GLENDALE, Ariz.—For 47 minutes Sunday night in Super Bowl LVII, Kansas City never led. Their quarterback re-sprained his right ankle just before halftime, and the Eagles led by 10 as Rihanna sung to the world, and though the momentum began to change in the third quarter, everything was a chore for the men of Andy Reid.
Then, with the ball at the Eagles’ five-yard line early in the fourth quarter, on third-and-three, Reid looked at his play sheet and called a play he loved.
“Corn Dog,” Reid said.
Seriously. That’s what the play was called.
Corn Dog, with the formation on one side of the play call, and a run portion (if Patrick Mahomes chose to hand it off) on the other side.
The first Reid-Mahomes Super Bowl title, three years ago this month, produced 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp, the long fourth-quarter pass from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill that gave the team life in the comeback win over the Niners.
Now, Philadelphia led 27-21 and the most important play of the game was facing Reid and his offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy. A field goal wasn’t good enough here, because KC had already allowed four scoring drives of 60 yards or longer to stoic superstar Jalen Hurts, who played one of the best games of his life in the biggest game of his life. To keep up with Hurts, Mahomes needed touchdowns.
That’s where this weird, very Reid-like formation and stilted motion came into play. Two wide receivers split wide, JuJu Smith-Schuster to the left, Kadarius Toney to the right. Two tight ends sat in the slot, Noah Gray left, Travis Kelce right. Mahomes had all the power in his hands, and Reid trusted him to use it: It was more likely a run call, but depending on how Eagles cornerback Darius Slay played Toney, Mahomes could check to a pass. Reid was pretty sure the check would come, but the reason he loved this play was he knew Mahomes would make the right call. He knew his quarterback wouldn’t be greedy. He’d choose the right variation of the Corn Dog, a smart play given the quirky name by his coaches.
“How many times have you run this play this year?” I asked Reid an hour after the game in his office inside the cigar bar that was the Kansas City locker room.
“Um,” said Reid, “that’s the second time we’ve run it.”
And that wouldn’t be it for a variation of the Corn Dog. The concept actually would win this Super Bowl for Kansas City. In a surprise (if you turned the game off at halftime), Kansas City rallied to beat Philadelphia 38-35 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever.
One day, when the coaching book on Andy Reid is written, there will be chapters about why players like playing for him, and why coaches like sitting in his office suite next to Arrowhead Stadium thinking up new ideas to confound smart defenses—the way they did last week when preparing for an excellent Philadelphia defense. “It is so much fun playing for the man,” Smith-Schuster said Sunday night.
I still didn’t understand one thing: Why name the play Corn Dog?
“Well,” said Bieniemy, “we like to eat.”
In Reid’s office at State Farm Stadium Sunday night was his longtime agent, Bob Lamonte, and his grandson, Maverick. “My good luck guy,” Reid said with pride, nodding to the boy. Maverick, son of Britt Reid, who is imprisoned for an accident that badly injured a young girl in 2020, has been with Andy Reid for the team’s playoff run. The coach seems to enjoy having Maverick by his side.
Reid, who turns 65 next month, was peppered with questions about his future during the week. Jay Glazer reported Sunday on FOX that Reid would have a decision to make about his future after the game. So, post-Corn Dog, I asked him about it.
“Are you gonna retire?” I said.
“I’m not,” Reid said.
“You’re gonna coach again?”
“That’s what I plan on doing. Yeah, God help me.”
This was an emotional game for Reid, because in the last quarter-century, he has fixed both franchises. He coached the Eagles for 14 seasons, laying the groundwork for their long-term respectability and coaching/teaching current GM Howie Roseman. Reid took about 10 minutes off from football before taking the job coaching Kansas City in 2013. What a run he’s had: Reid’s the only coach in NFL history to have more than 100 wins with two different franchises. He’s taken Kansas City to three Super Bowls in the last four seasons, winning two. Reid’s 269th career win—regular- and post-season—here puts him one win behind Tom Landry for fourth place on the all-time list.
But this was also a rollicking and significant win for his quarterback. Think of his three playoff games this season: suffers a high-ankle sprain against Jacksonville, grouses at Reid for taking him out to have the ankle examined in a 27-20 win; survives against Cincinnati in the AFC title game 23-20, gritting through the ankle issues; leads his team back from 10 points down (for the second time) to win the Super Bowl after re-injuring the ankle. For the post-season, playing with a bum ankle for 85 percent of the snaps, Mahomes completed 72 percent of his throws with a rating of 114.7.
There’s another guy who had a bunch of narrow playoff and Super Bowl wins in his early NFL life: Tom Brady. Let’s compare the two men when they were 27. That’s how old Mahomes is now.
