Glendale, Arizona – It is arguably the best comeback in NFL championship history. The Kansas City Chiefs, led by a fearless Patrick Mahomes, came from behind and beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, in Super Bowl LVII, at the State Farm Stadium.
It was the Chief’s third Super Bowl win, with Mahomes spearheading two of those wins; beating the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV, and losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, 31-9. Mahomes is hailed as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game, with two league MVP awards and two Super Bowl wins in the first six years of his young career.
Mahomes and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts made history as the two Black quarterbacks faced each other for the first time in the history of the NFL. The matchup’s expectations were off the charts, and Mahomes and Hurts did not disappoint. Both quarterbacks also made history as the youngest to play in the Super Bowl, with Mahomes at 27 years old and Hurts at 24.
The weather was perfect for the game, a balmy 70 degrees—the crowd – was predominately Eagles, with 67,827 fans in attendance. The opening music was spectacular as Emmy® award winner and Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph opened with the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. Ralph was magnificent, performing the hymn written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in the 1900s. Kenny’ Babyface’ Edmonds, 12-times GRAMMY Ò Award winner, performed America, the Beautiful, accompanying himself on a beautiful, red-white-and-blue acoustic guitar. In his understated way, Edmonds brought a pleasing and lovely sound to the nation’s song. Country music star and eight-time GRAMMY Ò Award winner Chris Stapleton sang the National Anthem. His bluesy rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner moved many to tears. An exciting end to pre-game activities included the military flyover, celebrating 50 years of flying in the U.S. Navy with a formation of all-female aviators. And now, the game…
The comeback win by Mahomes and the Chiefs can only be described as epic! In the opening drive, the Eagles marched 75 yards down the field for its first touchdown. It was all Eagles for most of the first half. The Chiefs answered with an 18-yard pass to Travis Kelce, the score tied 7-7. Hurts would find A.J. Brown on a magnificent 45-yard touchdown pass; the Eagles led 14-7. The momentum shifted back to the Chiefs when Hurts fumbled the ball at his own 44-yard line with 9:48 to play in the first half. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton returned the fumble for 36 yards and found the endzone, tying the game 14-14. Speaking about the fumble, Hurts, in his post-game interview, said:
“I try to protect it,” Hurts said after the game. “But it hurt us.”
After his fumble, hurts returned with a vengeance and ran for a 28-yard touchdown. The Eagles then stopped the Chiefs on third-and-long, setting them up for a field goal and a 10-point lead at the end of the first half. The Chiefs ran only 20 plays, and Mahomes completed-eight passes in the first half.
In a terrifying moment for Chiefs fans, Mahomes rolled his ankle in the closing minutes of the first half, noticeably limping to the sideline. At the half, Philadelphia led 24-14, and it seemed that the Eagles were flying high on their way to a Super Bowl win.
This Super Bowl, however, was a tale of two halves. At the start of the second half, Mahomes dispelled any fears that he might not play, leading the Chiefs to three touchdown drives as they outscored the Eagles 21-3. They would score 17 points in the fourth quarter alone. The Chiefs registered the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, 65 yards by wide receiver Kadarius Toney to set up the Chief’s third touchdown of the second half.
The Eagles came roaring back and tied the game at 35-35 with 5:15 remaining in the fourth quarter with a DeVonta Smith 45-yard catch leading to a second quarterback sneak for a touchdown.
Tied at 35, the Chiefs got the ball with 5:15 remaining, and the Eagles needed a stop. Mahomes would scramble for 26 yards and on a crucial third-down play, Mahomes would throw beyond former USC Trojan JuJu Smith-Schuster; however, Eagles cornerback James Bradberry gets called for holding, a penalty that gave the Chiefs a first down.
The Chiefs would burn 90 seconds off the clock before Harrison Butker kicked the game-winning 27-yard field goal. The Eagles got the ball back with just six seconds left on the clock. The hail Mary pass from the Eagles went down in flames, and the Chiefs were Super Bowl Champions again. Mahomes would finish with 21 of 27 for 182 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Where was the much talked about Eagle’s defense in all of this? The defense struggled to overpower the Chief’s offensive line. The best defensive team, the Eagles, who registered at least 78 sacks during the regular season, did not have a single sack in the Super Bowl, not one.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts’ play was close to brilliant. He was 27 of 38 for 304 passing yards, completed 71 percent of his passes, and had one passing touchdown, 70 rushing yards, and three rushing touchdowns. He became the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to throw for 300 yards and complete 70 percent of his passes without an interception.
But the night would not belong to Hurts but to Mahomes, who had nothing but praise for his competitor.
“If there were any doubters left, there shouldn’t be now,” Mahomes said of Hurts after the game. “The way he stepped up on this stage, ran through the wall, whatever it took for his team to win — I mean, that was a special performance, and I don’t want it to get lost in the loss that they had.”
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni agreed:
“To me, Jalen played the best game I’ve seen him play, and in the two years we’ve been together,” Sirianni said. “He was outstanding. I really thought he was in complete control. He did things with his legs in the running game. He did things with his arm in the pass game, made some unbelievable throws, unbelievable reads. I thought he played outstanding.”
The fact that this was the first time two Black quarterbacks faced each other in a Super Bowl was not lost on MVP Mahomes:
“I think about it a lot,” Mahomes said. “The quarterbacks that came before me — Shack Harris, Doug Williams — that laid the foundation for me to be in this position. It goes across all sports. If you think about Jackie Robinson and the people who broke the color barrier in baseball, I wouldn’t be standing here today if it wasn’t for them.”