In a not-so-surprising ending, the Kansas City Chiefs are back on top of the NFL, winning Super Bowl 57, their third championship in franchise history. The Chiefs dominated the regular season, gaining the first seed and a bye in the AFC with an impressive 14-3 record. They then won thrilling contests against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round, and the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship on their path to the Super Bowl, where the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles were waiting for them.
Philadelphia had an impressive season of their own, having arguably the most complete team in the NFL and also posting a 14-3 regular season record. While some attribute the Eagles' postseason success to their far worse opponents (the New York Giants, who they beat twice in the regular season, and the San Francisco 49ers, who were basically playing without a quarterback), you have to admit they took care of business, as they handily won both games by a combined score of 69-14.
The “big game” itself was a Super Bowl classic with several noteworthy, memorable, and game-changing plays. The first of these came in the second quarter, when Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton recovered a Jalen Hurts fumble, returned it for a touchdown, and tied the score at 14-14. Afterward, Hurts made up for his only mistake with his second rushing touchdown, and a quick drive leading to a time-expiring field goal, to give his Eagles a 10-point lead at the half.
With their backs against the wall, Mahomes and the Chiefs had a flawless second half. In their only four offensive drives in the last two quarters, Kansas City managed to score 3 touchdowns and a field goal with just eight seconds left in the game. Head Coach Andy Reid was masterful, calling two goal-line plays that left his receivers wide open to capitalize in the red zone. Mahomes, despite a lingering ankle injury, also had multiple gutsy scrambles to extend drives for the Chiefs down the stretch.
The Chiefs' offensive success was in large part due to the exceptional play of their offensive weapons Travis Kelce, Isaiah Pacheco, and Kadarius Toney. The First Team All-Pro tight end Kelce played just as well as expected, casually hauling in all six of his targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Isaiah Pacheco continued his excellent postseason play, as the running back ran for 76 yards and a touchdown on 5.1 yards per carry. Lastly, Kansas City’s midseason addition, Kadarius Toney, had an amazing 65-yard punt return that set up a touchdown, and his own five-yard touchdown reception on top of that.
Despite the heroism of Reid, Mahomes, and the Chiefs offense, the biggest play of the second half for Kansas City came on an extremely controversial holding call on the Eagles’ James Bradberry in the red zone with just under two minutes remaining in the game. While Philadelphia took accountability for their mistake, many are arguing that there should never have been a flag thrown given the circumstances. In the end, this pivotal penalty allowed the Chiefs to take a lead, and eventually win the game.
The honor of Super Bowl Most Valuable Player was given to Patrick Mahomes who threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns with 44 yards on the ground. This was Mahomes’ second Super Bowl MVP in his short career, adding to his already hall-of-fame-caliber resume. The star quarterback has already tallied two regular season MVPs, five pro bowl nods, been selected to multiple first team all-pros, along with several passing titles and much, much more. Mahomes solidified himself as the face of the NFL with this exhilarating come-from-behind victory, and finds himself in a fantastic position to become the greatest quarterback of all time.