Chiefs edge past Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII


Courtesy of Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a close win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Patrick Mahomes was named the MVP of Super Bowl LVII

Ishan Kulkarni, Staff Writer

On Feb. 12, a beautiful and sunny Sunday in the Arizona desert, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, the champions of the AFC and the NFC, respectively, faced off in Super Bowl LVII.

The Chiefs were coming off back-to-back playoff games decided by just one score, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 in the divisional round and the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in the AFC championship game. On the other hand, the Eagles came into the Super Bowl with dominant wins over the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles’ defense held both teams to just 7 points while the offense scored 38 and 31 against both teams, respectively. Both teams were in great form coming into the championship, and the game did not disappoint.

The Chiefs won the coin toss and elected to give possession to the Eagles for the first drive. The Eagles, who have been one of the best teams in the NFL on opening drives, set the tone of the game early, taking the ball downfield from their 25-yard line and scoring the first touchdown. Quarterback Jalen Hurts showed his elite passing and scrambling abilities to gain yards for the Eagles before rushing the ball into the endzone for the first of his three rushing touchdowns on the day.

The Chiefs responded with a touchdown of their own, going down the field in less than three and a half minutes. The Patrick Mahomes-Travis Kelce connection was strong as tight end Kelce caught two passes for 38 yards, one of them being an 18-yard touchdown pass. Quarterback Mahomes also scrambled for 8 yards, showing everyone that his ankle—which he had injured in the previous playoff game against the Jaguars—wasn’t going to be a problem. 

The next two drives resulted in stops as the Chiefs’ defense forced the Eagles to punt, and the Eagles’ defense held the Chiefs to a 42-yard field goal attempt, which they missed. The Eagles had great field position on their next possession and took advantage as Hurts threw a deep 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown, increasing their lead to 14-7. 

The Chiefs were unable to make anything of their next possession and it ended in a punt. During the Eagles’ next drive, Hurts fumbled the ball and Chiefs’ linebacker Nick Bolton recovered the fumble and returned it for a 36-yard touchdown to tie the game 14-14. The Eagles remained poised, however, and demonstrated their offensive prowess during the next drive. The team chose to take a risk on fourth-and-5, resulting in a 28-yard Hurts rush. With only 16 yards between them and the endzone, the Eagles were in a good position for the end of their drive. In his second rushing touchdown of the night, Hurts brought the ball in to put the Eagles ahead 21-14.

The Chiefs, with a little more than two minutes to go in the half, struggled to get a first down. Mahomes appeared to reinjure his ankle on a third-and-15 play when he was tackled by linebacker T. J. Edwards, and was seen grimacing in pain as he went to the bench. The Eagles closed out the first half with a field goal to put them up a commanding 24-14. 

After a riveting performance by Rihanna, the Chiefs blasted open the second half with a strong 75-yard drive resulting in a touchdown. Mahomes looked unbothered by his ankle as he rushed for 14 yards on the drive. The Chiefs made good use of both their passing and rushing game to close in on the Eagles.

On the Eagles’ next drive, the Chiefs’ defense immobilized the offense inside the red zone and forced a field goal attempt, keeping the game at a one-possession difference. The Chiefs’ offense then retook the field. Mahomes connected with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster four times for a combined 38 yards. The drive ended with a 5-yard pass from Mahomes to wide receiver Kadarius Toney for a touchdown and the first Chiefs lead of the game at  28-27.

Kansas City’s defense then came up with yet another stop, forcing the Eagles to punt the ball after going three-and-out. Toney returned the punt for 65 yards, the longest return in Super Bowl history, to set up the Chiefs with great field position that led to a touchdown and a 35-27.

With a little more than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Eagles drove down the field quickly via a 45-yard pass from Hurts to wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Hurts then notched his third and final rushing touchdown of the day and successfully completed a 2-point conversion to tie the game 35-35. 

The Chiefs slowly moved the ball up the field to run down the clock on the next possession. Mahomes kept the momentum going and rushed for 26 yards in a crucial play. With 1:54 left in the game on third-and-8, the Eagles’ defense conceded a crucial penalty as cornerback James Bradberry was called for a defensive holding. The penalty automatically resulted in a Chiefs’ first down.

The Eagles then used their final timeout to buy them some time. The Chiefs chose to kneel and take the five-yard penalty before setting up a 27-yard field goal attempt. With the Lombardi trophy on the line, Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker nailed the kick and the Chiefs took the lead 38-35.

The Eagles had eight seconds left to come up with something but failed to move the ball, losing in a heartbreaking incomplete pass. This Super Bowl win was the Chiefs’ second in the last four years and Mahomes was announced as the Super Bowl MVP. The game wrapped up an exciting 2022-2023 NFL season with many already looking forward to the next season.