By Dan Murphy - UnPacked Podcast
Mahomes’ Super Bowl Magic: Superstar QB comes in clutch as Chiefs take the spoils in Super Bowl LVII
It’s been just over a week now since the dust settled in Glendale, Arizona on one of the best Super Bowl match ups in recent history. Patrick Mahomes cemented himself in the history books as he led his Kansas City Chiefs to another Super Bowl comeback, upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kansas City vs Philadelphia. BBQ vs Cheesesteak. Rocky vs Jason Sudeikis. Mahomes vs Hurts.
An injured Mahomes vs Hurts?
The much talked about and analysed ankle injured suffered by Mahomes in the AFC Divisional round seemed to be a distant memory by the second half as he threw for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Indeed, the whole world took an in-breath when he took off on a blistering run of 26 yards on the game-winning drive. What ankle sprain?
The drive in question will forever be remembered for “that holding call” – a jersey tug by Eagles CB James Bradberry on WR Juju Smith-Schuster on a 3rd-and-8 play. Was this an inconsistency from Refs who seemed to let the game flow for much of the night? I don’t think it matters so much anymore.
Having gained a new set of downs, the Chiefs could feel the Lombardi within their grasp. After a selfless slide at the 2yard line by RB Jerick McKinnon, denying himself the glory of scoring in a Super Bowl but galvanising his team’s chance to win it all. Harrison Butker nailed the short field goal to put the Chiefs ahead and leave the Eagles with only 8 seconds left on the clock. Kansas City and its Chiefs were Champions yet again.
Mahomes and his opposite number, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, both shone during the game with excellent plays on both sides. This was the first Super Bowl to feature two Black starting quarterbacks – a milestone for the sport. A milestone for both of these young men also, it must be said. Mahomes takes his second championship ring and Hurts solidified himself as one of the best young QBs in the NFL. While only one quarterback could win, let there be no doubt about the ability of the other. Jalen is “the guy” in Philly.
Hurts impressed on many occasions. Leading the Eagles in rushing with 70 yards – a Super Bowl record for a quarterback - and passing for 304 yards is not to be sniffed at. 3 rushing TDs and a 45-yard bomb of a TD pass to AJ Brown ratify just how superb the 24-year old, 3-year pro was in a heart-breaking defeat. His one mistake, a fumble scooped up and run in for a TD by Chiefs LB Nick Bolton in the second quarter, didn’t end the game by any means. However, the Eagles eventually fell to a 38-35 defeat.
Some moments just feel like they define a game, a season, a champion. As Kadarius Toney returned a poor punt for 65 yards, breaking one tackle and seemingly erecting a red brick wall around him as he flew down the field to the Eagles 5 yard line, you could almost feel momentum swing in the Chiefs favour. Some might say it was the play before this that pushed the pendulum. A 5yd TD pass from Mahomes to Toney on a well-design jet sweep play which completely fooled the Philly defence. Several defensive players noticed the jet sweep and moved to block the run, leaving Toney wide open following a beautiful switch of direction to give KC its first lead of the game.
This play was essentially mirrored in the Chiefs penultimate drive as Skyy Moore was left un-covered to extend the lead to 35-27.
After a huge side-line pass to Devonta Smith, Hurts and the Eagles managed to claw back to 35-33 with an infamous “Tush Push” from yards out. Hurts then converted the 2 point play himself to tie the game.
Alas - we know the rest and it is, as they say, history.
Patrick Mahomes fought hard to earn his second Super Bowl title, to go with his recently awarded second NFL MVP and was also crowned Super Bowl MVP on the night, for the second time in his career. A night which saw a myriad of electric performances, far too many to mention here. From Mahomes, to Hurts and how can we forget the amazing half-time show from Rihanna?
This was definitely one of the best Super Bowls I’ve witnessed in my short NFL-fandom.
I haven’t even mentioned the Kelce brothers yet either.
Congratulations Chiefs Kingdom! Chiefs… Dynasty? Maybe.