Not all Super Bowl games are created equal. For Chiefs fans, this year’s big game was super-fun and enjoyable. For diehard Eagles fans, not so much.
For the average football fan, the game was simply entertaining. The only disappointment for many was the ending, which was somewhat anticlimactic when a penalty gave Kansas City an automatic first down and the opportunity to nearly run the clock out before kicking a game-winning field goal.
Let’s review some highlights and lowlights.
- Rarely have quarterbacks for both teams played as well as Mahomes and Hurts. Both showed why they finished No. 1 and 2 in the Most Valuable Player voting this year in the NFL.
- If Philadelphia quarterback Jaylen Hurts hadn’t fumbled, resulting in a scoop and score by the Kansas City defense, you could easily have made a case for Hurts to be the MVP, even in defeat.
- Chiefs fans can be glad Patrick Mahomes is their quarterback for the foreseeable future. He gives KC a chance to win in every game. Bronco fans can remember what it was like when John Elway and Peyton Manning were their quarterbacks, and New England fans know how fortunate they were to have Tom Brady lead their team for many years.
- The Chiefs scored a touchdown on every possession of the second half except one, when running back Jerick McKinnon showed remarkable game awareness by purposely sliding to the ground at the 1-yard line, enabling KC to win the game with a field goal with only a few seconds remaining. In essence, refusing to score a touchdown helped win the Super Bowl.
- I’ve never seen a team run the quarterback sneak more effectively than Philadelphia. Any time they only needed a yard for a score or first down, it was virtually automatic. I wonder if the NFL will change the rule so offensive players can’t push a teammate forward from behind.
- Why was the game played on a field in such terrible condition? Players were slipping and sliding like they were playing on ice. That’s not good for either team, and a bad look for the NFL in its biggest game.
- The holding call against the Eagles in the last two minutes of the game became a bigger part of the story than it should have. Yes, it would have been interesting to see how the Eagles would have responded if KC had been forced to kick the field goal with about 1:45 left in regulation, giving Philly a chance to tie or win the game. But the majority of former coaches and players said it was the right call. Unless you are an Eagles fan or a Chiefs hater, it wasn’t a horrible call. Even the Eagles player called for the penalty admitted that he had held on the play.
Here’s what Bill Barnwell wrote on ESPN.com after the game, providing some perspective. “The league should be embarrassed about an element of the game Sunday, but that would be the quality of the field, not the refereeing. Likewise, although the Eagles would have loved to have seen Bradberry get away with a holding call with the game on the line, they lost this game because they couldn’t stop the run, they let Toney take a punt 65 yards to set up a touchdown, they handed the Chiefs a touchdown on a fumble recovery, and they allowed the Chiefs to go 4-for-4 in the red zone. They also committed a penalty at exactly the wrong time, even if that penalty yielded an unsatisfying finish.”
For Chiefs fans, it doesn’t get much better than this. KC has played in the conference championship game for five consecutive years. Three times in five years Kansas City has played in the Super Bowl, winning two and losing one.
How long will this success last? Who knows?
All I know is that it’s fun while it lasts!