How Mahomes’ Chiefs beat Hurts’ Eagles in Super Bowl 2023

Have you seen those viral videos of an angry, frustrated fan responding to a crushing moment by punching a hole in their TV? As the first half of Super Bowl LVII came to an end Sunday night in Arizona, I suspect there were quite a few flat screens used as punching bags in the Kansas City area. The Chiefs trailed the Eagles 24–14 after a dismal first half, and only a rare mistake by Jalen Hurts kept them in the game. Patrick Mahomes, who entered the game with a high ankle sprain, appeared to aggravate his injury in Kansas City’s last offensive game of the half. Andy Reed’s team was trained, overpowered, and performed by a fuller lineup from Philadelphia.

Thirty minutes later, the Chiefs were champions for the second time in the Mahomes era. They had a near-perfect half of the game on offense, scoring three touchdowns and turning down the opportunity to add a fourth. Ed Werder of Sportzshala noted on twitterthey turned into an unstoppable force after Rihanna’s halftime show.

One good way to measure offensive dominance is the down conversion rate, which takes into account each time a team handles the ball on a first down and determines whether that streak turned into a first down or a touchdown. The Chiefs converted 93.8% of their first downs into another first down or touchdown in the second half, and the only reason they didn’t hit 100% is because Jerick McKinnon slid down the 1-yard line to set up title. game winning goal. Sportzshala has data for 2000 and no team has done this before in the second half of the Super Bowl. Only three teams made it in the second half any playoff game.

There’s a lot to be done with this Super Bowl, but let’s start with this. How did the Chiefs have a flawless second half on offense? After watching this game live and again for the second time, there are a few things that stand out:

Go to topic:
What Really Won the Chiefs Game
How the Chiefs got creative with their running
How Mahomes Created Magic Everywhere
The Hurts Show and the future of football
Are the officials really pissed off?

What contributed to the return of the Chiefs?

Movement. It may seem simple, but movement and the threat of movement won this game for the Chiefs. Despite the fact that Vic Fangio was hired as a consultant two weeks before the game, the Eagles defense, which was suffocating from victories over the Giants and 49ers, simply did not know how Kansas City brought their players. in motion before the snap. Subtle differences created opportunities, and panic created touchdowns.

I would basically divide the movement into two groups. One was the short move we saw from their receivers where the chiefs made a small move just before the snap and ended up with a stack or pin in the line of scrimmage. In doing so, they have repeatedly managed to create profitable leverage for their receivers against Philadelphia defenders in coverage.

Combining defensemen in a short move also created favorable matches for the Chiefs, such as Travis Kelsey’s touchdown. in the first quarter. There, Kelche was originally lined up against Eagles top corner Darius Slay on the outside, but when he moved behind Marquez Valdez-Scantling, things changed. Slay ended up at wide receiver while safety Marcus Epps lined up against Kelsey. Epps tried to press Kelsey on the line, but Kelsey escaped and ran through the vacated Valdez-Scantling space and scored an 18-yard goal.

However, I’m here to talk about the second half, and the move that changed the game for the Chiefs was one I came up with in my preview of the game. I mentioned that the Chiefs used a wide receiver jet going horizontally across the formation before the snap to set up three touchdowns for Mekole Hardman in a win over the 49ers earlier this season, with two points coming on a jet sweep and a third on a tap. – passing – which is essentially the same thing – only when serving forward to the receiver in front of the quarterback, and not tossing to the one who is behind him. The Eagles apparently received the memo because they were well aware of the possibility.

Instead, Reed used the threat of this jet propulsion and horizontal movement to create the first falls and landings. In the first half, the Chiefs hit a couple of big plays for 22 and 24 yard snaps with jet propulsion, although the ball went somewhere else. In fact, early in the third quarter, they ran a 4-yard jet sweep with Sky Moore, although the rookie wide receiver could have gained a few more yards if he hadn’t slipped.

