Ben Kuchipudi ’25
- The Chiefs offensive line stepped up when they needed to most.
The Eagles defensive line was historically good this season, with four players accumulating over ten sacks apiece and the team as a whole finishing with 70, which is the third most of all time. However, the Chiefs’ investment in the offensive line after Super Bowl LV finally paid off this past weekend, as they allowed zero sacks and they allowed Isiah Pacheco to post big numbers on the ground. Kansas City averaged over six yards a carry and Patrick Mahomes was able to make plays even on a bum ankle. The line was the biggest reason why the Chiefs won this game, and if multiple players could get Super Bowl MVP, the whole offensive line deserved it.
- The Eagles are here to stay.
Even though Philadelphia blew a ten point halftime lead, the way the whole team played this game showed that this team is not a fluke. Aside from the crucial fumble that Nick Bolton returned for a touchdown, Jalen Hurts nearly played a perfect game. He finished 27/38 for 304 yards and a touchdown as well as 15 carries for 70 yards and three touchdowns and was consistently able to connect with AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert. Nick Sirianni also coached a great game as he was able to convert on fourth downs and manage the clock perfectly. If it hadn’t been for the fumble and a controversial call (we’ll get to that later), the Eagles would have been holding up their second Lombardi trophy in five seasons. Unlike other Super Bowl runner ups, Philadelphia has the youth and talent to become perennial contenders in the NFL. They’ll be back.
- The Eagles might have the best pass-catching trio in the league.
The NFL is dominated by elite pass catching duos, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and many more, but few teams have the elite trio of pass catchers that the Eagles have. AJ Brown has proven to be the main catalyst for Jalen Hurts’ development and finished top five in receiving yards, DeVonta Smith finished ninth and led the team in yards in the Super Bowl, and Dallas Goedert has been one of the most consistent tight ends in football. The trio didn’t disappoint on the league’s biggest stage, as they combined for 256 yards and a touchdown on 19 catches. The development of Jalen Hurts has been spectacular, and the main reason for it is Howie Roseman surrounding him with playmakers.
- The holding call on James Bradberry was NOT as bad as people think (but it couldn’t have been called at a worse time).
The biggest flag in the game came at the worst possible time. On a 3rd and 8 at the Philadelphia 15 yard line, JuJu Smith-Schuster attempted to run a whip route towards the end zone and Patrick Mahomes overthrew him. Everyone thought the Chiefs would kick a field goal and the Eagles would have just under two minutes and a timeout to tie or win the game, but the dreaded yellow flag came out and as soon as Mahomes pointed to cornerback James Bradberry, who was covering JuJu that play, fans knew what was coming next. Carl Cheffers called a holding penalty on Bradberry and that set the Chiefs up with a first down at the Eagles 11 yard line. If the flag wasn’t thrown, the Eagles would have gotten the ball back with about a minute and a half and one timeout to tie the game. Instead, they only had eight seconds and no timeouts to run a failed Hail Mary. Many fans were infuriated by this call, but even James Bradberry said that he was holding his jersey and just hoped it wasn’t called. If you look at the replay, it was the right call, but it wasn’t egregious enough to call it in the late stages of the Super Bowl.
- Patrick Mahomes is simply him.
Patrick Mahomes was historically good his first four seasons, but he had a top five receiver and the fastest human on the planet at his expense in Tyreek Hill. However, the Chiefs shipped off Hill to Miami and there were critics who thought Mahomes would take a step back this season. He didn’t. He had arguably the best season of his career, finishing with career highs in completion percentage, passing yards, and rushing yards while leading the league in touchdowns. He suffered not one, but TWO ankle sprains to the same ankle in the postseason, and he still played like the best quarterback in football. He capped off this miraculous season with his second MVP, second Super Bowl, and second Super Bowl MVP award. Mahomes has only played five full seasons, and he might already be a top five quarterback in NFL history at 27 years old. With our childhood heroes such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees retiring, a new era in the NFL is among us, and Mahomes is the face of that new era. When it’s all said and done, Tom Brady could have some real competition for the status of GOAT, or maybe it will already be taken from him.
Photo courtesy of USA Today
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