bow win. Two years later the Chiefs won their second overall Super Bowl 50 years after winning their first one. 

Chris Stapleton did a fantastic job with the national anthem as tears fell from both eyes of Nick Sirianni. A beautiful tribute to Pat Tillman was followed by a solid coin toss won by the Chiefs, who, deferred. to the second half. 

The Eagles began facing 3rd and 5 from their own 30, Hurts went to Devonta Smith for a 12 yard gain. Hurts then ran for an 11 yard gain. Hurts went to Goedert for 12. Hurts went back to Smith, who shook a tackle and gained 25. Boston Scott went straight up the gut for 9. On rd and 3 from the Kansas City 4, another run out of the shotgun was taken by Kenneth Gainwell up the gut for the first down but inches short of the touchdown. Hurts took the quarterback sneak and got a great surge from his offensive line where all 5 starters made the Pro Bowl. Hurts’s one yard touchdown nearly 5 minutes into the game made it 7-0 Eagles. 

Coaches started deferring when Bill Belichick started doing it. It is still a terrible decision, especially when teams have a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs voluntarily allowed the Eagles to dictate the pace of the start of the game. Mahoms went to Kelce for a 19 yard gain. Mahomes ran for 8 more. Pacheco broke free for a 25 yard gain. Mahomes threw a perfect fade to Kelce for an 18 yard touchdown. Each team scored on their opening possession for a 7-7 game. 

An offensive pass interference penalty derailed the next Eagles possession. The Chiefs began their next possession at their own 33. Form his own 47 after a defensive penalty, Mahomes fired over the middle to Kelce for 22. On 3rd and 3 from the Philadelphia 24, Mahoems as he was going down through a dangerous shovel pass that was nearly intercepted but fell incomplete. Walrus Andy Reid brought in Harrison Butker for the 42 yard field goal try. The kick hooked left and doinked off the upright no good. 

The Eagles on 3rd and 4 from their own 37  got a break when the Chiefs jumped offside. The Eagles began the second quarter with 1st and 10 at the Chiefs 45. A well-executed play action pass saw Hurts got for it all. The bomb was thrown into double coverage, but the defender lost sight of the ball and AJ Brown came down with it for the touchdown and the 14-7 Eagles lead. 

The Chiefs soon faced 3rd and 8 from their own 27. Mahomes threw over the middle low and incomplete. The Eagles got it back and faced 3rd and 8 from their own 35. Hurts scrambled all over and found Zach Pascal for 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Chiefs 47, a false start was followed by disaster. On 3rd and 6, Hurts lost control of the ball without being touched. The fumble bounced straight to Chiefs defender Nick Bolton, who returned it 36 yards for a defensive touchdown and a 14-14 game. 

After a touchback, Hurts kept the ball on a designed run and gained 14. On 3rd and inches from their own 48, Hurts took the sneak and got the yard. On 3rd and 7 from the Chiefs 46, a surprise running play did not fool the defense, gaining only 2 yards. Kevin Sirianni gambled on 4th and 5. Out of the shotgun, Hurts took a designed draw 29 yards. On 3rd and 3 from the Chiefs 9, a run out of the shotgun gained only one yard. On 4th and 2, the Eagles again lineup to go for it and the defense bit on the hard count offside. On 1st and goal from the 4 out of the shotgun, Hurts ran it in off tackle for the touchdown. With 2:20 left in the half, the 12 play, 75 yard , 7 1/2 minute drive with 2 4th down conversions had the Eagles up 21-14.   

On 3rd and 15 from his own 30, Mahomes was taken down after a 3 yard gain. Mahomes limped off the field in pain. He was in agony on the bench only weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain. A good punt return had the Eagles with the ball at their own 43 with 1:22 left in the half and 2 timeouts. On 2nd and 1, Hurts went bombs away to Smith for a big gain, but on further review it was ruled an incompletion. On 3rd and 1, Hurts kept the sneak and gained 2. On 3rd and 4 with 23 seconds left, Hurts fired to Brown, who caught it over the middle but raced to the sideline to preserve the final timeout. Yet from the Chiefs 19, a pointless 2 yard completion squandered a chance at a touchdown. A 35 yard field goal to end the half had the Eagles up 24-14. 

The halftime show is pointless and should be abolished and replaced with football highlights on the jumbotron. Back to football. As expected, Mahmoes came out to start the third quarter after a touchback. On 3rd and 1 from their own 34, Jerick McKinnon ran for 13. Mahomes as he was going to the ground somehow fired a low throw that Kelce caught at his shoestrings for 10. Mahomes then went to Justin Watson for 13. Mahomes pulled a Housini act in avoiding another sack and running for 13 yards down to the Philadelphia 5 yard line. Isaiah Pacheco ran for a one yard touchdown as the 10 play, 75 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive had the Chiefs right back in it down 24-21. 

