In one of many plays that will be repeated in the minds of Eagles players for years, QB Jalen Hurts lost his footing as he heaved a final prayer toss in the remaining seconds of a classic Super Bowl matchup. If you tell any Birds fan the context of this last play and valiant effort in the preseason I can’t imagine even the most pessimistic fans not being excited. So how did we get here?
After an offseason that couldn’t have gone any better for Philadelphia, the Eagles’ impressive roster overhaul and resulting season could be seen as simple process and expectation of results for notorious general manager Howie Roseman. There was an incredible sense of gratitude heading into another Eagles Super Bowl run. The team was as likable, impressive, and fun to watch as the last Eagles team to play in a Super Bowl, if not, moreso. It felt like not a lot of things went wrong when a team pulls up to the Big Dance nearly 100% healthy. This was also mostly the case for Kansas City, which is exactly what any fan should want in a Super Bowl.
Before the season, it seemed like half of the Eagles fan base cherry-picked bad plays, discounted evident progress, and had to be talked into the idea of committing to Jalen Hurts as Philadelphia’s QB of the future. A season’s worth of additional evidence later, and it’s clear that Jalen Hurts has progressed into the upper echelon of signal callers in this era of football. In the preseason, we broke down these Birds in a pretty accurate projection (sans the Jaquiski Tartt take), which shows just how much we expected an outcome like this for the 2022-2023 NFL campaign. We mention Hurts commanding a price tag towards $40M AAV after an encouraging performance, yet the first-time MVP candidate will most likely be looking at an extension closer to $50M AAV thanks to his incredible third year. Prices going UP! Any non-believers of Hurts at this point are either delusional or named Chris Simms.
Definitively identifying your solution at the QB position is not a bad consolation prize in losing a Super Bowl. There just simply aren’t a lot of tougher pills to swallow than a Super Bowl loss. Let’s look into the ways the Chiefs were able to knock off the other one-seed and add to their storied legacy.
How the Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII
- Mahomes dominated in quick fashion
A lot has been made of the poor field and the Eagles’ lack of pass rush after a historic season in that category. Credit needs to be given to Pat Mahomes for creating such short windows of time for Philadelphia’s pass rush to get home. One of our favorite Twitter follows, Benjamin Solak, mentioned that over half of Pat’s throws left his hand in less than 2.5 seconds.
- Andy Reid exposes weaknesses
The Andy Reid infamous ‘Corn Dog’ play is exactly why Andy Reid is the well decorated and respected coach that he is. This was very similar to Philadelphia’s 29-21win over the Jaguars in Week 4, where the Jaguars lined WR Jamal Agnew up on the outside before being motioned toward the quarterback before stopping on a dime, twisting, and flaring back around towards the flat on the original line-up side. Film rats find stuff just like that and pull it out when it matters most.
- Timely Eagles errors
The Hurts Fumble 6 returned by LB Nick Bolton was a play that you simply can’t give up to a team like the Chiefs. The win probability swing from what happened and what could have been an Eagles touchdown drive is dizzying. Beyond that, a less aggressive Sirianni foregoing a 4th and 3 to punt is debatable, but what wasn’t debatable is the impact of Kadarius Toney’s explosive return. This seemed to be the dagger before the final blow, being the James Bradberry holding call. These time-crucial errors all impacted the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
An All-Time Eagles roster lost in the Super Bowl against what appears to be an All-Time great Quarterback and Head Coach. Is there a better coach to lose to than Andy Reid, if you’re the Eagles? Maybe it’d be the last guy to do it, Dougie P.
Coach Sirianni said what you’d expect to hear from a Coach of the Year candidate – “This game wasn’t decided by one play,” referring to the defensive holding call late in the 4th on James Bradberry. This is true on a number of fronts. There were a number of calls/non-calls that could’ve also absolutely impacted the game as directly as the holding call did. Regardless of the 58 minutes of mostly penalty-free play, Bradberry himself said it was a hold postgame.
In a world full of piss-poor losers like the 49ers, be a James Bradberry. This will hurt until the next time those Birds are back in the big one. What sucks is that we don’t know when that will be. What’s great is that there haven’t been many better times to be an Eagles fan. As always, GO BIRDS.
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