The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions for the third time. It was one of the best Super Bowls ever to watch. Teams went up and down the field. When it was all said and done, the final score was Kansas City 38 and Philadelphia 35. The Chiefs were slight underdogs, so how were they able to win the game? In my opinion, here are the reasons.
1) The Chiefs were underdogs, and they played like it. The Chiefs are not used to being the underdog, and when the bookies made the Chiefs underdogs, it got them extra motivated. You could see it in their faces when they were in the tunnel before they came on the field. There was none of the normal joking around. I didn't even see a smile.
2) Andy Reid's play calling was awesome. The Chiefs absolutely had to run the ball and take some time off of the clock to prevent the powerhouse Eagles from chewing up the clock and scoring touchdown after touchdown. When you have Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback, it's hard not to throw the ball on nearly every down. If you do that, even if Mahomes is successful, you score quickly which puts the Eagles offense right back on the field to completely wear down the Chiefs defense. The Eagles ran enough plays to wear down the Chiefs defense, but that defense got just enough time to rest between Eagles drives to not completely wear out. Add onto that the two play calls by Reid when the Chiefs had to have touchdowns. The first one was scored when the Chiefs ran a play they had never run to my knowledge to get Kadarius Toney wide open for an easy touchdown. The second one was scored when they ran virtually the same play to the other side of the field to get Skyy Moore an easy touchdown. Most coaches would not come back to a successful play so quickly. NFL defenses are very quick learners, so running two similar pass plays very close together usually will not work. Andy Reid made a huge difference in the game.
3) The Eagles defense had zero sacks. The vaunted Eagles defense had 70 sacks this year. Only the Bears in 1984 had more regular season sacks. The Eagles had zero sacks in this Super Bowl. Zero, zip, nada, nil, nothing, none! That was unthinkable. How could that have happened? I think it was a combination of the Chiefs making fairly quick throws, the offensive line playing out of their minds, and just maybe, the field being slippery. It's hard to come around the edge on a slick field. Snow can cause a field to be slick. Glendale, Arizona was not even close to having snow, but the grass field that the league had been growing for two years was slick. It was embarrassing for the NFL. It didn't ruin the game, but both teams slipped several times, and it might have helped the Chiefs offensive line put up a zero sacks game.
4) Patrick Mahomes played as close to a perfect game as a quarterback can play. The Eagles Jalen Hurts played almost as well. He was fantastic and threw passes that were better than I had ever seen him throw. Some even said Hurts outplayed Mahomes. While Hurts ran and threw for more yards, he absolutely did not outplay Mahomes. The Eagles were on the field so much that Mahomes was only able to throw the ball 27 times. He completed 21 of them and had three passing touchdowns. A couple of Mahomes' incompletions were intentional throwaways when nobody was open. Another one occurred when the referees missed a clear holding penalty in the first half when an Eagles defender grabbed Juju Smith-Schuster's left arm which did not allow him to reach for the ball which was right in front of him. Another incompletion occurred when Jody Fortson slipped on the slick grass and couldn't catch an easy throw from Mahomes. I think that leaves two incompletions that were Mahomes' fault. It doesn't get better than that. Hurts had a fumble that the Chiefs Nick Bolton ran in for a touchdown while Mahomes had no turnovers. Case closed... Mahomes was the better quarterback.
5) The Chiefs know how to win close games. While the Eagles had blown out many of their opponents and had outscored their playoff opponents 69-14, the Chiefs won their playoff games by scores of 27-20 and 23-20. A lot of their regular season games came down to the wire, too. When the Eagles got the ball down 35-27 in the 4th quarter, they only used up about four minutes on the clock to tie the game which left Mahomes and the Chiefs a little over five minutes to work their way downfield. They took up all but eight seconds on their game winning drive. That is excellent clock management.
6) Jerick McKinnon made the smartest play in Super Bowl history. That's right. Super Bowl history! After a holding call that gave the Chiefs a first down with just under two minutes to play, the Chiefs gave the ball to McKinnon over the left side. He was free for a touchdown. The Eagles had hoped he would score to give them time to come back down the field. McKinnon sprinted toward the end zone, He was aware of the situation, so he slid down at the one yard line. Instead of the Eagles having time to go down and score the tying touchdown or maybe even go for two and win it, the clock kept ticking down. After two more kneel downs by Mahomes, Harrison Butker kicked the game winning field goal with eight seconds left. Many of you will ask about the holding call that some questioned against James Bradberry of the Eagles. He did not impede Smith-Schuster much, but if referees see a jersey being pulled, they will call holding virtually every single time. That's what the referee saw, and that's what he called. After the game, even Bradberry said it was a hold. Anyway, McKinnon should be given way more credit than I'm hearing.
7) Prayer. What? Prayer? Yes, prayer. Search for an owner or his wife who posts more to an Instagram account about Jesus than the Chiefs owner's wife, Tavia Hunt. I haven't found anyone who is even close. How often do you see a person with the standing of an NFL owner or his wife give credit for everything they have to Jesus Christ? Every time the Chiefs pull out a close win, I say to my wife that Tavia must have prayed them through. I'm only half joking. I plan to write more about Tavia Hunt in the future. For now, let me just ask... Does the Lord show any favor to those who love Him? You can say that it is ridiculous for prayer to make any difference in a football game. Some of the wins by the Chiefs seem borderline miraculous, so I beg to differ.
May God always be your number 1 draft pick!