The Tremendous Bowl, like each different NFL sport, has two halves. The Philadelphia Eagles solely confirmed up for one among them.
After pushing the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs to the brink and hobbling Patrick Mahomes, the Eagles imploded within the second half. They have been outscored, outgained, outdisciplined – outhustled – and, consequently, they’re out a Lombardi Trophy.
Possibly that is harsh, given the final score was 38-35 and it took the Chiefs until the closing seconds to seal the victory. However when you’ve got a 10-point lead, all of the momentum and Mahomes barely capable of run off the sphere at halftime, that is as near a gimme because it will get within the NFL’s largest sport.
And the Eagles realize it.
“It is a irritating one,” heart Jason Kelce stated. “It’s what it’s.”
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Give credit score to the Chiefs, and Mahomes specifically. He’s better on one leg than almost everyone else on two, establishing a landing and the game-winning discipline aim with lengthy scrambles and throwing for an additional two scores within the second half.
Kansas Metropolis’s protection discovered a unique gear within the second half, too.
However this was the Eagles’ sport to lose after that first half. And so they did.
Philadelphia allowed the longest punt return in Tremendous Bowl historical past, 65 yards by Kadarius Toney to set up Kansas City’s third touchdown of the second half. After main the NFL in sacks throughout the common season, the Eagles did not get to Mahomes as soon as.
The vaunted offensive line, which had made the Eagles impervious to opposing defenses, let Jalen Hurts get sacked on a drive that resulted in a discipline aim when a landing would have given Philadelphia badly wanted respiratory room. And after Mahomes couldn’t join with JuJu Smith-Schuster on a third-and-8 after the two-minute warning, the Eagles were whistled for holding, giving Kansas Metropolis new life.
It was a ticky-tack penalty, yes – like so many others this season, it doesn’t matter what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says. Nevertheless it was holding.
“I tugged his jersey,” Eagles cornerback James Bradberry stated. “I hoped they’d let it slide.”
At that time within the sport, with all the pieces that was at stake, you may’t depend on hope. You must be sure to do not give the refs any excuse to blow that whistle.
As a result of good groups will take benefit. And Mahomes and the Chiefs aren’t only a good group, they’re a fantastic group.
Andy Reid, criticized so many instances through the years for his clock administration, milked it to perfection this time. He burned nearly 90 seconds earlier than Harrison Butker kicked the game-winning, 27-yard discipline aim, giving the Eagles the ball again with simply six seconds left.
Hurts’ Hail Mary was incomplete, and Mahomes and the Chiefs had their second Tremendous Bowl title in 4 years.
“You look again and also you’re going to mirror on the issues possibly that you could possibly have finished, one thing extra … one thing to vary the end result of the sport,” Hurts stated.
Hurts did nearly all the pieces he may, working for 70 yards and throwing for 304 and a TD. However the Eagles did not shut out the sport like championship groups will.
The Eagles appeared to have management of the sport late in that first half. One other gutsy name on fourth down by Nick Sirianni led to Philadelphia’s third landing, and Kansas Metropolis’s protection wasn’t getting near Hurts.
When T.J. Edwards made a shoestring sort out on Mahomes, the reigning MVP rolled on that proper ankle that has been the topic of such hypothesis these final three weeks. He lay on the sphere grimacing, and he was limping as a lot as he was working to the locker room at halftime.
However there’s, because the saying goes, a cause they play the sport. And the Eagles – and Sirianni – have been overmatched when it actually mattered.
The Chiefs rallying within the second half isn’t one thing new. Mahomes making performs when he isn’t full energy is not new, both. But the Eagles weren’t prepared for any of it.
Or, in the event that they have been, they could not do something about it.
The Chiefs scored on each possession within the second half, and Mahomes made two large performs along with his legs. There was his scramble for 14 yards to arrange Kansas Metropolis’s first landing of the second half. His 26-yard run earlier than Butker’s discipline aim was much more unbelievable.
Nevertheless it wasn’t simply Philadelphia’s protection. Sure, Hurts ran for his third TD of the sport after which ran the 2-point conversion in to tie the rating at 35 with 5:15 left to play. However essentially the most pivotal drive had come earlier than that.
Kansas Metropolis had simply taken its first lead of the sport, and the Eagles wanted to reply. As a substitute, they went three-and-out for simply the second time of the sport. The following punt was the one Toney almost took to the home.
There is no disgrace in shedding to a fantastic group and a generational quarterback like Mahomes. However on this night time, the Eagles beat themselves as a lot as they obtained beat.
Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour