Super Bowl 57: controversial field goal gives Chiefs the edge over Eagles in thrilling encounter
One of the world’s biggest and most watched annual sporting events took place last night as the Kansas City Chiefs took down the Philadelphia Eagles to win a thrilling 57th instalment of the Super Bowl, their second Super Bowl win in four years.
Around 68,000 people, including megastars such as Adele, Jay-Z and NBA record breaker Lebron James, attended the State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Cardinals, and watched the Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker score a last-gasp field goal after an extremely controversial awarding of a penalty to record a 38-35 victory.
Eagles cornerback James Bradberry was flagged for holding Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster with less than two minutes to go. It allowed the Chiefs to hold possession until Butker converted a field goal with eight seconds to go to give them the winning three-point advantage.
Despite the match finishing after 3am in the UK, millions of British NFL fans are expected to have stayed up to watch or listen to the exciting encounter, as the sport continues to grow in our country. For example, the University of Sunderland, as well as several other universities across the country, have their own American football teams.
The audience was also treated to an entertaining halftime show, a rare live performance by pop powerhouse Rihanna, who brought the house down performing a string of her greatest hits such as ‘Umbrella’ and ‘Diamonds’. She also announced she was pregnant for the second time.
This Super Bowl was a historic occasion for several reasons. For example, it was the first time that two black quarterbacks faced off against each other in the prestigious match, as the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, this season’s MVP, faced off against the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts.
It was also the first time that two brothers faced each other in a Super Bowl, with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce up against Eagles center and older brother Jason Kelce.
After the traditional big-budget opening to the event, including a brilliant performance of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, the American national anthem, by country singer Chris Stapleton, the game kicked off at around 11.30pm.
Less than five minutes into the first quarter, Philadelphia drew first blood, with Hurts venturing into the end zone using a quarterback sneak and completing the conversion to go 7-0 up early on.
Just three minutes later, however, the Chiefs responded with a touchdown of their own to level it up, as Mahomes picked out Travis Kelce at the end zone, once again demonstrating their incredibly prolific partnership over the years.
Just seconds into the second quarter, Hurts launched a fantastic 45-yard pass towards Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown to retake the lead. However, five minutes later, Hurts would go from hero to zero as he fumbled possession straight into the path of Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton who would tie the game once again.
The Eagles quarterback didn’t give up though and would score his second TD of the game with another rush into the end zone. A field goal from Jake Elliott would then give the Eagles a 10-point lead at halftime.
Mahomes would limp off the field after seemingly aggravating an ankle injury that he has been suffering with throughout the playoffs, but he would come out for the second half.
After Rihanna’s much anticipated 13-minute performance, the Chiefs would strike first in the third quarter through rookie running back Isiah Pacheco after good work from the injured Mahomes.
At the other end, another exceptional pass from Hurts, this time to tight end Dallas Goedert, gave the Eagles another field goal opportunity, converted again by Elliott to extend their lead to six points.
But the Chiefs would come back once again, Mahomes picking out wide receiver Kadarius Toney in plenty of space to make it 28-27 after the conversion.
Toney wasn’t finished there. After the resulting Eagles punt, Toney would take control of the ball and drive all the way to the 5-yard line, which set up another Chiefs touchdown. Mahomes this time would find wide receiver Skyy Moore, who again was miles away from any Eagles defender, to make it 35-27.
But there would be yet another twist in this thrilling encounter. Hurts would respond to the heroics of his opposite QB yet again, converting yet another rushing touchdown before completing a two-point conversion in similar fashion to tie the game at 35 a piece.
But with less than two minutes to go, the controversy would strike. Bradberry’s penalty for holding Smith-Schuster would give the Chiefs an extra set of downs, eventually giving Butker the chance to strike the killer blow with just seconds remaining.
Hurts attempted a Hail Mary pass at the death but it was short, and the Chiefs claimed their third Super Bowl victory. Despite his injury problems, Mahomes became the first player since St Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner in the 1999-2000 season to win season MVP, the Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP in the same season.