Neither Hurts nor Mahomes celebrated their conference championship victories excessively two weeks ago. They both know that the main objective is pending. One more victory will put them a step above almost everyone in a select group.
Mexico City, February 12 (However).– The stadium of glendaleArizona, will receive this Sunday the most important game of football of the year in the United States and one of the most watched events in the world. Two African American quarterbacks will define this duel for the first time in history. It will be the Midwest before the East Coast. Philadelphia against Kansas City. eagles and chiefs will compete for the Vince Lombardi trophy, the highest achievement in the nflin it Super Bowl LVII.
Patrick Lavon Mahomes II, better known as Patrick Mahomes, wants to be the future of American football in the United States. With Tom Brady, the last great quarterback, recently retired, the one born in Texas 27 years ago wants to be the image of a new “dynasty.”
If Brady won seven titles and played until he was 45 years old, Mahomes, with his spectacular throws, his impressive yardage – on the ground and in the air – and his aggressiveness to get out of the bag, seeks to be a successor that is nothing like it but with similar goals: dominate the sport of the oval ball.
This is already the third Super Bowl in four years for Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The first, in 2020, they won. The second, in 2021, they lost precisely to Brady. Now, they return once again to play the last game of the season.
Mahomes, the youngest quarterback in NFL history to start two SBs at 25 years, 143 days, is also the quarterback He passed 10,000 passing yards the fastest, doing it in just 34 games. He is the best in passing percentage (66.03), in games with passes that totaled more than 300 yards (26 so far) and the best passing average in Chiefs history.
The one that emerged at Texas Tech is also the quarterback who reached 70 fastest touchdown passes, getting them in 27 games, two fewer than the legend Dan Marino needed. At Kansas, Mahomes is also the best passing player in playoffsas well as touchdown passes (22), completions (221) and completion percentage (65 percent).
“He should be named the most valuable player (MVP),” declared his coach, Andy Reid, determining two Sundays ago, after finally beating his hitherto black beast: Joe Burrow, and the Cincinnati Bengals after four duels.
His teammate, JuJu Smith-Schuster, was more specific this week. “The reason he’s so good on the court is he plays whoever he’s out there with,” he said of Mahomes. “When he comes out of the bag, the play is just beginning. It is not that it is about to end, it is that it is beginning ”, he added.
In the previous week, Mahomes assured that the ankle injury he suffered against the Jaguars a few weeks ago will not prevent him from playing the most important game of the year. “I definitely move better than I did last week or two weeks ago. So I just try to stick with the treatment and rehab and get closer to 100 percent and then rely on some adrenaline that allows me to do something extra when I’m on the field.”
However, the quarterback added: “We won’t know exactly how he is doing until game day.”
“He’s doing pretty good with his ankle,” Kansas City head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday. “We had a quick workout a few days ago and he moved well. It can actually do almost anything, at least everything the game plan requires it to do.”
HURTS, FROM REJECTED TO FIGURE
Hurts, for his part, made his NFL debut in 2020 as a versatile next-generation quarterback. As the backup to Carson Wentz, he recorded just 12 rushing attempts, one catch and threw just three passes in his first nine games before taking over as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback.
“During my first year here, [la gente] maybe he didn’t even want me here,” Hurts said last Sunday. “But these are things that resolve themselves,” she said. Now, she is aiming for the top prize.
Now, he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl for the fourth time in history. He is just 23 years old and last season he became the youngest quarterback to start a game. playoffs in franchise history. He also holds the team’s all-time record in rushing touchdowns by a team. quarterback in one season, with 13.
If Mahomes is a quarterback “of the future”, Jalen is not far behind: like Cam Newton at the time with the Carolina Panthers, he is a quarterback who is not shy about running with the ball and scoring points if necessary.
“It will be a historic game,” Hurts said of the clash with Mahomes on Monday in the famous opening night of the week leading up to the Super Bowl. “There are a lot of guys out there who maybe tell you to change your position, but it can be done,” he said of being a black quarterback.
