Super Bowl 57 had it all – two amazing quarterbacks going head-to-head, multiple lead changes, a late tie, and officiating drama. It was one for the ages, though said drama killed it near the end.
The game could have certainly done without this one thing, though: the horrible playing surface. The pitch conditions led to many slips and unplanned falls and there was a lot of complaining from the Philadelphia Eagles’ end thereafter.
The sad thing about this is it wasn’t news to the NFL. The Chiefs had already voiced their concerns to the league after playing the Arizona Cardinals way back in Week 1. However, it was the Eagles who suffered the brunt of it and footage showed that a number of their players, including Jalen Hurts, changed their cleats as a result.
The Guardian’s Ollie Connolly has done some analysis and found that the pitch affected the Eagles way more. According to Connoly’s findings, Philly had a player slip on 38 percent of Patrick Mahomes dropbacks and had multiple slippages on five occasions.
Chiefs players only slipped on 14 percent of Hurts’ dropbacks and they did so one at a time.
It was pretty evident that the Eagles were hurt by the playing surface as their pass rush had been stellar all season up to that point. Mahomes hardly found himself under pressure and did not get sacked at all, suggesting the Eagles’ defense just couldn’t get off the mark as quickly and with the required friction.
That the Chiefs were not as affected is interesting, however. At the time the broadcast crew discussed the Eagles’ footwear changes, they did note that none of Kansas City’s players changed their cleats.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.