Eagles and Chiefs contest Super Bowl: Pushed to the finals

Joseph Ossai would have liked to vanish into thin air. Instead, the cameras turned relentlessly on him after what was arguably the pivotal scene in the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals. At 20:20 the last seconds were running. There was much to suggest that, like last year, an overtime period between the two teams would decide who reaches the National Football League’s Super Bowl. But then came Joseph Ossai. Unfortunately, he did it a fraction of a second too late and pushed Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the ground when he was already out.

The umpires ruled the action a foul and awarded the Bengals a 15-yard penalty. This is how Kansas City came within field goal range, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker turned ice cold from 45 yards to win 23:20. Ossai, 22, buried his face in his hands, later explaining, “I was just in chase mode. I tried to get him to run backwards and take the time off the clock.” But it was clear to him a long time ago: “I have to do better.”

Meanwhile, at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, the hosting team’s celebrations were underway. “It’s going to be a great challenge,” said superstar Mahomes, looking ahead to the Super Bowl in two weeks, but didn’t want to look too far ahead and “celebrate this” first – albeit without cigars, which he regretted weren’t in stock .

There are moments when you just have to risk everything.

Patrick Mahomes to his decisive run despite the foot injury

While Ossai was the tragic figure of the thrilling duel between Kansas City and Cincinnati, Mahomes, on the other hand, once again became the shining hero. Visibly impaired by his ankle injury from last week’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes was far from his usual mobility.

It wasn’t until that last play that the Chiefs’ quarterback ran with the ball himself for the first time. He did it more or less on one leg, and at that point he hadn’t been able to put his right foot on the ground without pain for a long time. “There are moments when you just have to risk everything,” Mahomes later said.

Travis and Jason Kelce have a brother duel in the Super Bowl

And although the football slipped out of the 27-year-old playmaker’s hand in an action that was completely atypical for him, he still showed a more than solid performance. This was all the more impressive as several of his favorite pass recipients were injured during the game and his favorite passing station, Travis Kelce, was able to be marked particularly closely by the Bengals.

Cincinnati’s defense did a good job, but Kansas City did an even better one. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow made two interceptions and ended up losing again after three straight wins against the Chiefs.

Jason Kelce (right) is happy about entering the Super Bowl – and a duel with his brother.
© Imago/Eric Hartline

In the Super Bowl on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona, Kansas City, as champions of the AFC, will meet the Philadelphia Eagles, who previously clearly defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31:7 in the NFC final. This game was also marked by penalties and injuries. For example, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, already the substitute for the substitute, sustained an injury to his throwing hand elbow early in the game, but later had to return to the field because his representative Josh Johnson was unable to continue with a suspected concussion.

From then on, San Francisco’s offensive was reduced to the running game and was therefore easy to calculate. However, the 49ers also weakened themselves and conceded a total of eleven penalties for 81 yards. The highlight of the tragedy from the perspective of the Californians was a foul on the opposing punter, after which the 49ers had just stopped the opponent’s offensive, but now had to give up the ball again and then had to accept the decisive touchdown to 7:28.

In the Super Bowl it comes to a duel between the two best teams of the regular season and also to a family reunion of the Kelce brothers Travis and Jason. The Eagles center kept his fingers crossed for his brother after his own finals in the game against the Bengals. “I have a Kansas City shirt that I’m going to wear for the next three hours, and that’s it for the rest of the year,” he said with a smile. At least in your own family, the 57th Super Bowl is likely to be renamed the Kelce Bowl this year.

Source: Tagesspiegel

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