Now that was a Super Bowl.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, in the third most-watched television show in history, with an average audience of 113.1 million viewers.
The ending was a bummer, though. Even as a Chiefs fan, I was anticipating a frantic final drive by the Eagles in the final two minutes. It never came because of a holding penalty that allowed the Chiefs to run the clock all the way down.
James Bradberry admitted after the game that he held Juju Smith-Schuster’s jersey. He was hoping the referee would let it slide; the referee threw a flag.
As you can imagine, it sparked a heated debate among fans who thought it was the right call and fans who thought it was weak, and that the referees should’ve let the players decide the game in that situation.
Look, was it the most egregious holding penalty there’s ever been? No. Was the ball uncatchable? Yeah, probably. However, the ball being uncatchable only applies to Pass Interference calls, so there’s no point bringing it up as an argument as to why the flag shouldn’t have been thrown.
What’s my opinion? I don’t really have one. Do I need one? The referee threw the flag – that’s it. In general, I’m not a fan of officials – in any sport – who pick and choose the situations in which they decide to enforce the rules.
It bothers me in the NHL playoffs, when the referees refuse to call any penalties in overtime because they don’t want to decide the game. Well, why have any rules then?
That’s just one example.
So, yeah, I guess I’m fine with the referee calling the holding penalty. It robbed us of a great ending to a great game but, oh well. Boo hoo for us.
I think one thing we need to remember is that referees on the field of play do not get the same angles, nor slow motion replays, that we get at home. They see the play, in real time, from an angle that may not be most advantageous. They can’t cycle through eight different angles in their head and fixate on the best one.
I remember refereeing intramural sports and even then, I felt like things were happening too fast. No matter what call I made, someone always had something to complain about. Whining and complaining is the only constant in sport.
What I’m trying to say is, the referees have a hard – almost impossible – job.
If we created the sport of football today, there would probably be two to four referees on the field – mainly to serve as traffic cops. And the rest of the officiating crew would be sitting in front of television screens, making calls in real-time. Because as things are right now, the viewers at home know what happened before the zebras on the field.
Anyway, to my Snapshots!
Normally, they are short. However, for the Super Bowl, I need to do bullet points.
Kansas City Chiefs
- The offensive line gave up 0 sacks.
- If you were to put a Ferrari engine inside a bumper car, you’d get Isiah Pacheco’s running style.
- Seconds before Harrison Butker’s field goal attempt hit the left upright, I noticed he would be kicking from on top of the freshly painted Super Bowl LVII logo on the field and said to myself, “Oh, he’s missing this one.” Not only did I think it might be slippery, but I also thought the different background colour might throw off his depth perception. He’s used to kicking a football with green grass beneath it. Now, he had dark colours under the ball. I don’t know if any of what I just said contributed to why the ball clanged off the left upright, but those were the potential reasons running through my mind before the ball was even snapped.
- Via audio from Inside The NFL, we learned that on Skyy Moore’s touchdown, the Chiefs actually lined up in the wrong formation. Mahomes motioned for Toney, like he had on the previous touchdown, but Toney pointed over to Moore. And then Mahomes motioned to Moore, who came in towards the quarterback, before sprinting back to the sideline when the ball was snapped. He was wide open for the touchdown. It was a fortunate accident.
- The Chiefs went into halftime trailing by 10 points and I thought, “They got the Eagles exactly where they want them.” There is nothing scarier in the NFL than a Patrick Mahomes-led offence when he is trailing. Tell me I’m wrong.
- You know how every time LeBron James switched teams, his new team would acquire a bunch of three-point shooters to surround him with? Well, I think the Chiefs just learned they can do the same thing with Mahomes and their offensive weapons. Just get him guys who can catch the ball and make plays – they don’t need to be superstars. They don’t need to be paid a lot. Receivers on rookie deals and free agents who are looking for a fresh start/a shot at a ring, apply within. That’s how the Chiefs will probably operate going forward.
- Jalen Hurts was, arguably, the best player in the Super Bowl. He rushed for three touchdowns and threw for one more. I was so impressed by his performance. I don’t know what else he could’ve done, besides not fumble the ball in the second quarter which led to a Nick Bolton touchdown.
