What a season! After 45,000 plays and nearly 300 NFL games, the quest for a world championship boiled down to one final matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
Since its inception in 1967, Super Bowl games have been crapshoot — sometimes you get a gem and other times a yawner. Over the years, Football’s Favorite Sunday has provided fans with some magical moments, but this year’s game had a different feel and lived up to the hype and excitement.
The betting spread opened up at -1.5 points for Philadelphia. Vegas was getting even action. Both teams were evenly matched, and a coin flip could have determined the outcome. Over $16 billion was bet on this game. That’s a billion with a “B.” The numbers were massive, but would the game hold true to the hype? Answer: Yes, and far beyond expectations.
Most notably, Super Bowl LVII was filled with several firsts that made this game memorable:
— First Super Bowl between two African American quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
— Youngest quarterbacks to play in a Super Bowl (Mahomes and Hurts). These talented signal callers remind me of Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers) and Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins) meeting in Super Bowl XIX in 1985. At the time, Marino was just 23 years old. Marino and Montana were the first quarterbacks from the same hometown (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in a Super Bowl.
— The first time in nine Super Bowls that a team won the game after winning the coin toss. (Last eight teams that won the opening coin toss, lost the Super Bowl)
— The first time the Kansas City Chiefs wore their white jerseys since the AFL-NFL World Championship in the 1960s.
— The first time in 25 years that both teams started the game with touchdown drives.
— The first time The Kansas City Chiefs trailed in the entire playoffs.
— The first time the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t record a sack the entire season.
— The next time the Philadelphia Eagles beat Chiefs coach Andy Reid, a former Eagles coach, will be the first time.
— The first time a military flyover before kickoff consisted of all-female pilots.
— Patrick Mahomes was the first quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards and win a Super Bowl.
— The first time that two consecutive games were marred with penalties that significantly impacted the game’s outcome. (AFC Championship and Super Bowl LVII )
— After his Super Bowl LVII performance, Jalen Hurts became the first quarterback to finish with more than 300 passing yards, 70 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in a game (regular or postseason).
Final Score: Kansas City 38, Philadelphia 35
Season Grade: B+ (The grade would be higher, but if you spend 800,000 dollars on the grass, you better get it right. The field was ridiculous for a championship game. You don’t paint it? Duh!)
Despite that shortcoming, this Super Bowl was an instant classic, and it’s been an excellent season for NFL fans (unless you’re a Broncos fan…) I truly hated to see either quarterback lose this game. I look forward to seeing you next year for kickoff. By the way, when do the pitchers and catchers report?