Chiefs fight back to beat Eagles in Super Bowl classic
The Kansas City Chiefs became NFL champions for the second time in four years after fighting back to claim a thrilling 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Chiefs trailed for much of Super Bowl 57 in Phoenix and were 27-21 down heading into the final quarter.
But despite limping after aggravating an ankle injury, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and veteran coach Andy Reid orchestrated a route back in front of 67,827.
Mahomes, who was named the season’s Most Valuable Player for a second time last week, made touchdown passes to Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore to put Kansas City in front for the first time.
The Eagles levelled after a third rushing touchdown by Jalen Hurts, followed by a two-point conversion by the third-year quarterback.
But a heroic 26-yard run by Mahomes made the ground for Harrison Butker to kick a game-winning field goal from 27 yards.
Mahomes’ performance saw the 27-year-old become the first player since 1999 to win the season MVP, the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl MVP in the same season.
He has led the Chiefs to at least the AFC Championship game in all five seasons as a starter and many argued that, for the Reid-Mahomes era to be considered a dynasty, they had to win another Super Bowl.
“I am not going to say a dynasty yet, we are not done,” warned Mahomes.
“I told you nothing was going to keep me off the field. I want to thank my team-mates – we challenged each other and it took everybody.”
Reid said of Mahomes: “He wants to be the greatest player ever and that’s the way he goes about his business. And he does it humbly, there’s no bragging.
“The great quarterbacks make everybody around him better, including the head coach. So he’s done a heck of a job.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce added: “I’ve got Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, I have a great team, we had an unbelievable run.
“We were uncharacteristic in the beginning [of the game] but everyone had that look in their eye that they would leave it all out there on the field and that is what we did.”
A historic and rare Super Bowl
It was both a historic and rare Super Bowl as the NFL’s showcase event came to Arizona’s state capital for a fourth time.
It was the first Super Bowl to feature two black quarterbacks and the first to feature brothers on opposing teams, namely Travis Kelce and his older brother Jason, the Eagles centre.
And it was rare because it featured the season’s best two teams and the best two players – Mahomes and Hurts.
It was the first time that the top seed in each Conference has reached the Super Bowl since 2018 – when the Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 for their only previous Super Bowl win.
This is the highest-scoring Super Bowl since then but probably edged it for drama, with each team showing why they were so dominant during the regular season, both finishing with a 14-3 record.
Now Super Bowl 57 will be remembered for being much more than the ‘Kelce Bowl’, with the two teams producing an epic in Arizona’s state capital.
Mahomes and Hurts trade blows in epic
It promised to be a shootout from the first quarter, as neither defence managed to stop their opposition doing the same as they have been doing all season.
Hurts already had the single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback and three more on Sunday extended it to 18.
The first capped the game’s opening drive, and the Chiefs replied with Mahomes finding Travis Kelce in the corner for the tight end’s career-best 16th touchdown of the season.
However, there were ominous signs for Kansas City in the second quarter, despite cancelling out Hurts’ 45-yard touchdown pass to AJ Brown as Nick Bolton returned fumble for a defensive touchdown.
The Eagles starved the Chiefs of possession, Mahomes began limping heavily, Hurts punched in his second touchdown and Jake Elliott kicked a field goal to make it 24-14 at half-time.
Whatever coach Reid, 64, said to his players during Rihanna’s half-time show seemed to do the trick as Kansas City came out and put together a 10-play drive capped by a Isiah Pacheco score.
And they thought they had snatched the lead moments later with another defensive touchdown by Bolton, only for the play to be reversed and Jake Elliott to make it 27-21 with a field goal.
But two touchdowns in quick succession, both from well-designed passing plays from the Reid playbook that flummoxed the Philly defence, swung the game in Kansas City’s favour.
Hurts kept the Eagles in it but Mahomes’ scramble up the middle allowed the Chiefs to manage the clock before making the decisive score with just eight seconds left.
The best Super Bowl stats
- Reid became the 15th coach to win multiple Super Bowls
- Mahomes became the 13th quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls
- Hurts became the first quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in a Super Bowl
- Hurts also set a Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a QB – 70
- Facing the team with the second most sacks in a single season in NFL history, the Chiefs’ offensive line didn’t allow Mahomes to be sacked once