“Jalen said it, it is to be part of a historic party. A lot of people before us laid the foundation for this, ”replied Mahomes, who allowed himself to praise Jalen:“ He is a guy who is following the right path, the best thing about him is his way of working ”.
But, like Mahomes, Hurts suffered an injury — in this case to his shoulder — just a few weeks ago that kept him from playing two games in the regular season. The Eagles’ extensive postseason victories have allowed Jalen to bounce back without putting physicality on the line. However, his numbers reflect his little prominence so far in playoffs: Although he has two touchdowns, he accumulates just 275 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
“I know I’ve had to go through a lot personally, but I don’t want to get away from how good this team has been for being united, demanding everyone,” Hurts said after accessing the Super Bowl, where he will seek to match his predecessor in the position, Nick Foles, who was crowned in 2018 against the Patriots.
“When we go through painful moments and difficult moments, we always find a way to overcome them. One aspires to a situation like this. We have a chance to go out there and win it all, so we want to prepare to do it. (…) God only knows what each individual on this team has been able to overcome to come together as a team and do something special as a group. I don’t want to disappoint the one next to me. That makes us all have to give a greater effort, ”he explained.
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE
Fritz Pollard became the first quarterback African-American to compete in the league in 1923, at the height of the Jim Crow laws—which limited their rights and also maintained racial segregation—in the South of the United States. It would take 65 years for Doug Williams to become the first starter to win a Super Bowl in 1988.
The NFL, like the country, has changed. In the current season, 11 African-American quarterbacks started the first week of the regular season. Two made it to the Super Bowl.
Mahomes or Hurts will join, against all wishes, an unfortunate list: that of the quarterbacks African-Americans who started a Super Bowl as starters and lost the title. One of them will join Steve McNair, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson on Sunday night.
the week of #SBLVII It started with everything and we are already one day closer to this great game 🏈🤩
Who will take the precious Vince Lombardi trophy?🤔#NFLMX | #SBOpeningNight | #FlyEaglesFly | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/86m6Y2eZDm
– NFL Mexico (@nflmx) February 7, 2023
Neither Hurts nor Mahomes celebrated their conference championship victories excessively two weeks ago. They both know that the main objective is pending. One more victory will put them a step above almost everyone in a select group. The only thing certain for now is that the winner of Super Bowl LVII will be a quarterback Afro-American.
A DUEL IN THE HEIGHTS
After a decade, the two best teams in the regular season were enshrined in the playoffsso the game on Sunday will be the best possible in the league, according to the statistics: both won 14 games.
However, in the last of the six records of the best in the Super Bowl final, in 2013, it does not bode well for Sunday: the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in a duel where the Malcolm Smith’s team swept the betting favorites from the first quarter.
Super Bowl LVII will have another feature that makes it unprecedented: the Kelce brothers will be the first to meet in the final final in all of history. Both Eagles center Jason Kelce, 35, and Chiefs tight end Travis, 33, are entering their second career game of this kind: one of them will have at least one more title than the other. .
The game will also mark Andy Reid’s personal duel against the Eagles, his former team. The Los Angeles native led the Philadelphia team to Super Bowl XXIX in 2005, where they were defeated by the Patriots, the most successful franchise of the 21st century.
And, while all this is happening, halftime will be illuminated by Rihanna, in the return of one of the most popular artists and singers in the world, who released her last album in 2016 and performed for the last time at the Grammys in 2018. The native of Barbados acted in the film Ocean’s 8introduced her lingerie line and became a mom ever since.
“Ri-Ri” confessed that, in 2019, he had refused to appear at halftime of the Super Bowl, precisely in the years when police brutality against African-Americans and other minorities was being discussed, a debate that led the NFL when quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the US anthem, a gesture that drew applause and endorsement but also strong criticism.
–With information from AP.
Manuel Gonzalez Vargas
Mexico City | 1993. He studied journalism. He currently works as an Editor in the writing of SinEmbargo MX. Before, he was a correspondent for Infobae Mexico, the German Press Agency (dpa) and El País América. He has a personal blog (Notes in the City), a newsletter (Underlined Notes) and a podcast (On the other side of the dream).