Chiefs Top Eagles in Super Bowl LVII

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions once again. In the last ten seconds, they scored the go-ahead field goal to secure their 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. 

The Eagles had control of the first half, outscoring the Chiefs 24-14. In the first half, the Chiefs time of possession was a mere 8:06 while the Eagles possessed the ball for 21:54. Overall, they were being out coached, out-executed and outmuscled. But then,they went in for halftime and the Chiefs came out a completely different team. They played a near perfect second half to comeback from a double digit deficit. There have been only six double-digit comeback victories in Super Bowl history. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have two of them in Super Bowls LVII and LIV.

Patrick Mahomes delivered a near perfect second half even on a high ankle sprain (Getty Images).

The Eagles struck first with Jalen Hurts running in for a one-yard touchdown. Travis Kelce received a pass from Patrick Mahomes in the first to knot the game up at seven. On their next three possessions the Chiefs would miss a field goal and punt twice to finish out the half. Jalen Hurts threw for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 14-7 to start the second quarter. The Chiefs did however, recover a fumble for a touchdown to tie the game yet again. Jalen Hurts ran for another touchdown, giving them a seven point lead. To end the half the Eagles scored once again, this time a field goal by kicker Jake Elliott to put them up by ten. In the second half, the Chiefs scored on four of their four possessions. Isaiah Pancheco ran for a touchdown in the third quarter to make it a one possession game. Kadarius Toney caught a pass from Mahomes to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game. Skyy Moore caught a pass from Mahomes, extending their lead. With five minutes left in the game, Jalen Hurts ran for a touchdown and a two point conversion to tie the game 35-35. But, in the final seconds of the game the Chiefs kicked a 27 yard field goal putting them 38-35 and securing the Lombardi Trophy. 

The near perfect second half performance put on by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs can be seen by the set down conversion rate which looks at how many times a team has a first down and turns that series into a first down or a touchdown. The Chiefs converted 93.8% of the first downs in the second half into another first down or a touchdown. The only reason that it was not 100% is because Jerick McKinnon slid down at the one yard line to set up the game winning field goal. Since 2000 when this data began being collected, no team had ever done that in the Super Bowl and only three teams had ever done that in a playoff game. 

Jalen Hurts throws a pass in the Super Bowl (Photo via CNN).

Yet again the Super Bowl was a quarterbacks show. Patrick Mahomes, the NFL MVP and Jalen Hurts the new upcoming star. Both quarterbacks had outstanding performances in the game. Hurts threw for 304 yards with a 71.1% completion rate. He ran for 70 yards and recorded four total touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes, who would later be named game MVP had a 77.8% completion rate throwing for just 182 yards. He also ran for 44 yards of his own. His movement inside the pocket helped the Chiefs to keep plays alive and in the second half convert on more first down plays. Although the Eagles defense had some of the best quarterback pressure throughout the season resulting in a high number of sacks each game, they did not sack Mahomes once Sunday night.

Since suffering a high ankle sprain in the beginning of the playoffs, Mahomes has worked hard to stay on the field. He had limped through games and played through pain to get his team to the Super Bowl. Mahomes continued to share with the media that there was nothing that was going to keep him off the field and keep him from playing for a Super Bowl. In the beginning of the game Mahomes’ ankle looked to be in much better condition than previous weeks, until late in the second quarter when he was tackled and his right foot took the brunt of it. To fans, his return for the second half looked questionable but he came out and had a near perfect performance to carry his team to a Super Bowl win.

ESPN’s way to early power rankings have the Chiefs at number one and the Eagles right behind at number two. As long as the Chiefs keep Mahomes happy and continue to add more weapons around him they have a chance to run the table and go back-to-back.