The 2022-2023 NFL season is finally over. After an 18-week regular season followed by four weeks of playoffs, the Chiefs and Eagles were the only teams left to battle for this year’s Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes guided his team to defeat the Eagles in a game where the Chiefs staged a thrilling comeback in the second half to emerge 38-35 winners at the final whistle.
Super Bowl LVII was a game full of records. First, the score was the third-highest in Super Bowl history. Secondly, the 118.7 million people who viewed Rihanna’s halftime show were the second most-watched in the history of the Super Bowl. The 2015 halftime show by Katy Perry holds the highest views.
Mahomes is magic
Mahomes entered this game with a pre-existing injury that worsened during halftime. However, the NFL magician produced a remarkable performance to rally his team from a 10-point deficit to finish the game with three points above their rivals.
He shook off the injury scare to put in a performance that earned him the Super Bowl MVP award after completing 21 out of 27 passes earning 182 yards with three touchdowns. This was the second Super Bowl MVP award in five years.
In the last five years, he has won five divisional titles, two MVPs in the regular season, two MVPs in the Super Bowl, and two rings. The Eagles looked the better team in the match, but Mahomes ingenious made the difference for the Chiefs.
What are people saying?
Chiefs coach Andy Reid is now regarded as the best coach of the modern game, and the team is lucky to have him alongside the best quarterback. Reid’s offensive strategy paid off when the team produced two touchdowns in the second half, where both emanated from return-motion plays with guys wide open.
A section of fans and pundits now consider the Chiefs a dynasty, having won the Super Bowl title twice in four years with three appearances. But Mahomes refused to accept it, saying they weren’t there yet.
There was controversy though with a few individuals complaining about the holding call in the last seconds of the match that swung the game in the Chiefs’ favour. The call denied Jalen Hurts a chance to make a last-gasp winning drive. Referee Carl Cheffers was adamant that it was the right call after the game: “It was an outright jersey grab case hence the restriction,” he wrote in the post-match report. “There was nothing to debate about it,” added Cheffers.
How did the Chiefs manage one of the greatest Super Bowl comebacks?
With Philadelphia 10 points ahead and Mahomes in pain, the Chiefs looked beaten in the first half. However, the Chiefs produced a near-perfect performance in the second half to emerge winners at the final whistle.
How did they do it? Analysts point out the motion strategy as the answer to the Chiefs’ turnaround in the second half. Nothing else could suffocate the Eagles’ defence that had rolled into victories against the 49ers and the Giants.
Kansas City Chiefs held its players in motion pre-snap, which created opportunities for touchdowns. You could see receivers making slight movements just before the snap ending up with a group at the line. This created beneficial leverage for receivers against the Eagles’ defence in coverage.
Another way in which the Eagles utilised motion was through the tacking of defenders in short motion. Travis Kelce’s first-quarter touchdown was a perfect example.
The Chiefs’ defence started strong, restricting Eagles RB Miles Sanders to a single-yard gain and forcing the opponents to a 3rd-and-5 keeping the drive alive.
Hurts, whose passing game is on another level this season, found wide receiver Devonta Smith leading to a 12-yard gain and picking the first touchdown. Hurts did not stop there as he scrambled eleven yards to connect with Dallas Goedert at tight end and Smith to move the Eagles to the driving end.
Hurts scored the first, with Kicker Jake Elliot adding the extra to take the Eagles to a 7-0 lead. Hurts has been Philadelphia’s open-secret weapon this season.
However, the deadly combination of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce was evident in the Chiefs’ first scoring drive. Mahomes struck a 20-yard strike to find a tight end to find Kelce free in the end zone to register an 18-yard touchdown.
The game was then levelled courtesy of Butker’s extra point.
Travis Kelce received six passes from Mahomes to register 81 yards and one touchdown. Linebacker Nick Bolton was great in the defence, producing nine tackles and returning a fumble from Hurts, leading to a touchdown.
The Chiefs now have their third Super Bowl title in history and their second in the last four years. The achievement cemented their place as one of the best teams in the modern game. The talent pool in the team is unrivalled; with a top coach in their ranks, they can only get better.
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