Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Patrick Mahomes was not supposed to be able to run because of the ankle injury. A lot of quarterbacks at his position wouldn’t even be on the floor to play. But as the final minutes of Super Bowl LVII tumbled down into the Arizona night, the NFL MVP pulled the biggest magic act of his own.
Mahomes broke free on a 26-yard run to put the Chiefs in the red zone and a few plays later kicker Harrison Butker made a 26-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining, to give Kansas City a 38-35 victory, the second championship for Mahomes’ Chiefs in four years.
The Chiefs were crowned despite a monstrous performance by Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia quarterback (3 touchdown runs and a TD pass), who made history alongside Mahomes in the first matchup of black quarterbacks in a Super Bowl. It was a battle of tremendous offense and there were only four punts in the game.
Finishing with 21 of 27 passes, 182 yards, 3 TD passes, zero interceptions and 44 rushing yards, Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to lead the Chiefs’ turnaround against a team the fans judged experts and the general public was more complete.
The Chiefs took their first lead of the game (28-27) until 12:04 minutes remained in the fourth period with a 5-yard pass from Mahomes to Kadarius Toney, against a confused defense that bit the dust before the creativity of coach Andy Reid, who disarmed the defense of the team with which he became known as a coach in the NFL.
And almost immediately, the Chiefs were on the march again after a 65-yard kick return from Toney. Soon after, Patrick Mahomes, who was awarded season MVP on Thursday, found Skyy Moore on a solo 4-yard play to increase the lead to 35-27 with 9:22 to play.
But Jalen Hurts connected on a 45-yard pass to DeVonta Smith and he immediately scored on the umpteenth rugby-type play of the night for the Eagles. It was his third career touchdown. He then carried the ball on a personal outside left tackle and broke a tackle for the 2-point conversion that tied the score at 35-35.
Philadelphia dominated the first half 24-14, holding the ball for 22 of the 30 minutes and holding off Mahomes, who strained his right ankle after a tackle near halftime.
But Kansas City entered the game on their first possession of the second half with a fast-paced drive in which Mahomes was no longer affected by injury.. Isiah Pacheco scored from the 1-yard line to bring his team closer to 24-21.
Lots of Jalen Hurts in the first half and a scare for KC
The Eagles, who broke several rushing records this season, opened the scoring on the same first drive of the game with a touchdown run by quarterback Hurts on a dive from inside the 1-yard line, capping a 75-yard drive to lift off his seat to actors Bradley Cooper and Kevin Hart, two well-known fans of the team.
But the Chiefs’ response was immediate, with a lightning series in which Isiah Pacheco, the runner of Dominican blood, looked good. He had 76 rushing yards in the game.. Mahomes, with good touch, connected with Travis Kelce on an 18-yard pass to tie the game 7-7 midway through the first period and set the tone for a high-calibre duel.
It was the tight end’s 16th postseason touchdown, passing Rob Gronkowski for second all-time and trailing only Jerry Rice’s 22.
While his two sons – both considered among the best in the NFL for years – battled it out on the court, Donna Kelce watched the game from commissioner Roger Goodell’s suite. The mother was one of the most media people of the whole week having as a climax the unprecedented duel between Jason and Travis. She had said that she wrote a heartfelt letter to both of them asking them to give it their all on the court.
On the first play of the second period, and after the Chiefs missed a 42-yard field goal, Philadelphia gave up. Hurts had great protection and unleashed a blast to the end zone where AJ Brown made a nice fit behind rookie corner Trent McDuffie, making a spectacular 45-yard catch that made it 14-7.
However, on Philadelphia’s next possession, Hurts found himself mobbed behind the line near midfield by linebacker Nick Bolton and fumbled. Bolton himself picked up and returned 36 yards for a score, tying the game for the second time. Bolton later had another fumble returned for a touchdown, but it was called down when the play was ruled an incompletion.
With 2:20 remaining in the first half, Hurts took advantage of a great block by center Jason Kelce for a 4-yard run, his second TD, to put the Eagles ahead 21-14. The NFC champions went for it twice on fourth down on the 12-play, 75-yard, 7:19 drive.
Indigenous pride in the stadium and celebrities on the pitch
The stadium, which hosted the Super Bowl for the third time, displayed on its exterior facade the art of local artist Lucinda “La Morena” Hinojos, who is indigenous and Chicana. The match was played with the retractable roof open given the splendid weather.
As usual, the Super Bowl featured numerous stars and personalities. This time one of them was someone who put the NFL on hiatus a month and a half ago: Damar Hamlin, the defensive back for the Buffalo Bills, who was saved on the field after collapsing in a collision in Cincinnati. Hamlin was introduced before the game along with all the medical personnel who helped him survive.
Another was Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, presented on the court with his Walter Payton Man of the Year trophy he won Thursday. But Prescott was booed heavily, especially by fans of the Eagles, the Cowboys’ traditional rivals.
Super Bowl LVIII will take place in New Orleans. Until then, the Chiefs will hold the NFL crown.
– This was the Super Bowl halftime show with the return of Rihanna
– Fashion mom Donna Kelce makes revelations about her children: “Lots of broken glass”
– The Chiefs owner’s childhood toy who gave the Super Bowl its name