Let’s run through a series of goal sequences to see how the threat of a sweep created opportunities for the Chiefs because it helped set up or score each of their three touchdowns in the red zone. At the first score of the half, they jet Moore through the formation to divert attention from the linebackers, then took McKinnon to the vacant flat for an easy finish. McKinnon narrowly missed the goal thanks to a fine tackle by Avonte Maddox, who briefly saved a touchdown before Isaiah Pacheco hit on the next play:

In the next series of goals, the Chiefs applied the same idea, but this time in the form of a run instead of a pass. Moore separated and then transitioned to jet propulsion, moving Maddox from the line of scrimmage to a safety role. Mahomes then passed the ball to McKinnon, who cleared the vacated area for 4 yards.

What happened on the next play was the clearest example of the Eagles waiting for the jet to hit and getting burned because of their aggressiveness. Kadarius Toni separated from Slay on the right side of the formation and started sprinting as if he was about to move in jet propulsion. Sley quickly signaled to his fellow defenders and retreated to the middle of the field to cover Kelce, but this was a ruse. Tony was returning on a jet plane and just turned to the seat that Slay had made available for the easiest landing of his life:

The Chiefs are not finished. After Tony returned the punt to the Philadelphia 5-yard line, Reed and offensive coordinator Eric Biniemi still had more tricks in their bag. They used the threat of another Moore jet to clear the middle of the field on the second goal, though the Eagles defended that play well and forced a drop. On the third down they returned to a similar concept as for the previous touchdown, if not the same play:

Here the Eagles sent the house into a blitz, forcing Mahomes to clear the ball quickly against Cover 0 behind. Each Eagles quarterback was tied to a person, and for Moore, that player was Maddox. As Moore began to race through the formation in jet propulsion, Maddox had no choice but to sell out and run in that direction to try to catch up with him as he had no help on the other side of the field. Instead, Moore simply stopped, turned around, and went for the first touchdown of his NFL career.

The plays are different, but the meaning is the same. The Eagles know the Chiefs want to use this jet propulsion to play the ball at speed without having to block cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage. The Chiefs know the Eagles are ready to stop the concept, and so Reid and company hit back after hit back, playing on Philadelphia’s ability to handle that move and react in real-time on the fly. The Chiefs went 4-of-4 in the red before missing a fifth touchdown opportunity on the last drive, and they needed all those touchdowns to win.

And it was not just a jet wave. Reed used a game that didn’t even count to create another that did. Since Tony rarely appeared on the field, the Chiefs moved him behind Mahomes and gave him a sweeping pass, but the game was ruined due to an offside position by Eagles defenseman Josh Sweet. On the next prank, the Chiefs showed the same move and simulated a rocking screen for Tony. When two Eagles attempted to jump off the swing, Mahomes threw Juju Smith-Shuster behind them for 13 yards, bringing the offense into the red zone. For a player who only played five offensive snaps, Tony had a huge impact on this game.

ball launch. Sometimes fate can be very cruel. Time after time during his time in Philadelphia, Eagles fans yelled about Reed’s refusal to commit to running football, which was often blamed for costing them playoff games. It doesn’t matter that the Eagles had an effective passing offense, or that Reid essentially saw the future of the sport and gave his team a huge competitive advantage by picking league-high shots. There is no problem in the NFL that does not address the running of the ball.

Well, on Sunday, Reed’s offense revitalized as he dribbled the ball all over the Eagles. In the second half, Kansas City rushed 17 times for 126 yards and six first downs. The Eagles’ only stoppages due to negative footage on the ground came on a pair of kneeling shots from Mahomes that secured the game-winning field goal. Forty of those yards went to Mahomes, who made two key first downs in the fight despite a aggravating ankle injury.

These runs played a key role in winning the game. The Chiefs added 37 percentage points to their expected win thanks to their second-half streaks. By comparison, until Sunday, no Reid team had added more than 26 percentage points to their expected second-half win in a playoff game. Reed’s offenses have exceeded an expected second-half ground win just four times in 407 coaching appearances since 2000….


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