Blown call just tip of iceberg for Eagles

Posted 2/14/23

The Super Bowl certainly lived up to the hype in my opinion. The two best teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, played a great game and really proved to be worthy of reaching the big …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Blown call just tip of iceberg for Eagles


The Super Bowl certainly lived up to the hype in my opinion. The two best teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, played a great game and really proved to be worthy of reaching the big game.

Unfortunately, though, so much has been made of holding call in the final two minutes and its impact on the final result.

For those who did not watch the game, there was less than two minutes remaining and the Chiefs’ offense was rolling. It looked like the Eagles were about to finally make a stop and force a field goal, but the refs blew the whistle and called a holding penalty that gave the Chiefs a first down and allowed them to run the clock down to end the game.

The holding call was iffy at best. I guess, by the letter of the law, there was enough evidence to call the holding penalty. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry did grab Kansas City’s Juju Smith-Schuster’s jersey. In reality though, we all know that he barely tugged it and in no way impeded his ability to run his route and go out for the pass.

Philadelphia fans were outraged along with millions of others watching. The country’s biggest sporting event of the year, millions watching, and you blow the whistle on a ticky tack call like that? Can’t happen.

However, and this is my ultimate point. To say that the refs gave the Chiefs the game, or to suggest that the Eagles got robbed, simply is not correct.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts, if you recall, dropped the football which led to a fumble recovery and touchdown. The Eagles right there spotted the Chiefs seven points.

Then in the second half, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense made play after play. The Philadelphia defense was nowhere to be found for the final 30 minutes of action.

Football is a cumulative sport. There is never one single play that determines a game, or a performance that makes or breaks an entire outcome, and in this case, a penalty that hands the game to one team or another. Every play, there are 22 guys on the field and a handful of refs.

Whether it is a missed block, a missed tackle, a fumble, a poorly thrown ball, a bad play call, a lousy penalty, a lucky bounce, there are thousands of items to examine in a football game.

Again, the holding call was horrendous for so many reasons. I know that many people, especially in Kansas City, believe that the jersey tug was enough to affect the outcome of that play. I wholeheartedly disagree and also can’t believe that the refs stepped in at that point in the game. But remember, there is just so much more that has to be accounted for. That was just one of the handfuls of things that went wrong for Philly.

Let this be a reminder of why sports are so great, especially team sports. It takes everyone doing their jobs, doing them well, and being able to overcome adversity. The Eagles, all things considered, played a great game. Kansas City just made one or two more plays and committed one or two fewer errors. That’s why the game-winning kick happened with less than a minute remaining. It was a nail biter.

If any Philadelphia fans are reading this, I am sorry to disappoint you. I know this take does not make you feel better or help the grieving process, but let’s be real, the right team won this game regardless of the referee’s impact.

Now, my next take regards the hometown New England Patriots. It really is a shame to see these two teams duke it out and to realize how far off the Pats really are.

Do you really think that this Patriots team is equipped to engage in a shootout with either the Chiefs or Eagles? Even if they make a few tweaks and adjustments? Absolutely not.

Do you really think this Patriots defense is capable of rushing the quarterback or shutting down truly elite receivers and gunslingers on the big stage? The defense is better than the offense, but still, absolutely not.

I know that we are all crossing our fingers, hoping to see the Patriots use all of their cap space and draft picks to revamp this roster and get back into the championship mix. New England will have the second most cap space to work with in the league and favorable draft position. Still, even if the Pats ace the draft and sign a few difference-making free agents, they’re still worlds off.

I look at Mahomes and the Chiefs and what I see is the next great dynasty in the NFL. The Patriots’ historic run has ended and the Chiefs are picking up right where they left off.

Now, do I believe that the Chiefs and Mahomes will win six Super Bowls when it is all said and done? No, the league is too talented and competitive.

I do see the Chiefs being a perennial contender for the next decade, though, and without a doubt I believe they will be hoisting another Lombardi Trophy perhaps as soon as next year. This group now has two, and I believe another one or two is in the cards.

Many Patriots fans were rooting against the Chiefs for that exact reason. They do not want to admit that there is a new sheriff in town and that the Patriots are no longer the gold standard. As much as it hurts to admit, I do encourage you to embrace the change and the process. Rebuilds are never fun, but it had to happen at some point. Might as well get the ball rolling.

pitch, column, sports


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here