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Chiefs rally to take down Eagles

Patrick Mahomes limped off the field at halftime with the Kansas City Chiefs trailing by 10 points.

It turns out there was no need to fret, not with the Super Bowl having a 29-minute halftime. Mahomes got treatment during the lengthy break and came out convinced his injured right ankle would hold up. His belief was correct, and he guided the Chiefs to a 38-35 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night in Glendale, Ariz.

Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with eight seconds left and Mahomes passed for two of his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter as Kansas City became just the second team in Super Bowl history to rally from a deficit of 10 or more points. The Super Bowl title is the third for Kansas City. The Chiefs also won Super Bowl IV (1969 season) and Super Bowl LIV (2019).

Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in four seasons, but he stopped short of calling the Chiefs the rulers of the NFL. “I’m not going to say dynasty yet,” Mahomes said. “We’re not done.” Midseason acquisition Kadarius Toney sparked Kansas City by catching a touchdown pass and setting up another score with a long punt return. Travis Kelce and Skyy Moore caught touchdown passes, Isiah Pacheco ran for a score and Nick Bolton returned a fumble for a touchdown for the Chiefs. The result gave Kansas City coach Andy Reid a victory over the team he coached for 14 seasons from 1999-2012.

“I know that city loves him and that organization loves him,” Kelce said of Reid. “Call it what you want — there is a lot of pride that he has had success in two different organizations, but this is the better one.” Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts tied a Super Bowl record with three rushing scores and also passed for one touchdown. Hurts was 27-of-38 passing for 304 yards and rushed for 70 while teaming up with Mahomes as the first pair of Black starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.

Former Denver Broncos star Terrell Davis rushed for three touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. Kansas City moved 66 yards on 12 plays for the winning field goal, receiving help from a third-down defensive holding penalty on Philadelphia’s James Bradberry. The cornerback briefly grabbed the jersey of Kansas City wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster. “It was a holding,” Bradberry said. “I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide.” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni declined to criticize the call. “I know it always appears that it’s one call,” Sirianni said. “That’s not what it is. There are so many plays that contribute to the end result of the game. And today they were better than we were.”

Another key play was a 26-yard scramble by Mahomes, who earlier aggravated his right ankle injury on Kansas City’s final offensive snap of the first half. “Whenever you aggravate those high ankles, it hurts,” Mahomes said. “It feels like it did the first time. … But you’ve got to play at the end of the day.” A.J. Brown caught six passes for 96 yards and one touchdown and DeVonta Smith had seven receptions for 100 yards for the Eagles.

Teams that trailed by 10 or more points at halftime in the Super Bowl are now 2-26. The New England Patriots were the first team to accomplish it as they recovered from a 25-point hole to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Kansas City took its first lead of the contest at 28-27 when Mahomes completed a 5-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Toney with 12:04 left in the game. That also marked the first time Philadelphia had trailed the entire postseason. The Chiefs then forced a three-and-out and cashed in big when Toney set a Super Bowl record with a 65-yard punt return. He fielded the ball at his 30-yard line and started left before reversing to the right with a wall of teammates blocking. He was stopped at the Eagles 5.

Three plays later, Mahomes had another wide-open target in Moore, who caught a 4-yard scoring pass to give Kansas City an eight-point lead with 9:22 remaining. Philadelphia quickly responded as Hurts connected with Smith on a 45-yard pass to the Chiefs 2. Hurts scored on a quarterback sneak on the next play and then ran in the two-point conversion to tie it at 35 with 5:15 remaining.

Mahomes reinjured his right ankle when tackled with 1:33 left in the first half but he didn’t seem bothered by it when the Chiefs opened the second half with a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Pacheco capped the drive with a 1-yard run with 9:30 left in the third quarter to pull Kansas City within 24-21.

Philadelphia responded with a 17-play, 60-yard drive that took 7:45. Jake Elliott finished it by booting a 33-yard field goal to give the Eagles a six-point lead with 1:45 left in the period.

Hurts rushed for two touchdowns and threw for one in the first half to give Philadelphia a 24-14 advantage. He made one big first-half miscue, dropping the ball while trying to run out of danger. It bounced up to Bolton, who easily scored on a 36-yard fumble return to tie it at 14 with 9:39 left in the half. “I’m so proud of this team,” Hurts said. “We had a big-time goal in the end, and we came up short. The beautiful part is we experience different agony in life, and we decide how we want to move forward, how we want to learn. My only direction is to rise.”

Mahomes connected on an 18-yard scoring pass to Kelce in the first quarter. The touchdown reception was Kelce’s 16th in the postseason, second all-time behind legendary Jerry Rice (22). Kelce also improved to 3-0 all-time in matchups against his older brother Jason, the Eagles’ standout center. “I’m really, really happy for Trav,” Jason Kelce said. “That team deserves everything it had coming to them. They earned it. … You can’t win them all.”

–Field Level Media


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