Five takeaways from Chiefs’ win in Super Bowl LVII

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- All of the confetti had not been cleared from the field of State Farm Stadium before conversation turned to whether the Chiefs have built a NFL dynasty.

The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII Sunday to garner their second Vince Lombardi trophy over the past four seasons. They did so in dynamic fashion that featured a battle between quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.

The Chiefs lost Super Bowl LV after the 2020 season and won Super Bowl LIV after the 2019 season.

“You can call it a dynasty – you can call it whatever you want,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said. “All I know is we’re coming back next year, (with) our heart and mindset on trying to get another. I can tell you that.”

It was a battle to the final seconds when a defensive holding penalty was called on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry and former Georgia Tech standout Harrison Butker was summoned to make a 27-yard game-winning field goal for the Chiefs.

Bradberry admitted to grabbing ghe jersey of Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Here are five takeaways from the game:

1. Pass rush vs. Mahomes: The vaunted Eagles’ pass rush, which had amassed 78 sacks on the way to Super Bowl LVII, did not get to Mahomes.

The Eagles entered the game with four players with double-digit sacks. They finished the regular season with 70 sacks and had picked up eight more in the playoffs. Haason Reddick led the way with 19.5 sacks. Josh Sweat (12.5), Javon Hargrave (12) and Brandon Graham (12) were also in double-digit in sack group.

“They had good game plan, a lot of chip and things like that,” Reddick said. “For the most part getting the ball off fast, the game plan worked, that’s a credit to them.”

The Chiefs revamped their offensive line since they played in Super Bowl LV two years ago and had trouble blocking Tampa Bay’s defensive front. The Chiefs have Orlando Brown at left tackle and Andrew Wylie at right tackle, the only holdover. Second-year center Creed Humphrey and guards Joe Thuney and Trey Smith held up against the Eagles’ deep rotation.

Brown was ready to party after the game.

“I cannot wait to get a sip of alcohol and turn up with these guys,” Brown said. “I can’t wait. It’s been a long year. It’s been a long season.”

The Chiefs moved Mahomes around to create different launching points for his passes. They didn’t want him just sitting in the pocket.

The blocking was even more impressive considering that Mahomes aggravated his high right ankle sprain just before halftime.

Mahomes, who said he did not take a pain killer shots at halftime, played hobbled in the second half and was still elusive. The Eagles defensive staff couldn’t figure out how to pressure.

2. Jalen Hurts was dynamic: The Chiefs played Hurts and the Eagles during the 2021 season. Hurts was making only his eighth NFL start, and the Chiefs won 42-30 on Oct. 3.

Hurts has improved immensely since that encounter and posted a 16-1 mark this season entering the Super Bowl.

Hurts passed for 304 yards, rushed for three touchdowns, but had a key fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

“I mean, if there was any doubters left there shouldn’t be now,” Mahomes said. “I mean, the way he stepped on this stage, and ran, threw the ball, whatever it took for his team to win. I mean, that was a special performance.”

Hurts was humble in defeat.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” Hurts said of Mahomes. “I always have. He’s done some really great things, thus far. For me, we lost. He came away with the win.”

Hurts stellar play was marred by the fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton in the second quarter.

“I try and control the things that I can, not just the ball, every play, so I just try and protect it,” Hurts said. “But, it hurt us. You never know what play it will be, but it hurt us.”

Hurts was tough on himself.

“You look back and reflect on some of the things that you could have done more, you could have tried and done something to change the outcome of the game,” Hurts said. “That’s the way it works.”

3. Kelce was a factor: It was not a mystery that the Chiefs would try to get the ball to Kelce, who has been selected for the past eight Pro Bowls and has been named All-Pro four times.

Including the two playoff games this year before the Super Bowl, Kelce was targeted 177 times and caught 131 passes for 1,514 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He was targeted six times and caught six passes for 81 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass against the Eagles.

