A Game for the Ages
Issue 10, Volume 113
For the second time in four years, Patrick Mahomes has led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory. The reigning Super Bowl MVP played through injury in a near-perfect game to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023. Favored by 1.5 going in, the Eagles led at halftime but were the victims of a raging fourth-quarter Andy Reid offense, ultimately falling as the Chiefs posted three consecutive touchdown drives to close out the game. This year’s Super Bowl was a testament to the ability of each superstar quarterback to completely take over a game, and neither team failed to deliver in what will undoubtedly be one of the best Super Bowls of the 21st century.
Although the Chiefs’ defense was crucial in leading them to the Super Bowl, the Eagles swiftly marched down the field on their opening drive. Quarterback Jalen Hurts’s approach was efficient and effective, leading the Eagles to an early touchdown. However, the Chiefs’ offense responded accordingly, with a dominant drive resulting in a touchdown catch for star tight end Travis Kelce. The Chiefs’ defense slowly regained their footing and turned an offensive pass interference into a four-and-out on the Eagles’ next drive. This was followed by another dominant Kelce-led drive, which ended in kicker Harrison Butker hitting the uprights and missing the ensuing field goal attempt.
The second quarter was a fast-paced plethora of offense that began with more blunders from the Chiefs’ defense, as they allowed Hurts time to find wide receiver A.J. Brown downfield, quickly moving down the field with an exquisitely timed pass. The Eagles regained the ball on a controversial non-call, but Hurts dropped the ball during the drive, allowing Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton to recover the fumble for a touchdown to tie the game. The offensive surge continued when the Eagles converted on consecutive fourth-downs en route to a touchdown, followed by a field goal to bring in halftime with a 24-14 lead. With the Chiefs’ defense’s inability to limit Hurts’s dominance and quarterback Mahomes seemingly reaggravating his high ankle sprain just before the half ended, many fans eagerly anticipated an Eagles victory.
The first half was among the most exciting starts to a Super Bowl in recent history. The vibrant offense that characterized both of these teams’ seasons was on full display, and there was little doubt that viewers were witnessing two of the best quarterbacks in the game. The Chiefs’ defense, which had been tested and proven up to this point, was no match for Hurts’s otherworldly vision. Meanwhile, Mahomes continued his streak of unparalleled dominance and kept his composure in a game that had practically everyone else’s emotions racing.
After Rihanna shocked the world with a rather spectacular announcement of her pregnancy amidst a captivating performance, the teams returned to the field for the second half. The Chiefs methodically cut the lead to three, and they nearly took the lead when Bolton ran another fumble back for a touchdown until the catch was called incomplete. The Eagles capitalized on the call to add another field goal, but Mahomes responded with another precise touchdown drive, leading his Chiefs to a 28-27 lead over the Eagles. After Mahomes’ dominance, none other than ex-New York Giant wide receiver Kadarius Toney ran an Eagles four-and-out punt back for a massive return, putting the Chiefs in an ideal position to extend their lead to 35-27.
Battling a now-dominant Chiefs defense and the clock, Hurts sent his squad downfield with just under six minutes to play. Another efficient drive ended in Hurts running into the endzone to cut the lead to 35-33, which he followed up with a powerful cut through the Chiefs’ defense to tie the game. Hurts’s incredible drive and two-point conversion left fans everywhere in disbelief, as the dynamic offensive strategies of both teams were a refreshing sight compared to last year’s defensive-oriented Super Bowl. The final minutes of the game were shaping up to be some of the most dramatic moments in a Super Bowl since the Seattle Seahawks’ disastrous loss to the New England Patriots in 2014.
The Chiefs rushed downfield quickly thanks to a few bullets and designed runs from Mahomes, finding themselves at third and eighth. Yet a defensive holding call against Eagles cornerback James Bradberry, where he faintly clutched the shirt of Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, provided the Chiefs with a new set of downs, sparking intense controversy among viewers everywhere. Philadelphia fans were infuriated that such a monumental decision had been made on a close call, but Bradberry later attested to the fact that it was, in fact, the correct call. Regardless, Eagles fans were outraged at the timing and the consequence of the flag, which has been a topic of thorough discussion across the nation.
Revived by this, the Chiefs were able to run down the clock and kick the game-winning field goal, leaving just eight seconds to play. A last-second heave into the deep from Hurts came up significantly short of any receivers, and the Chiefs were crowned Super Bowl LVII Champions in tantalizing fashion. Though Reid effectively used every tool in his playbook to minimize the Eagles’ chance at a comeback, the time-wasting to field goal strategy proved to be a tormentingly anticlimactic finish to what was an otherwise phenomenal Super Bowl. Each quarterback’s remarkable skill set was clearly seen in their sublime field vision and breathtaking deep throws. While Mahomes was undoubtedly the deserving MVP who overcame a resilient Eagles defense, credit must be given to Hurts for keeping his team until the final second.
This Super Bowl was nothing but a nail-biter—one moment without your eyes on the screen could mean missing a game-changing play. But in the end, the Chiefs take home another ring, with a team primed to compete again next year. For Eagles faithfuls, falling short of the title does nothing to outweigh the spectacular regular season they had, with young star Hurts representing the franchise’s newfound hope. Though competition will be fierce next season, both the Eagles and Chiefs should be applauded for their efforts in putting together a riveting Super Bowl that will certainly go down in history.