‘Couldn’t Get Home’
ITB: Quiet Pass Rush Dooms Birds In Super Bowl LVII
The Philadelphia Eagles ended their 2022 dream season in nightmare fashion at Super Bowl LVII, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-35.
The Birds couldn’t hold their double-digit halftime lead and failed to get a big stop after the break as Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes rallied.
On the final season edition of “Inside The Birds Postgame Live,” Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher were joined by Eagles Hall of Fame offensive Tra Thomas to break down the Super Bowl loss.
Tra Thomas: “I think he pulled one on the Eagles. [Kadarius Toney’s touchdown] was an undisciplined play because you thought that it was going to be one of those little shallow crossing routes. So everybody thinks someone else is going to take care of their job, and then he comes back out and it’s a touchdown. And then all they did was run the same exact play to the other side, two back-to-back walk-in touchdowns. That is not something you can have.”
Geoff Mosher: “That was surprising. The one thing we can say about the Eagles this year is if they got beat, they got beat, but they usually didn’t give teams opportunities like that. And it’s not like they haven’t faced teams that used motion; they just faced the 49ers two weeks ago.”
Adam Caplan: “The pivot route got them, (Darius) Slay went the wrong way. They’re a big traffic offense where they cause you to have trouble sorting. It’s really hard to do it, but there’s no excuse. There was a lot of mental mistakes.”
Eagles Pass Rush
Caplan: “The one thing that bothered me is the lack of pressure on Patrick Mahomes. It had nothing to do with them escaping, they just couldn’t get to him. Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick are paid a ton of money. They obviously had great years, but when you really needed it, you have to get home. Their stunts did not get home, they had a couple that got there and made him move, but overall, the stunts didn’t work.”
Mosher: “Sometimes you have to then pressure because the front four wasn’t getting there. That second wide-open touchdown, which went to Skyy Moore, (Jonathan Gannon) stacks the A-gaps and blitzes through there, but when you Cover 0 blitz, there are guys in man coverage. Who got lost on number 24 there?”
James Bradberry Holding
Caplan: “It was clearly a penalty. I know some former and current players said that can’t be a penalty that late in the game, but it’s the same in basketball: if it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty. He held him twice. It’s not the worst hold, but it’s a penalty.”
Thomas: “Everybody feels that because it’s the Super Bowl, you have to let them play. But it’s a penalty. It is what it is. If it was the other way around, we’d be saying the same thing. He got caught.”
Eagles Run Defense
Thomas: “That has always been their Achilles heel throughout the season. Washington showed if everybody in the NFL that if you can come out here and run on this defense, you have a chance. And that’s what the Chiefs did. They came out there and got good push up the middle, worked their combination blocks and gave them four, five, six yards up the middle. That hurt the Eagles. Just kept grounding and pounding.”
Thomas: “I think he needed the secondary to come up and press a little bit more. Get up there and challenge those receivers. Travis Kelce came open a little too much across the middle at times. There were some throws on the outside that Juju Smith-Schuster was open, where I felt like our secondary should have gotten up and challenged their receivers to give their defensive line a little time to get home, but that didn’t happen. Everybody feels that the defensive front has to get there. Well, the secondary has to cover to give the defensive line time to get home. If the quarterback can always take his drop and get rid of the ball on time, that means the secondary needs to throw off the timing and let them get home.”
Thomas: “If they win this game, he’s the Super Bowl MVP. He finished the game with three rushing touchdowns and threw for one touchdown. The one to DeVonta Smith down the sideline, if he can stay in-bounds that’s another one. I think Hurts gave them a chance to pull this off, I don’t think he had an issue with the stage being too big for him to perform.”
Mosher: “Maybe the Chiefs score anyway, but you make it easy when you have a low punt, a bad one, and then Kadarius Toney turns that into a Super Bowl-record punt return. The Eagles were in a lose-lose [punting] situation. They were trying to go into this game wondering which guy was going to make fewer mistakes at the punting position. Was it going to be Brett Kern or Arryn Sippos, who hadn’t punted in six weeks? I don’t know that they made the wrong decision, either one of them could have had a bad day.”
Caplan: “They missed on the punter. Howie Roseman had a phenomenal offseason, even better than 2017, but he missed on the punter. I know for a fact Brett Kern punted very well in his workout for the Cardinals, but he played bad here. Sippos is not good enough, not acceptable. They have to go get an upgrade. Britain Covey had one great return, looked very explosive, that was the one positive. Jake Elliot did his job. But they’re going to have to work on special teams, there’s no question.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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