Super Bowl takeaways: MVP Patrick Mahomes leads Chiefs comeback vs. Eagles for second NFL title in four years
K.C. rallies from 10 down at halftime to top Philly for a historic Super Bowl LVII win
For the second time in the last four seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions. Coming back from 10 points down at halftime, the Chiefs scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions in the second half to claim a 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
In doing so, the Chiefs became the second team in NFL history to come back from a double-digit halftime deficit to win the Super Bowl. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes also became the first player since Kurt Warner in 1999 to win NFL MVP and lead his team to a victory in the Super Bowl.
Mahomes was simply spectacular in the second half, completing 13 of 15 passes for 93 yards and two scores while adding a crucial 26-yard scramble on what would eventually become the game-winning drive. The newly-crowned NFL MVP completed 21 of 27 passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns and rushed six times for 44 additional yards.
Each of Mahomes' touchdown passes went to different receivers with tight end Travis Kelce grabbing an 18-yard score on the Chiefs' first possession of the game. Wide receivers Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore found the end zone in the second half with a first-half fumble return touchdown serving as Kansas City's other entry into the end zone.
For the Eagles, QB Jalen Hurts was nearly as marvelous as Mahomes throughout the game. He became just the second player in NFL history to rush for three or more touchdowns in the Super Bowl, and he added a fourth score through the air. On the evening, he completed 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown while taking 15 carries for 70 yards plus the three scores.
Philadelphia settled for a field goal on one of its second-half possessions and punted on another; that gave Kansas City the opening it needed to stage a comeback.
The two best teams throughout the season who ended up as No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences, the Chiefs and Eagles treated us to an all-time classic Super Bowl with two phenomenal offenses performing at an extraordinarily high level throughout. It came all the way down to the wire with Mahomes leading his team to victory at the conclusion of a decisive drive in crunch time as Harrison Butker drilled a 40-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining to put K.C. on top by the final margin.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the Chiefs' exciting win over the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
Why the Chiefs won
Well, they had Mahomes and coach Andy Reid. Plus, the offensive line was fantastic and linebacker Nick Bolton played the game of his life.
Again, Mahomes was outrageously good in this game, both through the air and on the ground. He also avoided taking a single sack against the NFL's best pass rush, a group that racked up 70 sacks during the regular season and added eight more in its two NFC playoff games.
Mahomes finished the season as the NFL leader in yards passing and passing touchdowns. He won NFL MVP, the Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP to boot. Only three other quarterbacks (Warner, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning) have ever accomplished each of those feats in their entire career. Mahomes did it in a single season.
Meanwhile, Reid repeatedly found ways to get Kelce and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (seven catches, 53 yards) open over the middle of the field, and he schemed easy catches for touchdowns in the red zone. The offensive line kept Mahomes' jersey clean throughout the game, and it also cleared the way for running backs Isiah Pacheco (15 carries, 76 yards, TD) and Jerick McKinnon (four carries, 34 yards) to have big games on the ground.
Bolton, meanwhile, was electric all night. The Chiefs' leading tackler this season, he finished with nine more grabs Sunday night -- the most of any player in the game. His biggest tackle came in the third quarter when he tracked down Eagles RB Kenneth Gainwell in the open field on a third down, forcing Philly to kick a field goal rather than go for it on fourth down. Bolton also picked up Hurts' first-half fumble and returned it 36 yards for a score, keeping KC within striking distance at halftime.
Why the Eagles lost
Primarily because they weren't the team with the last possession of the game. However, the Philly also committed the game's only turnover with Hurts fumbling on a quarterback draw and Bolton scooping it up and taking it to the house. It also came up short on two key third downs in the second half. The first led to a field goal (keeping KC within one score), but the second led to Toney's.
Plus, the Eagles' ballyhooed run game could not get on track. Hurts ran 15 times for 70 yards, but Gainwell, Miles Sanders and Boston Scott combined for just 45 yards on 17 carries. The inability to impose their will in the run game made the Eagles more one-dimensional than usual and gave the Chiefs an opening to make a comeback.
It had to be the opening drive of the second half. Kansas City marched down the field for a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with Mahomes looking no worse for the wear despite having reinjured his ankle on the Chiefs' final first-half possession. He completed all three of his passes on the drive for 26 yards and added 14 yards on a scramble. Pacheco and McKinnon did the rest with Pacheco punching the ball into the end zone from 1 yard out to cut Philadelphia's lead to three points.
From there through the final whistle, it was Kansas City's game. The Chiefs scored on all four of their second-half possessions, opening with three consecutive touchdowns before capping off the game with a field goal to win the Super Bowl.
Twice in the second half, Reid showed off his schematic wizardry to scheme his team into an easy touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs faced third-and-3 from the Eagles' 5-yard line. Kansas City came out in a two-tight end set with Kelce lined up in the slot to the right and Noah Gray in close on the formation but off the line on the left side. Toney was split out wide to the right of Kelce, and Reid used the alignment, motion and the defense's expectations to get Toney wide the heck open for a score.
Philadelphia went three-and-out on its next possession, and Toney broke off his second big play by taking the punt 65 yards right back to the Eagles' 5-yard line. It was the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, by the way. After Pacheco was stuffed for just a 1-yard gain on first down, Reid & Co. tried to get creative on second-and-goal from the 4-yard line, but their trickeration didn't work.
So, what did Reid do? He went right back to the exact same play that had worked on the previous drive, running it again but this time to the opposite side of the field with rookie wideout Skyy Moore in the Toney role. Once again, the receiver found himself wide open in space and easily walked into the end zone.
The pair of touchdowns put the Chiefs ahead by eight points. Philadelphia drove down the field to tie the game, but Mahomes engineered his second game-winning drive of the postseason to claim the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in four years.
Patrick Mahomes with another MVP performance in a huge spot, also fueling the Chiefs here.
That's game. Chiefs win it 38-35. They can thank the officials for the late-game offensive series.
Six seconds actually on the clock for the final play.
Chiefs kick it short, Kenny Gainwell recovers, and the Eagles will have four seconds left for a final play.
Harrison Butker's 27-yard field goal try with 11 seconds left is good. It's 38-35 Chiefs with eight seconds to play.
Eagles will have about eight seconds to go after the kick.
Chiefs are going to go for the potential game-winning kick with about 10 seconds left.
Not sure that's a justifiable call in the final two minutes of a Super Bowl. Goodness.
Wow. The Chiefs can run the clock all the way down and kick a field goal.
Oh my... are the Chiefs going to get a free first down here?
QBs with 50 Rush yards
Super Bowl History
Two-minute warning. 35-35. Second-and-8 from the 15-yard line coming up. Both teams have 2 timeouts remaining.
Patrick Mahomes looks OK on that injured ankle.
Another fantastic tackle from Gardner-Johnson to get Pacheco on the ground as he hit the corner. If he doesn't get Pacheco down, that might be a touchdown.
Pacheco banged up after the major hit to the midsection by Gardner-Johnson. Took that shot right to the rib area.