Brady at 27: 57-14 overall record, three Super Bowl wins, 11-to-3 post-season TD-to-Interception ratio.
Mahomes at 27: 75-19 overall record, two Super Bowl wins, 35-to-7 post-season TD-Pick ratio.
Not so different, is it?
This post-season stamped Mahomes as a player with great talent and a Brady ethos. When middle linebacker T.J. Edwards tackled Mahomes on his last snap of the first half, Edwards rolled Mahomes’ injured right ankle. This game looked very dark for Kansas City. The pain on Mahomes’ face made every fan of the team and the quarterback feel like vomiting.
“I knew it wasn’t good,” Mahomes told me.
But when we spoke 90 minutes after the game, it was apparent Mahomes knew something else.
“Whatever it was, I wasn’t coming out of the game,” he said. “This is the Super Bowl. You think I’m coming out of this game? We got all off-season to get well. We had only two quarters left to play, and we had to find a way to win.”
At halftime, down 10, Reid told his team, “Ten points. Ten points isn’t a lot. We’re just off a tick.” And Reid said the halftime’s so long, it allowed his team to calm down—but not before Mahomes and Travis Kelce lit into the group.
Mahomes said he thought his team was playing tight. “We weren’t playing with our normal joy,” he said. “I said you can’t let the moment overtake you.”
There was 48 minutes of real time between snaps for Mahomes, with the long halftime. Mahomes and the offense came out sharp, driving 10 plays for 75 yards on the opening drive of the second half. Now it was 24-21. After the Eagles chewed up almost eight minutes on the next drive, now came the key drive of the game.
Kansas City churned down the field to the Eagles’ five-yard line. Third down. Twelve minutes left in Super Bowl LVII.
This is what Reid and his coaches and Mahomes thought with two receivers split right and two tight ends in the respective slots: We’ll send Toney in motion from right to left—then, suddenly, he’ll stop and turn back around quickly to go to his wide-right position. The coaches thought the cornerback on Toney, Darius Slay in this case, would follow Toney and never think Toney would cut the motion short and sprint back to his original spot.
They were right. It was easy to see Slay never thought Toney would turn around. Who does that?
Slay followed Toney, never adjusting when Toney turned around. The resulting corner route by Toney gave him an almost-unheard-of 11.2 yards of separation from the nearest defender. In a game this big, that’s an incredible gaffe by the Eagles. “We knew they’d pass off the motion guy, Kadarius,” Mahomes said. Well, fine. But who was going to pick him up on the way back? No one.
“We work hard every day to know the [defensive] personnel,” Toney said, “to know exactly how they’re going to play us. We try to go out there and exploit it.”
But one more thing: Mahomes’ first read was the run to Jerick McKinnon. The play design called for him to switch to pass if the corner kept running across the formation instead of returning to play Toney. When that happened, Mahomes changed to a pass. Maybe the simplest TD throw of his career. “Good play against man coverage,” Reid said. “We had it ranked high [on the play sheet].”
Kansas City 28, Philly 27. Eagles go three-and-out. Then Eagles punter Arryn Siposs clanked a wounded duck of a punt (“He just gave us an ugly punt,” Toney the returner said), and the former Giant returned it 65 yards, to the five-yard line. Again with a huge third down from inside the Eagles’ 10-, Reid chose a similar play to Corn Dog with Skyy Moore on the left side instead of right. Moore jet-motioned from the left inside, then turned quickly and sprinted back.
Incredible. Eagles got fooled again. Another wide-open touchdown. I thought at that moment: Poor Jonathan Gannon. The Philadelphia defensive coordinator, slated for a head-coach interview with the Cardinals early this week, will walk into said interview having given up a 38-spot in the Super Bowl, and having given up the easiest, most wide-open TD passes – two of them! – in the post-season.
“We did a good job of window-dressing it,” said Moore.
I should say so. Moore was as open as Toney. Now Kansas City had a 35-27 lead. The Eagles tied it on Hurts’ amazing third TD run and his subsequent two-point run. With the score 35-all, Kansas City got a huge break with 1:48 left in the game. Mahomes threw a third-down incompletion, setting up a Harrison Butker 33-yard field goal—basically a PAT.
Wait. Flag. James Bradberry was called for a defensive hold. Replays showed it happened, but it wasn’t an egregious hold. No matter. Ref Carl Cheffers, per pool reporter Lindsay Jones, called the flag “a clear case of a jersey grab that caused restriction.” Bradberry admitted he fouled Smith-Schuster—but that didn’t stop Eagles fans everywhere from screaming about the flag.
That gave KC a fresh set of downs, and the clock got whittled down to 11 seconds. Butker’s 27-yard field goal won it with eight seconds left.