“I consider myself a very valuable weapon for the Kansas City Chiefs,” Kelce said. “I put a lot of pride and honor (into) making plays for this organization and my team.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who started in the NFL as an assistant offensive line and tight ends coach in 1992 on Mike Holmgren’s staff in Green Bay, knows how to get Kelce open. The Eagles planned to give Kelce different looks. Hall Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe has said the Kelce could be the best tight end in the history of the game.

“I have so much respect for him, Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates (and) Jason Witten,” Kelce said. “There’s so many tight ends I have such a great appreciation for. When it comes to the best, I’ll say I definitely have one of the best situations out of any tight end in the National Football League, being able to be here with that quarterback and that offense.”

4. Georgia Super Bowl LVII connections: Here’s how the players with Georgia connections performed.

Chiefs OT Orlando Brown: The Peachtree Ridge graduate played all 55 offensive snaps and seven snaps (24%) on special teams.

Chiefs PK Harrison Butker: The former Georgia Tech standout and Westminster grad missed a 42-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, but came back to make the game-winning 27-yard field goal.

Chiefs TE Jody Fortson: The former Valdosta State standout played 13 offensvie snaps (24%) and eight on special teams (28%). He had one target in the pass game.

Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman: He was placed on injured reserve with a pelvic injury and did not play. He played at Elbert County High and Georgia.

Chiefs DE Malik Herring: He was declared inactive for the game. He played at Mary Persons High and Georgia.

Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon: McKinnon biggest play of the game involved him sliding down at the yard-line to set up the game winning field goal. After two kneel downs, Butker came on for the game-winner. The Sprayberry High and Georgia Southern standout had four rushes for 34 yards and he caught three passes for 15 yards.

Chiefs CB Jaylen Watson: The Laney High grad finished with three tackles. He played 31 defensive snaps (41%) and six (21%) on special teams.

Eagles DT Jordan Davis: The former Georgia standout had a quarterback hit. He played 10 defensive snaps (18%) and 12 special teams snaps (41%).

Eagles LB Nakobe Dean: The former Georgia standout played 24 special teams (83%) snaps.

Eagles RB Trey Sermon: The former Sprayberry High standout was declared inactive.

Eagles CB Darius Slay: The five-time Pro Bowler played all 55 defensive snaps and finished with four tackles. He played at Brunswick High.

5. Record book: Wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who was traded to the Chiefs from the Giants, had one of the big plays of the game. He broke free for a 65-yard punt return – the longest in Super Bowl history - in the fourth quarter to set-up a Chiefs touchdown.

The Eagles and Chiefs had the 31st and 32nd ranked special teams units in the rankings by longtime NFL writer Rick Gosselin for the 2022 season.

Here are the other records that were set or tied according to the Elias Sports Bureau:

Longest Punt Return – 65, Kadarius Toney

Most Fumbles Recovered, Career – 3, Patrick Mahomes

Fewest Kickoff Return Yards, Both Teams – 11, Kansas City (0) vs. Philadelphia (11)

Youngest Combined Age, Starting QBs – 51-337, Patrick Mahomes/Jalen Hurts

Most Rushing Yards by QB, Game – 70, Jalen Hurts

Records tied in Super Bowl LVII

Most Points, Game – 20, Jalen Hurts

Most Touchdowns, Game – 3, Jalen Hurts

Most Two-Point Conversions, Game – 1, Jalen Hurts

Most Rushing Touchdowns, Game – 3, Jalen Hurts

Most Fumbles Recovered for Touchdown, Game – 1, Nick Bolton

Most Touchdowns Rushing, Both Teams – 4, Philadelphia (3) vs. Kansas City (1)

Fewest Times Sacked, Team – 0, Kansas City

Fewest Interceptions By, Both Teams – 0, Kansas City vs. Philadelphia

Fewest Kickoff Returns, Team – 0, Kansas City

Fewest Kickoff Returns, Both Teams – 1, Kansas City (0) vs. Philadelphia (1)

Fewest Kickoff Return Yards, Team – 0, Kansas City

Fewest Turnovers, Team – 0, Kansas City

Most Third-Down Conversions, Team – 11, Philadelphia

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