How Pederson helped Chiefs beat Eagles in the Super Bowl


GLENDALE, Ariz. — How were they that wide open?

That’s the question Eagles fans were asking in the fourth quarter of their team’s 38-35 Super Bowl LVII loss.

The Chiefs schemed up two touchdown passes to wide open targets early in the fourth quarter, which will be one of the lasting memories from this game.

The plays were nearly identical, just to opposite sides of the field. The first was a 5-yard pass from Patrick Mahomes to Kadarius Toney; the second was a 4-yard pass to Skyy Moore. Those 14 points helped the Chiefs erase a 10-point halftime deficit to win the Super Bowl.

ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky did a great job of breaking down these two huge touchdowns:

Andy Reid’s Chiefs were able to get the Eagles to react to jet motion the way they wanted and then they took advantage of it by faking the jet sweep and having the receiver come back for a wide open look. Like Orlovsky said, the Chiefs wanted to make sure that was how the Eagles would play it. Once they saw it, they made them pay. Twice.

But the Chiefs already had a very good idea how the Eagles would play it. That was something they noticed in film study and brought into the game.

In fact, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic spoke with Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne, who explained just how ready the Chiefs were for the Eagles to overcompensate if presented a jet sweep look.


On Saturday night, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy actually put up a play from the Eagles’ Week 4 game against the Jaguars, when Doug Pederson ran a very similar play with Jaguars receiver Jamal Agnew.

Here’s a look at that play and how it worked against the Eagles back in early October.

Look familiar?

“(Bieniemy) put it on tape and said: ‘Hey, like, if they do this, this guy is wide open. It’s man,’” Henne said, via Dodd. “They’re just trying to protect themselves from the jet sweep and trying to bubble over the top and get an extra player (on the other side of the field). But we faked the jet twice, and they didn’t figure it out.”

Pederson and Bieniemy are former teammates and are both from the Reid coaching tree. The Eagles pride themselves on self-scouting but this was a weakness the Chiefs found and exploited.

Reid and Bieniemy wisely realized that lining up and letting the Chiefs receivers work against the Eagles’ corners was a losing proposition. The Eagles’ corners are better. So they muddied the waters and schemed them open in the red zone. Fantastic coaching.

“Anytime a team gets in the red zone and motions, you gotta be, as a secondary, you gotta communicate well beforehand,” cornerback James Bradberry said. “Because down in the red zone everything is side-to-side, it’s not vertical anymore. And it’s really hard to compete on those side to side plays. We were in a man call and it’s just tough for Avonte (Maddox) to cover that. They called a good play.”

The Chiefs did call a good play. And then they called it again 3 minutes later in the game and the Eagles still weren’t ready for it.

In a game of missed opportunities that will haunt the Eagles for years, put this failure near the top of the list.

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