Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Bright lights and highlights
In dramatic NFL season finale, stars shine on, off, above field
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Chiefs beat the Eagles 38-35 in a memorable Super Bowl that included plenty of big plays on and off the field. Here’s a look at some top moments from Sunday night’s game:
Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining to lift the Chiefs to their 38-35 win over the Eagles. The Chiefs have won the Super Bowl in two of the last four seasons and their roll shows no sign of stopping, especially with Patrick Mahomes throwing the passes. The Chiefs quarterback overcame a sprained ankle to earn Super Bowl MVP honors after throwing for 182 yards and three touchdowns. Coach Andy Reid also captured his second Super Bowl title and this one came at the expense of the franchise he coached for 14 seasons before coming to Kansas City.
Rihanna provided a high-flying halftime performance. The nine-time Grammy Award winner began and ended the halftime show suspended high above the field. She wore a puffy, bright red jumpsuit with tight, rubbery garb underneath as she stood on a transparent rectangular platform that raised and lowered as she belted out the lyrics to her hit songs over the turf.
Oh yeah, and to top it off, she did the performance while pregnant, news that was revealed after the show.
Bradberry sees yellow
This could be a highlight or lowlight, depending on rooting allegiances, but James Bradberry’s penalty on the final drive was undeniably a huge moment. The Chiefs were driving and faced third-and-8 at the Eagles 15-yard line with 1:54 remaining when Mahomes threw incomplete to JuJu Smith-Schuster. But officials flagged Bradberry for defensive holding, which negated the incompletion and, more importantly, gave the Chiefs a first down. Replays showed Bradberry made light contact with Smith-Schuster, though it didn’t appear to affect the play much. Many fans — and some football commentators — disagreed with the call. The only person who didn’t seem upset with the call was Bradberry himself.
“It was a holding. I tugged his jersey,” Bradberry said. “I was hoping they’d let it slide.”
Kadarius Toney’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency prompted the Giants to
give up on him midway through his second NFL season. The Chiefs gave him a second chance and the talented receiver proved he’s no first-round bust. Toney made history and two of the biggest plays in the Chiefs’ win. His 65-yard punt return in the fourth quarter was a particularly big moment. It was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.
Bolton’s scoop, score
The first hint it might be the Chiefs’ night came in the second quarter when Eagles QB Jalen Hurts fumbled and Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton scooped up the football and ran 36 yards for the TD. It was at a pivotal moment: The Eagles were ahead 14-7 and driving at midfield when the game-changing play occurred. Suddenly, the game was tied and the drama was just beginning.
Hurts so good
Hurts wasn’t victorious in his first Super Bowl appearance, but the young quarterback has no reason to be ashamed. He was phenomenal, setting a Super Bowl record with three rushing touchdowns. On top of that, he completed 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards and a score, showing poise and perfect throwing touch on a number of occasions.
The Super Bowl might be known for its extravagance, but country singer and songwriter Chris Stapleton didn’t need any hightech help for a stellar performance during the national anthem. Stapleton stood at midfield with just a guitar and his baritone voice, belting out an emotional rendition that had Eagles coach Nick Sirianni in tears.
Bills safety Damar Hamlin made it to the Super Bowl. He made three appearances during the week in Arizona, including on the field at State Farm Stadium prior to the game. It’s been a little more than a month since Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Sunday’s appearance was another milestone in his remarkable recovery. “I’m allowing that to be in God’s hands,” Hamlin said in an interview with Fox’s Michael Strahan. “I’m just thankful he gave me a second chance.”