Great day for Reid. Great day for Mahomes. One of my lasting memories from this game—other than the acrid cigar smoke that will never come off the clothes of anyone in the Kansas City locker room post-game—will be seeing Patrick Mahomes go to so many guys in the locker room, just saying thanks. He hugged TD-scorer Moore, who’s had some tough moments this year, and said, “Waited till the last game, huh? Love you! Way to get it in there!” I mean, what do you think that means to a rookie like Skyy Moore, having a two-time MVP and Super Bowl MVP look you in the eye, hug you, and tell you that?
This game stamped Mahomes without question as this game’s best and brightest quarterback, leader and franchise linchpin. The Eagles are close, with Hurts. Very close. But Mahomes willed this team to its second Super Bowl in four seasons. I sincerely doubt he’s done.
What time does the Super Bowl start and what channel can I watch it on? ›
If you are in the United States, the action kicks off on your local Fox station through cable or antenna and on the Fox Sports App at 6:30 p.m. ET at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. You can also watch through services like Sling TV, Hulu+ and fuboTV.What time does the Super Bowl start on NBC? ›
What Time is the Super Bowl? Kickoff is planned for 5:30 p.m. CST.What channel is the Super Bowl on regular TV? ›
Super Bowl LVII will be broadcast live on Fox in the US. The Fox channel is available on cable TV, as well as via live-TV streaming services.Can you watch the Super Bowl live for free? ›
How to Watch Super Bowl 2023 Online Free. If you don't want to pay for cable or a streaming service, there are a few ways to watch the Super Bowl online for free. fuboTV currently offers a 7-day free trial that you can use to watch the Super Bowl online free.Is Super Bowl on Fox or CBS? ›
Super Bowl LVIII will be broadcasted on CBS on Feb. 11, 2024. CBS' last Super Bowl broadcast was in February 2021 when Jim Nantz and Tony Romo were in the booth for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.What is the Super Bowl streaming on? ›
You can live stream the game via ITVX, or alternatively subscribe to NOW TV or NFL Game Pass. The game will be live on Fox in the United States or streamed live on Fox's official website, provided you have your TV login information to hand.Is the Super Bowl on NBC and ABC? ›
Therefore, CBS benefitted from holding rights to the Super Bowl and the 2021 NCAA final Four, and NBC was allowed to pair its Super Bowl coverage with the 2022 Winter Olympics. Under the four-network rotation that will take effect in 2024, the league awarded NBC the Super Bowl during Winter Olympic years.Is the Super Bowl on regular NBC? ›
Watch Super Bowl 56 on Feb. 13, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. on NBC4, Peacock and the NBC Sports App.What channel is the Super Bowl NBC Sports? ›
12 -- the second Sunday of the month. The game will be played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (the stadium will host its third Super Bowl and first since 2015). Super Bowl LVI will be broadcast on Fox at 6:30 p.m.Who is broadcasting Super Bowl 57? ›
What TV channel is the 2023 Super Bowl on? FOX will broadcast Super Bowl 57.
Is Super Bowl on basic cable? ›
You can watch and stream Super Bowl LVII on Fox, which is available on most cable and satellite packages. If you have a spotty internet connection or don't want to bother with signing up with a streaming service, this is the best option for you.Is the Super Bowl on CBS Sports? ›
Although the game won't be airing on CBS, we will have plenty of coverage for you, especially leading up to kickoff. If you love to spend Super Bowl Sunday watching as much pregame coverage as possible, we'll have you covered.Can I watch the Super Bowl on Fox Sports for free? ›
And, of course, if you have an over-the-air antenna, you can watch the Super Bowl on Fox's broadcast TV network, which is technically still free. Enjoy the game!Has the Super Bowl ever been on ABC? ›
1982–1989. As part of the renewal of the NFL's television contract in 1982, ABC was put in the Super Bowl rotation for the first time, giving it the broadcast rights to Super Bowl XIX in 1985.Is Super Bowl 2022 on CBS? ›
CBS and NBC have agreed to swap their next Super Bowl dates, the New York Post and Variety reported Wednesday. CBS will now air the 2021 game and NBC the 2022 game. CBS will become the first network to air two Super Bowl games in three years since FOX aired the game in 1997 and 1999.Is the Super Bowl on ABC or NBC? ›
Therefore, CBS benefitted from holding rights to the Super Bowl and the 2021 NCAA final Four, and NBC was allowed to pair its Super Bowl coverage with the 2022 Winter Olympics. Under the four-network rotation that will take effect in 2024, the league awarded NBC the Super Bowl during Winter Olympic years.What channel is the Super Bowl on 2022 and time? ›
Watch Super Bowl 56 on Feb. 13, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. on NBC4, Peacock and the NBC Sports App.