- The Eagles defence didn’t impact the game at all. It was shocking. The scary defensive line couldn’t get Mahomes in the backfield. They couldn’t stop the run. Kelce got his. Juju got going in the second half. Toney and Moore ran the same route on their respective touchdowns and the closest Eagle to them would’ve had to pay long distance charges to get a hold of them.
- The Eagles dominated time of possession with 35:47.
- DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown combined for 196 yards receiving. They showed up in a big way and when people write their, “Top 5 Receiving Duos in the NFL” next season, they belong right near the top.
- There was no running game, outside of Jalen Hurts, who rushed for 70 yards.
- Whenever the Eagles ran the QB Sneak, it was inevitable that Hurts would get the first down. It got to a point where it was almost unfair.
- The Eagles tried to allow Jerick McKinnon to score at the end of the game, as to prevent the Chiefs from running out the clock and ensuring Jalen Hurts had a legitimate chance to march down field and tie the game. Instead, McKinnon slid at the one yard line. I thought the Eagles defenders should’ve pushed and/or carried him into the end zone. They were right there, just push him in. Don’t give him the chance to slide.
- A lot of teams in the NFC are going to be better next season, but I think the Eagles will still be near the top of the standings. Jalen Hurts is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, who not only ascended to new heights, but answered all questions. Sure, he didn’t win the Super Bowl, but what does he have left to prove? He is The Guy.
- I thought Rihanna was great. They could probably bring her back next year to sing all of the songs she couldn’t fit in this year because she left out some hits. I was waiting for “Disturbia”, “Pon de Replay”, and “SOS”, but they never came. It’s fine.
- For the people who hated the performance and got really mad about it on social media – I don’t understand you. You’re allowed to dislike the performance and wish it was something more. But to go on and on about how much you hated it, and how it ruined your day – I don’t get it.
- I think a lot of viewers expect these halftime performances to be huge, over the top productions like we’ve had in the last few years. Personally, I don’t need all of that. If Rihanna stood there without any dancers, just singing the songs, I would’ve still enjoyed it.
- Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t want surprise appearances. If you’ve been chosen to perform during halftime at the Super Bowl, that’s your cue that you don’t need to bring anyone else with you.
- I’m not sure you’ll ever find me going up and down on a platform high above the ground, like a real life Mario Party simulation, but at least everyone who did was tethered.
I didn’t know where to say it in this post, but the field conditions were embarrassing. I don’t want to hear that, “Well, both teams had to deal with the slippery field”. No. Neither team should’ve had to put up with it.
You’re the NFL; it’s the Super Bowl. Perfection is the only expectation.
All in all, it was a great game and a fitting end to a wild NFL season.
Thanks for reading!
What are your thoughts on the Super Bowl? Did you enjoy the halftime show?
I watched exactly two minutes of the game but I did catch the highlights and yeah, Hurts is proving a lot of people wrong, including me. I never doubted his desire but I wasn’t so sure his arm was suited for the pro game. So much for that.
As for what Mahomes said at the parade, it’s true. The Chiefs won it in a rebuilding year.
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Hurts has improved so much since his rookie season. All the credit to him for putting in the work and to the Eagles for sticking with him.
Yeah, the Chiefs are going to be a perennial pain for everyone.
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Indeed. I remember when they drafted him in the second round and some believed it was a wasted pick. There were many who thought that.
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“If you were to put a Ferrari engine inside a bumper car, you’d get Isiah Pacheco’s running style.”
This is a perfect analogy. I was actually a little surprised how head-on hard he was running instead of his normal wait-then-burst style.
KC has been weak in the backfield since Kareem Hunt, and Pacheco gives them that dimension they never quite got from Edwards-Helaire. Now someone tell Andy Reid to stop putting Pacheco back deep on kickoffs, cause he won’t listen to me.
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Pacheco returning kicks is just an unnecessary risk and I don’t understand it either. My only guess is, they’ve wanted him to return kicks since the summer and put all their eggs in his basket, to the point where they don’t trust anyone else.
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