After a touchback, disaster immediately again struck the Eagles. A sideways wing pass saw the receiver quickly belted by Willi Snead. The resulting fumble was returned for another defensive touchdown and the Chiefs first lead of the game. Yet officials talked it over and properly ruled the play an incomplete pass. On 3rd and 6, Hurts fired a perfect pass through a tight window to Dallas Goedert for 17. On 3rd and 2 from the Chiefs 47, Gainwell gained 4. Yet a delay of game penalty had the Eagles facing 3rd and 14 from the Chiefs 47. Hurts threw a perfect pass to Goedert between 2 defenders for a 17 yard gain. Walrus Andy Reid  challenged the catch. Replay showed that Goedert bobbled the ball and did not get both feet down. Instead of being in field goal range, it appeared the Eagles had to punt. Yet the crowd was surprised when the catch stood, the Eagles had a new set of downs, and the Chiefs lost a timeout. On 3rd and 1 from the Chiefs 21, a pitchout was stopped cold for no gain. On 4th and 1, Kevin Sirianni went for it again and hurts snuck it again and got the yard again. On 3rd and 11 from the Chiefs 20, the Eagles had to burn  timeout to avoid another delay of game penalty. A completion came up way short. This time on 4th and 6, Sirianni was not in a gambling mood. Jake Elliott’s 33 yard field goal was dead center. The staggering 17 play, 60 yard, 8 minute drive featured the most number of plays on a drive in Super Bowl history. Yet the Eagles only led 27-21 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.     

After a touchback, Mahomes hit Juju Smith-Schuster for 8. Pacheco barreled for a pair of 9 yard gains as the Chiefs began the fourth quarter with 1st and 10 at the Philadelphia 44 with a chance to take the lead. Mahomes went to Smith-Schuster for big gains of 14 and 13. On 3rd and 3 from the Philly 5, Mahomes found a wide open Kadarius Toney in the flat for a easy touchdown. With 12 minutes left in regulation, the Chiefs had their first lead of the game up 28-27. The Eagles soon faced 3rd and 2 at their own 33. Hurts threw incomplete as the Eagles quickly went 3 and out. Toney fielded the punt, got a wall of blockers, and weaved through traffic. Toney returned the punt 65 yards down to the Philly 5 yard line. It was the longest punt return touchdown in Super Bowl history. On 3rd and goal, Mahomes went to the flat on the left side instead of the right side. Again, a wide open receiver Skye Moore breezed into the end zone. The Chiefs had a 35-27 lead with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. 

The Eagles soon faced 3rd and 1 from their own 34. Hurts initially appeared stopped but a second surge at the end got him the yard. On 3rd and 5 from their own 41, Hurts fired to Brown for 11. Hurts went bombs away to Smith for a 57 yard gain down to the 2. On the next play even though everyone knew it was coming, Hurts snuck up the middle and got the touchdown. With 5:15 left, the Eagles were a 2 point conversion from tying the game. Hurts rolled out and went for it himself. He banged a defender at the goal line and won the battle, crashing into the end zone. This thriller was tied 35-35. Hurts tied a Super Bowl record with 3 rushing touchdowns. although he was the first quarterback to do it. 

After a touchback, Mahomes hit Smith-Schuster for 12. On 3rd and 1 from their own 48, Pacheco got around he end and gained 8. Mahomes took a designed quarterback draw for a 31 yard gain. On 3rd and 8 from the Philly 15 with 1:54 to play, Mahomet threw incomplete. Yet a killer defensive holding call meant 1st and goal at the 10. Now the Chiefs could take the clock almost all the way down. With 10 seconds left in the Super Bowl, Butker came in for the 33 yard chip shot to win it. Butker’s kick was good with 8 seconds left. A short kickoff gave the Eagles one final chance from their own 35 with 5 seconds left. The coaches were a 65 yard Hail Mary or the hook and laterals. Stunningly, the Eagles chose neither. With plenty of time to throw, Hurts threw a 30 yard pass over the middle to nobody. 

The Chiefs won the Super Bowl for the second time in 4 years and the third time in franchise history. Mahomes became the first player since Kurt Warner and the 1999 Rams to win the regular season MVP and the Super Bowl. Walrus Andy Reid did not discuss his future as rumors circulated of his retirement after 24 years as ahead coach and over 40 years in coaching overall. Reid beat the employer who fired him a decade ago. Reid and Mahomes are now locks for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when they hang it up, but Mahomes most likely has a long way to go. As for his bad ankle, he has 7 months until the 2023 regular season kicks off. The 2023 NFL Draft and schedule release are less than 3 months away. The 2022 NFL season is now in the history books. 38-35 Chiefs


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