The Vince Lombardi Trophy is positioned next to the Philadelphia Eagles helmet inside the Phoenix Convention Center on Wednesday, February 8, 2023. (Photo courtesy: The Atlanta Voice)

Philadelphia Eagles fans may be visibly disturbed and shaken at the outcome of Super Bowl LVII. On third-and-eight from the Philadelphia 15 yard line with 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback threw a pass to wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and Eagles cornerback James Bradberry held Smith-Schuster, preventing a potential touchdown.

Eventually, the Chiefs ran down the clock, kicked the game-winning field goal, and walked out of State Farm Stadium with the Vince Lombardi trophy. 

Postgame, Bradberry admitted he held the Chiefs receiver. 

“It was a holding,” Bradberry said following the Eagles’ 38-35 loss. “I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide.”

After the game, referee Carl Cheffers told pool reporter Lindsay Jones that the grab was transparent and there was “no debate” on whether it was a flag.

“The receiver went to the inside, and he was attempting to release to the outside,” Cheffers said. “The defender grabbed the jersey with his right hand and restricted him from releasing to the outside. So, therefore, we called defensive holding.”

The hold took place before the pass was thrown. 

Very rarely does a football game ever come down to the officials. For example, the Chiefs outscored the Eagles 24-11 the Eagles in the second half of Super Bowl LVII. Before Sunday’s game, only the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI lost after holding a halftime lead of more than ten points. Secondly, the Eagles defense came into the game with 70 sacks on the season. Sunday night, they weren’t able to sack Mahomes. Reid credited his offensive line for keeping Mahomes upright all night. 

“I don’t have to motivate these guys too much,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid regarding his message at halftime. “They’re very motivated to do well, and we were down by ten points so it’s not that much. With the way our defense plays in shutting people down and the way our offense plays by scoring points so it’s just a matter of straightening out a couple things. The guys always believe. They never don’t believe. They always think they’re in the game.”

Jalen Hurts delivers masterpiece in defeat

In the loss, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had a masterful performance on pro football’s biggest stage. Hurts finished the night completing 27-of-38 passes for 304 yards with one touchdown pass. He added 70 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The three rushing touchdowns tied a Super Bowl record set by Terrell Davis during Super Bowl XXXII. The twenty points Hurts scored on the ground tied the record set by James White during Super Bowl LI. Hurts did not stick around to watch Mahomes and the Chiefs lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

“I think you want to cherish these moments,” Hurts said. “You want to cherish these moments with the people that you come so far with. Your family, your loved ones, your teammates, your peers, everyone you do it with and do it for. I’m so proud of this team. I’m so proud of this team for everything we’ve been able to overcome. Obviously we had a big time goal at the end that we wanted to accomplish and we came up short.”

Mahomes walked away impressed with Hurts’s performance.

“I mean, if there were any doubters left there shouldn’t be now,” Mahomes said. “I mean, the way he stepped on this stage, and ran, threw the ball, whatever it took for his team to win. I mean, that was a special performance. I don’t want it to get lost in the loss that they had. I mean, even whenever we got all the momentum in that game, and we went up eight points in the fourth quarter for him to respond and move his team down the football field and run in himself in a two-point conversion, it was a special performance by him and I mean, you make sure you appreciate that when you look back on this game.”

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...