TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE/KC STAR
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Eagles dominated the Chiefs in three quarters of play in Super Bowl LVII.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, a football game is four quarters and the Chiefs’ offense woke up after sputtering through the game.
The Chiefs exploded with 17 points in the final period behind quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ two touchdown passes. Harrison Butker’s right leg took care of the rest when he drilled a 27-yard kick to give the Chiefs a 38-35 win.
The game provided plenty of drama in the Arizona desert.
Kansas City didn’t take their first lead of the game until early in the fourth quarter when wide receiver Kadarius Toney announced his presence in the game.
Facing a third-and-3 situation at the Eagles’ 5-yard line, Toney lined up wide right of the line of scrimmage, and then went in motion. At the snap of the ball, Toney stopped and cut back across the grain with no defender near him. Mahomes threw his easiest completion of the game for a 5-yard touchdown, giving the Chiefs a 28-27 lead.
Toney would then produce a gem of a return, taking a punt return 65 yards to put the Chiefs in scoring position at the Eagles’ 5-yard line. Two plays later, Mahomes found rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore for a 4-yard touchdown, Moore’s first as a professional, and a 35-27 lead.
The Eagles quickly responded, as Jalen Hurts led his team down the field on an 8-play, 75-yard drive. Hurts put the Eagles in scoring position with a 45-yard strike to DaVonta Smith, who went out of bounds at the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. Hurts finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, and then converted a 2-point conversion to tie the game at 35-35.
The tie game set up Mahomes magic.
With 5:15 remaining in the game, Mahomes calmly led the Chiefs to scoring position, connecting with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 10-yard gain and tight end Travis Kelce for a 7-yard gain.
Mahomes’ legs, though, put the Chiefs in position to win after he scrambled for a 26-yard gain up the middle to the Eagles’ 17-yard line. An Eagles’ defensive holding penalty gave the Chiefs a first down with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game to set up Butker’s kick with 11 seconds left in the game.
Mahomes didn’t light up the scoreboard, but he finished the game completing an efficient 21 of 27 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns for a 131.8 passer rating. He added 44 yards rushing on six carries en route to being named the MVP of Super Bowl LVII.
Sunday showcased two of the NFL’s top offenses and it didn’t take long into the game for the Chiefs and Eagles to remind everyone why they finished the regular season ranked as the No. 1 and No. 3 offenses, respectively.
Philadelphia took the opening kickoff and cut through the Chiefs’ defense with a methodical 11-play, 75-yard drive. Hurts and wide receiver DeVonta Smith connected three times on the drive for 41 yards, and Hurts capped off the drive with 1-yard quarterback sneak to give the Eagles a short-lived 7-0 lead.
The Chiefs responded in kind, rolling over the vaunted Eagles defense with a rapid strike 6-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Mahomes finished the possession with an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce, who got behind Eagles safety Marcus Epps with a slick double move. Epps slipped on the first cut, and Mahomes threw a gorgeous pass over Kelce’s left shoulder to tie the game at 7-7. Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco contributed three carries for 29 yards, including a bruising 24-yard run, during the drive.
Kansas City took over after a stalled Eagles drive and embarked on a promising drive, but Butker missed a 42-yard field goal, which would’ve given the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
Hurts and the Eagles offense made the Chiefs pay for the missed field goal, which gave Philadelphia good field position. The Eagles needed just six plays to get in the end zone, as Hurts threw a 45-yard pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown in the end zone. Brown beat rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie on the play to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead.
The Chiefs offense sputtered on their next possession, going three-and-out. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton put some life back in the team after he scooped up a Hurts fumble and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to tie the game once again at 14-14.
The Chiefs offense, however, sputtered throughout the first half, while the Eagles closed out the first half with a 10-point scoring burst.
Hurts shredded the Chiefs with his legs on the Eagles’ fifth possession, breaking through the Chiefs’ defensive line with a 28-yard gain on a fourth-and-5 play to put the Eagles at the Chiefs’ 16-yard line. Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi was flagged for a neutral zone infraction with the Eagles facing a fourth-and-2 at the 8-yard line to give the Eagles a first down, and Hurts punched it in on the next play from 4 yards out to push Philadelphia’s lead to 21-14 lead.
Eagles kicker Jake Elliott’s 35-yard field goal provided Philadelphia a 24-14 halftime lead.
The first half was about Hurts, who gave the Chiefs fits with 246 total yards (63 rushing) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing). He finished the game throwing for 300 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 70 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.
Meanwhile, Mahomes finished the first half completing 8-of-13 passes for 89 yards, adding 11 yards on two carries before he turned it around in the second half.
The victory gave the Chiefs their second Super Bowl championship in the past four season.
Here’s what else stood out on Super Sunday:
PROTECTION STEPS UP
The Eagles finished the regular season with a league-high 70 sacks, presenting a formidable task for the Chiefs’ offensive line.
Left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., left guard Joe Thuney, center Creed Humphrey, right guard Trey Smith and right tackle Andrew Wylie made sure Philadelphia’s defensive front wouldn’t take over the game.
In fact, the Eagles’ pass rush was essentially a nonfactor.
Mahomes wasn’t sacked in the game.
None of note.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, quarterback Shane Buechele, tight end Blake Bell, center/guard Austin Reiter, rookie offensive lineman Darian Kinnard, defensive lineman Malik Herring and defensive end Joshua Kaindoh.
The Chiefs transition to draft preparations, starting with the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis at the end of February, and the business side of football with the start of the NFL’s new calendar year on March 15.