Eagles fall heartbreakingly short of Super Bowl LVII glory: Instant analysis

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PHOENIX, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass while warming up for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

It was a Super Bowl we won’t forget in a hurry, but not for the reasons Eagles fans would like. The Birds fought bravely in the Desert, pushing the Kansas City Chiefs to their limits on the back of a Jalen Hurts masterclass, but it ultimately wasn’t to be.

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Eagles fall to the Chiefs 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII

Super Bowl 57 was filled with twists and turns. Wild catches (and non-catches?), questionable ref calls, and magic from both quarterbacks made for one of the most exciting showdowns in recent Super Bowl memory. It was the Chiefs who prevailed in the end, but it wasn’t easy.

The Chiefs deferred after winning the toss, putting pressure on Jalen Hurts, the 24-year-old wonderkid who looked on as Patrick Mahomes dominated the MVP voting just days before. Hurts responded by leading the Eagles down the field in dominant fashion, making every pass look effortless. That would be the tone for his game.

Hurts ended his Super Bowl debut by going down in history as the first quarterback to rush for 3 touchdowns. He added 70 yards on the ground, passed for 1 more touchdown, and added 300 yards through the air. Hurts punched in the performance of his life on the biggest stage of all, but football is about more than just one man.

The Eagles looked to be in control of the game at the half, with the offense making light work of Kansas City. DeVonta Smith and A.J Brown were piping hot and the committee backfield made life difficult for linebackers and corners alike. But a rare slip up from Jalen Hurts saw the ball bumble out of his hands and into those of Nick Bolton, who rushed it to the house for a quick score. From that moment on, things felt different.

Hurts did well to respond and drag the Eagles back down the field for a retaliation score, but it was the Eagles defense that started to falter. Patrick Mahomes rose above a mildly injured ankle to begin carving up the secondary while the front four struggled to get any pressure on the now-2x Super Bowl Champion. Mahomes, predictably, was at his very best and the defense just could not figure out how to stop the bleeding. It was a shootout that demanded the best from all parties.

Everything the Eagles dug out offensively, was sent right back to them first-class by the Chiefs, and Jonathan Gannon’s unit had no answer, giving up acres of space to the likes of Travis Kelce who thrives in those situations.

Ideally, a game this emphatic should’ve ended due to the actions of the players. A controversial holding call on James Bradberry ripped the floor from under the feet of Philadelphia, draining the clock and giving Kansas City the opportunity to snag a 3-point lead at the death, one the Eagles would have no opportunity to try and regain.

The Eagles proved on Sunday that no moment is too big for them. That this young nucleus isn’t just trendy and exciting to watch, but they can keep pace with the best of the best when the lights shine brightest. Sure, they didn’t emerge as the victors, but there is no doubting that this team has all the potential in the world to get back to the Super Bowl very soon.