Unpacking Super Bowl LVII



Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles with Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave giving chase.

Another year, another NFL season in the books.

One of the strangest seasons to date was capped off by a fantastic game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Super Bowl LVII marked the first-ever matchup that featured two black quarterbacks. The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts was attending his first big dance, while the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes was at his third.

The game was an instant classic. Both teams put up incredible performances on offense and defense. It came down to the final seconds, but the Chiefs snagged their second Lombardi Trophy in five years.

Super Bowl LVII began with back-to-back great opening drives. The Eagles started with the ball and immediately drove down the field to punch in a quick one-yard touchdown from Hurts on a quarterback sneak. The QB sneak is a classic play where the entire offense lines up in front of and behind the quarterback and tries to push him forward to gain an easy one or two yards. The Eagles ran this play many, many times throughout the duration of the game and converted on every single one.

As the first half continued, the Eagles slowly took control. Wide receiver A.J. Brown dominated the Kansas City secondary, catching a 45-yard touchdown pass over two Chiefs defenders to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead. On the following drive, Jalen Hurts had a crucial fumble that was returned for a touchdown, putting the Chiefs right back in the game.

The Eagles defense didn’t let the Chiefs do anything, so they got the ball back two more times, capitalizing on both and going into halftime with a comfortable 24-14 lead. Worries surrounded Patrick Mahomes after he went down on an injured ankle and limped off the field.

This year’s halftime show featured Rihanna surrounded by a bunch of dancers dressed like marshmallows. At first glance, people noticed that something seemed off about Rihanna. She wasn’t as mobile as you’d expect, and her costume looked like it was hiding something. Questions started to arise as fans began to wonder if she was pregnant. Sure enough, five minutes after the halftime show finished up, Rihanna confirmed that she had a second child on the way. This made her the first person to ever perform at a Super Bowl halftime show while pregnant.

After some commercial highlights that included an adorable Amazon ad about a dog and a Breaking Bad-themed PopCorners commercial, the second half began. Despite being banged up, Mahomes returned to the field. The Chiefs led a six-minute drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown that cut the Eagles’ lead to 3. They couldn’t get the Eagles off the field, though, giving the Eagles the ball for a whopping eight minutes in a 17-play drive that ended with a Jake Elliott 33-yard field goal. The fourth quarter began with the Eagles up 27-21.

The Chiefs took the ball back and had a well-paced drive that was capped off with a lead-taking touchdown from wide receiver Kadarius Toney. The Chiefs went up, 28-27.

The momentum began to shift when the Chiefs defense forced the Eagles to go three-and-out on their following drive. They punted, and Kadarius Toney took that punt and returned it to the Eagles’ 5-yard line on a 65-yard return, breaking the record for the longest punt return in Super Bowl history. The Chiefs quickly capitalized, making it 35-27 with nine minutes left.

The Eagles needed to score, so Jalen Hurts took matters into his own hands. After converting a third down on another QB sneak, Philadelphia quickly entered KC territory. That’s when Hurts found a wide-open DeVonta Smith for a 45-yard catch that put them at the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. And, a QB sneak later, they scored. After the two-point conversion, suddenly, it became a tie game.

The Chiefs got the ball back with about five minutes left in the game. Mahomes gave the performance of a lifetime with some fantastic throws, including a dot to tight end Travis Kelce as he was getting sacked. Kansas City marched down to the Eagles’ 15-yard line to try and end the game.

It was 3rd & 8. There were two minutes left. The Eagles had one timeout, so if the Chiefs got a first down, they could essentially run the clock down to nothing and kick a game-winning field goal. Mahomes dropped back and looked. He threw a ball to the end zone with receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster giving chase, but the pass was overthrown. However, there was a penalty flag.

In a very controversial ending, the referees called Eagles cornerback James Bradberry IV for holding JuJu Smith-Schuster. This gave the Chiefs the first down and allowed them to run the clock and kick that game-winning field goal. This ending has been the topic of discussion in the sports world since the big game, and, although Bradberry himself admitted that it was holding, there has been some controversy surrounding whether the refs should have made that call.

The Chiefs have now won two Super Bowls in the last five years, and Patrick Mahomes is slowly taking over for the recently retired Tom Brady as the face of the National Football League. We will see what happens over the next few years, but the Chiefs clearly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. As for the Eagles, they clearly aren’t done either, but they will face some hefty competition in the NFC next year from the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, and, shockingly, your Detroit Lions.

See you at next year’s Super Bowl.