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Neil Reynolds' Super Bowl LVII Wrap Up

It was fitting that one of the best seasons in NFL history concluded with one of the greatest Super Bowls we have ever seen. And within that 38-35 victory for the Kansas City Chiefs over the Philadelphia Eagles, we witnessed one of the bravest and most remarkable of title-winning performances.

Years from now, NFL fans will talk about that night when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led his team to victory while limping around on one leg. It was a legendary showing from the two-time NFL Most Valuable Player who is now also a two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Late in the first half, when Mahomes was tackled to the ground by linebacker T.J. Edwards, things looked pretty bleak for the Chiefs and a Super Bowl that had burst out of the starting blocks threatened to turn into a Philadelphia-laced romp. The Eagles quickly stretched their lead to 24-14 and Mahomes cut a frustrated figure on the bench. It was almost as if he felt the season unravelling at the worst possible time of the year.

What followed was a masterful display that cannot be praised highly enough. It was clear Mahomes was hampered and yet he led the Chiefs to points on all four of their second-half possessions – three touchdowns and the game-winning field goal with eight seconds remaining that was set up by an injury-defying 26-yard run from the Chiefs star man.

Mahomes continually got the ball out of his hands quickly but even when he didn't, he produced the kind of scrambling magic that has become his trademark; frustrating Eagles defenders with his ability to get out of the tightest of spots. With a very serious high ankle sprain, Mahomes still managed to look like his normal elite self and that is a credit to his skills but also to his fierce will to win.

At the age of 27, Mahomes has the chance to dominate the NFL for the next decade; even though getting out of the AFC is going to be a yearly battle with the likes of Cincinnati and Buffalo nipping at Kansas City's heels.

But there is no reason why Mahomes cannot win Super Bowls three, four and five. He has a great connection with head coach Andy Reid and as long as that pair remains in place, the Chiefs will remain true contenders. What they achieved this year is a perfect example – Kansas City added 23 new players to their roster this season but they didn't miss a beat.

Mahomes produced a Super Bowl performance of historic proportions on Sunday night, but you get the feeling there are more big showings in his locker. Many more.

Here are some other takeaways from the big game in Arizona…

  1. It was an absolute joy to sit next to a man who has started at quarterback for nine different NFL teams in Ryan Fitzpatrick as we broke down Super Bowl 57 on Sky Sports. And while Fitz was in awe of Mahomes in the second half, he was equally impressed with Jalen Hurts, of the Philadelphia Eagles. Fitz told me that was the greatest game he has ever seen Hurts play. The Eagles quarterback could have easily been the Super Bowl MVP as he threw for 304 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns and added a two-point conversion run. He was sensational from start to finish, he just didn't get the ending he would have hoped for as a defensive holding penalty against James Bradberry allowed Kansas City to milk the clock before kicking the game-winning Harrison Butker field goal with eight seconds remaining. Hurts should be back given that he is an outstanding force, but you can take nothing for granted in the NFL and he would have been a worthy champion last night.
  2. The Philadelphia Eagles marched into Super Bowl 57 having recorded a league-leading 70 sacks in the regular season. They added eight more in two playoff wins over the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. With five sacks in the Super Bowl, the Eagles would officially become the most prolific pass-rushing unit in NFL history. But they could not get Mahomes on the ground once. Zero sacks. That was a significant and surprising development in this Super Bowl. The Chiefs' rebuilt offensive line has been excellent all year in pass protection and it was the case against the best in the game. They were physical and solid all night long, but the Chiefs were also smart. Mahomes completed 13 of 13 for 72 yards and two touchdowns on quick passes and on the few occasions the Eagles broke through, the young legend sprint/hobbled for daylight.
  3. While Mahomes was the star of Kansas City's show, particularly in the second half, it took everyone to pick up the Chiefs' third Super Bowl crown and second in four seasons. Travis Kelce made a strong start to the game and Kadarius Toney turned the contest in Kansas City's favour with a fourth quarter touchdown catch followed by a 65-yard punt return to set up the first end zone visit of Skyy Moore's young NFL career. Isiah Pacheco was also a dynamic presence in the backfield, rushing for 76 key yards on 15 carries. While we have seen greater performances on the ground this season, it felt like every one of Pacheco's hard-earned yards had a big impact in the final score. And, of course, there was Nick Bolton on the defensive side of the ball – he led KC with nine tackles and returned a fumble 36 yards for a touchdown on the only mistake by Hurts all night.
  4. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was already getting fitted for a gold jacket someday in the future as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he just added to his legacy with his 22nd playoff victory and his second Super Bowl crown. Reid is second only to the great Bill Belichick in terms of postseason victories. He dialled up a masterful display of play-calling. He baffled and de-fanged the Eagles with a series of motions and shifts before each snap that left them wondering what was to come. And he worked in total lock-step with Mahomes to get the ball out quickly and efficiently, neutering the most fearsome pass rush in the game. Mahomes is a legend, but he needed the help of his coach on Super Sunday. And, not for the first time in his glittering career, Reid delivered. The 64-year-old was the fourth-oldest Super Bowl winner and there is no reason for him to head into retirement now. He and Mahomes can continue to make beautiful music together for many more years to come.

Final Thought

It has been a magnificent season. Three successful London games, a wonderful debut contest in Munich, Germany; countless wild weekends with too many remarkable headlines being written every Sunday night. As I reflect on a wonderful campaign, it's hard to pick out all the details. I just know that it was amazing and truly special, culminating in a Super Bowl for the ages. Thanks for following us all season on Sky Sports NFL and wherever you watched the action unfold. Let's do it all again in September!