Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs return to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years, and the Philadelphia Eagles will be there waiting.
The Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals to claim the AFC Championship and set up a showdown in Arizona in Super Bowl LVII on February 12 with the Eagles, who fired Reid in 2012 after 14 seasons with the franchise.
“Here we come, Philly,” Reid said in the postgame ceremony while receiving the Lamar Hunt Trophy.
The Eagles’ all-time winningest coach, Reid also appeared in five conference championship games during his run with Philadelphia, but went to the Super Bowl just once, losing to the New England Patriots in the 2004 season.
The Chiefs gritted out a win Sunday, January 29 (Monday, January 30, Manila time), closing out the 23-20 win on a Harrison Butker field goal from 45 yards out with three seconds to play.
Now in his 10th season with the Chiefs, Reid leaned on defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for a big assist on Sunday.
Bengals quarterback Burrow was intercepted twice and sacked five times. Defensive tackle Chris Jones sacked Burrow twice, including on Cincinnati’s final drive to force a punt in the final minute of the game.
“I didn’t make the plays I needed to. They did a good job of creating one-on-one matchups up front to let their guys go,” Burrow said. “We just weren’t able to convert those last couple plays.”
The Bengals lost for the first time in 11 games and were seeking back-to-back Super Bowl appearances after losing to the Los Angeles Rams last February.
“The great thing about the NFL is that it’s not just four years. You have years ahead of you where you can try to win again,” Burrow said.
Four years has been a near-constant victory parade for the Chiefs. Kansas City has 52 regular-season wins since the start of the 2019 season and six days before the AFC title game was played, the Chiefs were viewed as the underdog due to Mahomes’ right ankle injury. Also, Cincinnati cornerback Mike Hilton referenced Kansas City’s home venue as “Burrowhead.”
“There was a lot of talking going on this week,” Jones said. “Let me tell y’all something man, don’t ever, ever disrespect Arrowhead Stadium, no matter how many times you beat us.”
Mahomes, the second quarterback to reach three Super Bowls in his first six seasons, lost three receivers to injury before halftime – Mecole Hardman (pelvis), Kadarius Toney (ankle) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee). While his offensive line bought time, the running game was nonexistent for the Chiefs (20 carries, 42 yards) and tight end Travis Kelce played with a back injury.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown for Kansas City and Kelce caught a TD. He’ll see his brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce, in the season-ender in two weeks.
“I told the guys before the game, it’s going to take everybody,” Mahomes said.
Mahomes said his ankle wasn’t a major factor on Sunday. The Eagles will test his mobility. The Eagles had a season-best 78 sacks including the playoffs, which rates behind only the 1984 and 1985 Bears (82 and 80, respectively) as the third-highest all-time. – Rappler.com
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