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Questionable penalty call deflates final minutes of Super Bowl game

The penalty with less than two minutes remaining meant that Super Bowl 57 had a bit of an anticlimactic finish.

GLENDALE, Ariz — A questionable late penalty on Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry with less than two minutes remaining meant that a scintillating Super Bowl 57 had a bit of an underwhelming finish.

Kansas City won its second Super Bowl in four years by beating the Eagles 38-35 on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona. It was an exciting back-and-forth game that saw the Chiefs claw back from a 10-point halftime deficit.

One of the few gripes for football fans — particularly Eagles fans — was the anti-climatic finish.

The Chiefs were driving and faced third-and-8 at the Eagles 15-yard line with 1:54 remaining when Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw incomplete to JuJu Smith-Schuster. 

But officials flagged Bradberry for defensive holding, which negated the incompletion and, more importantly, gave the Chiefs a first down.

Credit: AP
A Philadelphia Eagles supporter reacts at the end of the Super Bowl 57 NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Philadelphia. The Chiefs won 38-35. (AP Photo/Joe Lamberti)

Replays showed that Bradberry made light contact with Smith-Schuster, but it didn't appear to affect the play. Still, the cornerback said he wasn't upset at officials for the call.

“It was a holding. I tugged his jersey," Bradberry said. "I was hoping they would let it slide.”

Kansas City was able to essentially run out the clock from that point forward. Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon made a smart move on the ensuing down, purposefully sliding 2 yards short of the goal line instead of scoring a touchdown.

Mahomes then was able to kneel twice as the clock ran down after the Eagles used their final timeout.

Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining that proved to be the winner.

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