The Kansas City Chiefs followed a disastrous first half with a near-perfect second half to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 38 to 35 in Super Bowl LVII last Sunday in Glendale Arizona. The game lived up to its billing once the Chief’s offense found its footing. Credit the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense and the Chiefs Eagles for that matter.
The Eagle’s offense drew first blood and the Eagle’s defense set the tone. The Eagles scored on the game’s opening drive to take a 7-0 lead on a nifty one-yard run by Jalen Hurts. The Chiefs scored on their first possession to tie the game on a Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce 18-yard pass play and all signs pointed to a wild west shootout
SLOPPY PATCH OF PLAY
While both teams’ defenses made some quick adjustments, the offense failed to follow suit, resulting in some sloppy and careless play. The Eagles went three and out on their next possession and the Chief’s Harrison Butker missed a 34-yard field goal. Hurts 45-yard laser beam strike to A.J. Brown gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead. Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco was stopped three yards behind the line of scrimmage and two incomplete passes by Mahomes added up to a three-and-out for the Chief’s offense.
THE CHIEFS’ DEFENSE STEMS THE TIDE
With momentum and crowd noise on their side, the Eagles looked like they were bound to score when they moved the ball from their own 33-yard line to the Eagles ‘ yard. Looks can and often are deceiving. On third and five Hurts made the mistake of carrying the ball like it was a loaf of bread. Hurts fumbled the ball and KC defense Nick Bolton picked up the ball and rambled 36 yards to tie the score.
HURTS REGAINS COMPOSURE
Showing focus, maturity, and determination Hurts led the Eagle’s offense on 12 plays 75-yard drive that lasted 7:19 seconds and was capped by Hurts ‘ yard run to put the Eagles back on top 21-14 with 2:20 left in the half. Another three-and-out by the Chiefs gave the ball back to the Eagles with 1:22 left in the half.
More troubling for the Chief’s coaching staff was the way Mahomes limped off the field after a tackle on the three-and-out series. Perfect execution of the two-minute offense resulted in Hurts engineering an 8-play 40-yard drive that saw a Jake Elliot 35-yard field split the upright as the first half expired with the Eagles leading 24-14. The numerical lead was ten, but the lackluster play of the Chief’s offense made it seem to double that
CHIEF’S OFFENSE FINDS ITS RHYTHM
The Chief’s offense received the second-half kickoff, and it was apparent changes were made during the break.
“I was proud because, I mean, I talked a little bit but it was everybody. It wasn’t like I was the only person talking in that locker room and we just challenged each other to leave everything out there. I don’t want to play tight in the first half but you didn’t see that same joy that we play with and I want you guys to just know that everything we work for is for this moment. You have to enjoy this moment.
You can’t let the moment overtake you, and I thought the guys did that in the second half they fought to the very end and that’s all you can ask is for guys to leave everything they have on the football field.”
The Chiefs found the endzone of their first three drives of the second half. The Chief’s lone field goal in the second half was its most important.
Butker’s 27-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the game won it for the Chiefs. The field game came on the back end of Jalen Hurts two-yard run and two-point run. After the game Hurts talked about the disappointment of losing the game.
“It’s tough. We work really hard to have this opportunity and to come up short is tough. There’s always a lot to learn from, the opportunity to reflect on things we didn’t do or could have done, but I think there’s a lot to learn from it.”
Give credit to the Eagles Hurts for playing as well as Mahomes and showing that he has arrived as one of the game’s premier players. Sunday’s game was always going to be about Mahome’s ability to move in and around the pocket. His 17-yard scramble to the Eagle’s 26-yard line on the last drive showed he is in no hurry to give up his League Most Valuable Player throne.
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