Super Bowl LVII saw the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles come to Glendale, Ariz. for the ultimate crown: a national championship. The Eagles, just five years removed from their last Super Bowl win, were riding a huge 14-3 season behind the arm of star quarterback Jalen Hurts and entered the playoffs as the number one seed in the NFC. The Chiefs, coming off a Super Bowl Championship just three years ago, came in having been the NFL’s premier program as of late and entered with a 14-3 record as the number one seed in the AFC. The Super Bowl was set to be a classic as the two heavy weights of the season collided, and it indeed gave viewers what they anticipated.
The opening kickoff went to the Eagles and Hurts would trot on the field to then easily lead his team 75 yards in 11 plays for an opening touchdown. The Eagles moved the ball fairly easily and it raised a cause for concern among Chiefs fans of whether or not they could stop this high-powered Eagles attack. The key matchup coming into the night however was the Eagles defense versus the Chiefs offense and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs made easy work of the first glimpse of this matchup as Mahomes had two big completions to veteran tight end Travis Kelce on a six play drive that ended in the endzone, knotting the game at 7-7. The Eagles stalled and the Chiefs once again had no problem moving right down the field until the Eagles got bailed out by Mahomes missing an easy pass. Tech alum and Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker trotted onto the field for his first attempt of the game which he doinked off the left upright. Philadelphia turned around and took full advantage of the defensive stop, moving the ball 68 yards in five plays for a huge score that came off of a 48-yard bomb to wideout A.J. Brown. The Eagles then forced the Chiefs to go three and out, but on the ensuing possession Hurts coughed up the ball at the 44-yard line where Kansas City linebacker Nick Bolton scooped it up and took it all the way home to tie the game at 14. Hurts came back on the field to conduct a masterful 12 play, 75-yard, seven minute drive that resulted in the Eagles retaking the lead 21-14. Philly forced another Kansas City punt and proceeded to cash in a field goal right before the break, putting them up 24-14 as Rihanna prepared to take the stage for halftime. The Eagles’ game plan could not have been going any better as they were significantly dominating the time of possession thus limiting the amount of the Chiefs’ possessions — possessions in which they were forced to punt. The second half told a different story though as the Chiefs would score on every possession they had. Mahomes came out of the locker room and took the Chiefs down the field in 10 plays to pull within three at 24-21 Eagles. The Eagles then tied for the longest drive in Super Bowl history, going 17 plays in just under eight minutes, but they only cashed in a field goal, putting the game at 27-21.
Mahomes took the Chiefs down the field again to put the Chiefs up for the first time all game: 28-27. The Eagles proceeded to stall and receiver Kadarius Toney took the ensuing punt all the way down to the Philadelphia five-yard line on the longest punt return in Super Bowl history. The Chiefs had an easy time from there as Mahomes found receiver Skyy Moore for the 35-27 push ahead. For the Eagles, it was do or die now.
They got what they needed in large thanks to a 45-yard dime to receiver Devonta Smith that put them down at the goal line. From there Hurts did it himself, rushing in for the score and then doing it all on his own again as he trotted in for the two-point conversion to knot the game at 35 with just over five minutes to go.
The Chiefs then mounted one of those drives that causes fans everywhere to bite their nails. They slowly and methodically took the ball all the way down to the Philadelphia 15-yard line. With just under two minutes to go and the Eagles with just one timeout remaining, the Chiefs were faced with a 3rd & 8 that would determine if the Eagles would have a chance at another possession.
Mahomes took the snap and fired to the left where no receiver was; however, a flag came flying in. In a questionable call, the officials gave the Chiefs a new set of downs off of a defensive holding that was not blatant in the slightest. Regardless, the game went on and Kansas City took the clock down to the lowest they could and it was all on Tech grad Butker.
Butker trotted out and sent the 27-yarder straight down the middle, giving the Chiefs a 38-35 edge with just eight seconds to go. There was no miracle to be had in Glendale and the red, yellow and white confetti shot from the cannons, ringing in the Chiefs’ second Super Bowl in just four seasons. 113 million people tuned in to watch the Chiefs win.
This game has been considered an all-time classic by viewers, but the win is facing scrutiny due to the questionable defensive holding call that came in the most crucial part of the game. NFL officiating has been long scrutinized, but for it to shine in the big game was disappointing to fans. The FOX broadcast announcers of the game even expressed their frustrations with the call.
Despite this, Super Bowl LVII belongs to the Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC West and Tech alumnus Harrison Butker who proved to be an incredibly important piece in the world’s most watched game.