The Commercial Appeal

Winners, losers from Super Bowl 57

- Lorenzo Reyes

For the second time in four seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs have won the Super Bowl.

Behind another MVP performanc­e from star quarterbac­k Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs erased a 10-point halftime deficit to topple the Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl 57. Mahomes tamed a sore right ankle he re-injured in the second quarter and completed 21 of 27 passes for 182 yards with three touchdowns and added 44 yards on the ground. He also had to overcome a valiant effort from Eagles quarterbac­k Jalen Hurts, who gained 374 total yards and four total touchdowns.

This marks the second Lombardi Trophy for Chiefs coach Andy Reid and the third in franchise history.

Here are the winners and losers from Super Bowl 57.


h He’s not the GOAT (yet) but Patrick Mahomes is breaking the NFL.

This is like watching Michael Jordan in his prime. Patrick Mahomes is 27. He’s on a team-friendly contract. In the five seasons he has been starter, the Chiefs have made it at least to the AFC title game. As long as Mahomes is under center, this will be the standard. He won his second Super Bowl MVP days after he won his second league MVP.

Mahomes had his right ankle injury aggravated late in the second quarter when Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards fell on it as he dragged him to the turf. Ho hum. All Mahomes did after the injury was complete 13 of 14 passes for 93 yards and a pair of scores. As if that wasn’t enough, with 2:55 left to play in a tie game, he outran the Eagles defense on a 26-yard scramble that set up the gamewinnin­g field goal.

h Offensive genius of Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy.

According to ESPN Stats, teams going into halftime with a lead of double digits entered Sunday with a 26-1 record in Super Bowl history. The Chiefs became the second team to overcome that, and it’s thanks mostly to head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinato­r Eric Bieniemy.

h Kansas City offensive line dominated.

The Eagles entered Sunday needing five sacks to break the 1984 Bears record for most all time, including the postseason. Philadelph­ia’s 78 sacks this year were third most in history. Kansas City erased them.

Granted, Kansas City going in motion helped keep Philadelph­ia off balance, but once the ball was snapped, the Chiefs played discipline­d. The Chiefs Oline had only one penalty — a false start by left tackle Orlando Brown late in the

second quarter — called against them.

Mahomes faced a blitz rate on 29.6% of his 27 dropbacks. He was pressured on just seven of those and wasn’t sacked once. h Jalen Hurts is still a baller.

Don’t get it twisted: even with the fumble that led to the scoop-and-score, this loss was not on Eagles quarterbac­k Jalen Hurts. Just look at the sequence that followed the fumble; on the very next drive, Hurts led the Eagles to a 12play, 71-yard drive that ended with his 4yard touchdown rush.

In fact, Hurts accounted for 65 of the 71 yards on the series. All throughout Super Bowl 57, Hurts did it with both his arm and his legs, showing why he’ll be a problem in the NFC for years to come. h Future offense in Indy.

The Colts recovered from the failed Jeff Saturday experiment by selecting Eagles offensive coordinato­r Shane Steichen as their next head coach, according to ESPN.

Terms still have to be finalized, but Indianapol­is can now expect competent quarterbac­k play and the developmen­t of a multifacet­ed and deceptive offense. Steichen, along with Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, built Philadelph­ia’s zone read

offense and saw the unit go from 14th in total offense (359.9 yards per game) and 12th scoring (26.1 points per game) last season to third in both categories, 389.1 and 28.1, respective­ly.

Though they lost the game, it wasn’t because of the offense.


h Blaming the loss on the defensive holding.

Lebron James may have taken issue with the call. Of course, we’re talking about the defensive holding on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry, the holding that he admitted to committing. But to blame the penalty for Philadelph­ia’s loss is to disregard the many reasons why it lost.

Now, to be fair, the contact on the play was negligible and defensive holding is called far too inconsiste­nt; for instance, Bradberry actually tugged the jersey of Chiefs receiver Juju Smith-schuster on a previous third-and-8, this one in the first half.

But as well as Jalen Hurts played, his unforced fumble that led to Kansas City linebacker Nick Bolton’s scoop-andscore gifted the Chiefs a touchdown. A historic pass rush disappeare­d in the biggest game of the season. The secondary lacked discipline in the red zone and blew coverages. Philadelph­ia’s punt return coverage in the fourth quarter yielded a huge, 65-yard return that set up a touchdown. h Jonathan Gannon.

That brings us to the Philadelph­ia defense. One game does not discount previous success, but this loss spoils the success Philadelph­ia defensive coordinato­r Jonathan Gannon had enjoyed with the Eagles. And it likely won’t be enough to cost him the chance at the head coaching gig with the Arizona Cardinals. But, given Philadelph­ia’s pass rushing proficienc­y, this has to go down as one of the all-time letdowns in recent Super Bowl history.

The Chiefs scored on every possession in the second half. They converted 4 of 5 third downs after halftime and recorded 15 first downs in that span.

h Miles Sanders’ run in Philadelph­ia.

At different times this season, the Eagles have leaned on each of their trio of running backs – Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell. Sanders’ days with the franchise, though, may be numbered. He had been the team’s lead back, starting 49 of the 57 games he had appeared in since he was drafted in 2019.

But in the postseason, the Eagles have turned to second-year back Kenneth Gainwell (11 touches for 41 yards), who outgained Sanders in each of Philadelph­ia’s three playoff games. As Sanders’ rookie contract is set to expire at the end of the league year and with Gainwell locked up for at least two more seasons, Sanders (seven touches for 16 yards) becomes expendable. h Slip ’N Slide.

Long-time Cardinals and current Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson has been outspoken about the slick field in Arizona and the Super Bowl did nothing to dispel that reputation. The field was installed two weeks before the game and was rolled out to get sun, but players from both teams slipped throughout the game, especially on the areas with painted logos. It affected play and players switched to longer cleats.

In a key sequence in the second quarter, when Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell slipped short of a first down at the shield logo at midfield, it set up a pivotal third-and-1 play. A false start made it third-and-5, which led to a scoop and score on the Jalen Hurts fumble. At the end of the game, though, it was a desperatio­n attempt, Hurts slipped on the Hail Mary attempt that fell woefully short.

Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata called it “terrible” and said “it was like playing on a water park.” In the biggest game of the season, simply put, the surface was unacceptab­le.

 ?? KIRBY LEE/USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Chiefs quarterbac­k Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl 57 MVP after a 38-35 win.
KIRBY LEE/USA TODAY SPORTS Chiefs quarterbac­k Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl 57 MVP after a 38-35 win.

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