The Philadelphia Eagles were close to winning their second Super Bowl. They just weren’t close enough.
By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN
Photos by WEBSTER RIDDICK
ABOVE PHOTO: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts runs for a touchdown during Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs.
GLENDALE, Ariz. —In arguably one of the best Super Bowls played by both opposing quarterbacks, the Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 10-point first-half deficit and came away with a 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII in front of 67,827 fans at State Farm Stadium.
Harrison Butker’s 27-yard field goal with eight seconds left was the game-winner. But it was the Eagles’ defense that could not stop Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense. After trailing 24-14 at halftime, Kansas City outscored the Eagles’ defense 24-11 in the second half.
“It always hurts any time you don’t come out on top,” said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. “All the credit to (Kansas City). They played a great game. … That’s a well-coached football team. It hurts … We’ll use this failure as a motivation for us.”
Mahomes was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl LVII. Despite playing on a sore right ankle, he completed 21-of-27 passes for 182 yards and three touchdown passes.
Simply put, the Birds’ defense could not stop a Chiefs offense that scored on all four possessions in the second half. After the Eagles’ defense held the Chiefs to just 128 yards of total offense in the first half, Kansas City exploded for 212 in the second half.
“I think that they made the plays in the second half to help themselves win the game and we didn’t make enough plays,” said Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham. “It definitely sucked, because we know we left some stuff out there and we’re definitely going to sit back on this one.”
After the Eagles tied the game at 35-35 with 5:15 left on a two-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion run by Jalen Hurts, Mahomes led the Chiefs on a 12-play, 66-yard touchdown that included a controversial defensive holding penalty against Eagles cornerback James Bradbury on third down that allowed Kansas City to run down the clock to eight seconds.
Had the Eagles won this game, Hurts would have been the game’s MVP. Hurts kept the Eagles in the game in the storm of the Chiefs’ comeback. He completed 27-of-37 passes for 304 yards and one touchdown pass. He was the Eagles leading rusher gaining 70 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns and one two-point conversion.
“He did things with his legs in the run game. He did things with his arm in the passing game,” Sirianni said. “He made some unbelievable throws, unbelievable reads. I thought he played outstanding.”
The one bad play Hurts made in the game also determined the outcome of the game. With the Eagles leading 14-7 early in the second quarter, the Chiefs tied the on a 36-yard touchdown return on a fumble by linebacker Nick Bolton on third and five at the Eagles 48.
“You never know what play it will be, but it hurt us,” Hurts said in his postgame press conference. “You look back and reflect on some of the things that you could have done more, you could have tried and done something to change the outcome of the game. That’s the way it works.”
Hurts dropped the ball trying to switch the ball from his left hand to his right hand. Bolton scooped the ball up at the 36 and ran it in for the touchdown.
On the Birds’ next possession, Hurts atoned for the fumble by driving the Eagles 75 yards in 12 plays that was capped by his four-yard touchdown — his second rushing touchdown of the game. Hurts converted a fourth and five at the Kansas City 45. He also led the Eagles on an eight-play, 40-yard that led to Jake Elliot’s 35-yard field yard that gave the Birds a 24-14 lead
In the first half, the Eagles’ offense was their best defense. They had the ball for 44 total plays. The Eagles had a close to 3 to 1 advantage in time of possession. In the first half, the Eagles held the ball for 21:54 while the Chiefs had the ball for just 8:06. The Chiefs had the ball for just 20 plays and were 0-for-3 on third down.
On the Chiefs’ last play of the first half, Mahomes appeared to have reaggravated his right ankle injury on a tackle by Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards with 1:44 left in the first half.
On their first possession of the second half, a rejuvenated Mahomes turned to his running game and passing to Travis Kelce to lead a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped by a two-yard by running back Isiah Pacheco to cut the Eagles to 24-21 with 9:30 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles answered the Chiefs’ touchdown with a 33-yard field goal to move the lead to 27-21
The Chiefs took their first lead of the game on a five-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Kadarius Toney to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive. That made the score 28-27 with 12:04 left in the game.
Toney made another play that would be vital to the outcome of the game with a 65-yard punt return to the Eagles’ five-yard line on a poor, line-drive kick by punter Aaron Sipposs. Three plays later, Mahomes hit Sky Moore for a five-yard touch, pushing the Chiefs’ lead to 35-27 with 9:22 left in the game.
But just when things seemed bleak for the Birds, Hurts put the team on his back and willed the Birds to an eight-play, 75-yard drive to the touchdown and game-tying two-point conversion.
“He gave us a chance throughout the game to win it and we’re super proud of him, the year he had and we’re really excited for the future with him,” said Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert. “I thought Jalen played phenomenal. He plays with his feet and he plays with his arms, he did what he did all year.”
Eagles beat writer Chris Murray and sports photographer Webster Riddick covered Super Bowl LVII from the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The Philadelphia Sunday SUN’s coverage of Super Bowl LVII was sponsored by Philadelphia Hall Monitor. Co-hosts Larry McGlynn, Denise Clay-Murray and Lance Haver guide you through City Hall and everything going on there. Come join them on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. on WPPM 106.5 or on PhillyCam.org.
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