Watch CBS News

Super Bowl LVII: Plays that doomed Eagles vs. Chiefs

Super Bowl LVII: James Bradberry admits late penalty call was on him
Super Bowl LVII: James Bradberry admits late penalty call was on him 01:00

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Jalen Hurts played the game of his life and made history, but it wasn't enough as the Eagles lost 38-35 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Sunday night. 

This loss will sting for quite a while for Philly fans. 

The game was in the Eagles' hands. They entered halftime with a double-digit lead, but the second half was a different story. 

Here are several plays that doomed the Eagles in their Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs.

Controversial late flag

Eagles fans had a glimmer of hope toward the end of the fourth quarter. 

Hold Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to a field goal, and the Birds will get the ball back with about two minutes remaining and one timeout with a chance to win the game or force overtime. 

Mahomes threw an incomplete pass to wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, but officials called a defensive holding on cornerback James Bradberrry after he grabbed Smith-Schuster's jersey. 

The call allowed the Chiefs to get a fresh set of downs, drain the clock and boot in the game-winning field goal. 

Bradberry took accountability for the play after the game and didn't point any fingers. 

The flag sparked a debate on social media on whether the flag should've been thrown, but it was a penalty, and it wasn't the only reason the Birds lost the big game. 

What is a catch? 

The endless "was it a catch?" debate in the NFL continued on the world's biggest stage in the Super Bowl. From the Dallas Goedert catch on the sideline to the Miles Sanders incomplete pass, there were plenty of plays reviewed by officials Sunday night that most likely caused Eagles fans to channel their inner Robert De Niro from "Silver Linings Playbook."

But the one that stood out the most? That would be the Devonta Smith play toward the end of the first half that got reversed by officials. 

Smith looked like he hauled in a 35-yard pass from Hurts along the sideline, but after a lengthy review process, officials ruled that the ball hit the ground before Smith could maintain control of the ball. 

If the catch would've stood, there's a good chance the Eagles come away with a touchdown instead of a field goal on that drive. 

The Eagles would've been set up at Kansas City's 13-yard line if the catch stood with just under a minute left and a fresh set of downs. 

The Birds ended up booting in a field goal after getting to the Chiefs' 17-yard-line and entered halftime with a 24-14 lead. 

If Philly comes away with a touchdown and enters the half with a 28-14 lead, it's a completely different game. 

Unfortunate late sequence of events

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles were trailing Kansas City, 28-27, and desperately needed a score. 

But they went three-and-out and decided to punt the ball back to the Chiefs from their own 32-yard line on 4th-and-3. 

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was ultra-aggressive all year, including in the Super Bowl. In the NFC title vs. the San Francisco 49ers, Sirianni went for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 34-yard-line in the second quarter. That drive resulted in a touchdown.   

Sirianni might look back at that decision and regret not going for it in Super Bowl while watching the film, especially after what followed. 

Punter Arryn Siposs, who returned for the first time since suffering an injury in December, shanked a punt that went 38 yards. 

To make matters worse, Chiefs wideout Kadarius Toney seized on the opportunity. He returned it for 65 yards, the longest in Super Bowl history, to the Eagles' 5-yard line. 

That set up a Chiefs touchdown three plays later to give them a 35-27 lead. 

Uncharacteristic mistake 

Hurts outplayed Mahomes, the Super Bowl MVP, Sunday night, but he made a crucial mistake that you can't make against the Chiefs: he gave them free points. 

Early in the second quarter, the Eagles were leading 14-7 and had a chance to take a commanding lead. 

During a rushing attempt, Hurts fumbled and the ball bounced toward Eagles territory. The ball was then scooped by Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton and returned 36 yards for a touchdown, which tied the game 14-14. 

It was an uncharacteristic play from Hurts, who took care of the ball just as well as any quarterback in the league last season. He threw six interceptions and only lost two fumbles.

Hurts responded to the blunder and played the game of his life by recording four total touchdowns -- three rushing and one through the air. He completed 27 of his 38 passes for 304 yards and rushed for 70, which set a Super Bowl record for most yards on the ground by a quarterback. 

It was an MVP performance, but that fumble gave free points away to Mahomes and the Chiefs, and it ultimately contributed to the Eagles' downfall in the Super Bowl. 

Massive missed opportunity

The Eagles' pass catchers had great games in the Super Bowl. A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert, Smith, and heck, even Zach Pascal had some solid catches. 

But, slot wideout Quez Watkins didn't execute on a deep shot by Hurts.  

On the Eagles' first possession of the second half, Hurts tossed about a 35-yard pass to Watkins, but the ball went right through his hands. It would've set up the Eagles with a 1st-and-goal. 

Instead, the Eagles settled for a field goal on the drive. Coming away with a touchdown on that drive could've been a difference-maker. The Birds only scored one touchdown in the second half compared to three by the Chiefs. 

Red-zone blunders

The Eagles' knew they had a massive challenge ahead of them in the Super Bowl vs. Mahomes and former longtime Eagles head coach Andy Reid. 

The Birds held their own in the first half, only allowing seven offensive points, but the second half was night-and-day.

The Chiefs scored on every possession in the final two frames and went 4-for-5 in the red zone. 

Two of those scores by the Chiefs were too easy, and Reid schooled defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. 

Touchdowns by Toney and rookie wideout Skyy Moore scored on were the same exact play. On both plays, either wideout motioned like they were going to run across the formation, but came to a hard stop. Instead, Toney and Moore each made hard cuts back to the flat, where they were wide open. 

As a result, the Eagles' defensive backs were both fooled. 

It also looks like Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy dug-up film from the Eagles' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4. 

The Eagles were burned by a similar play during that game when the Jags took a 14-0 lead. 

Going up vs. Mahomes, Reid and the Chiefs is no easy feat, but they took Gannon's lunch money several times on Super Bowl Sunday. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.