Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles was an instant classic. The Chiefs won on a Harrison Butker field goal with under 10 seconds remaining, 38-35.
It had all you can ask for in a big football game. There were multiple lead changes, great individual efforts, and a dramatic, yet controversial finish.
But, there was one big problem. The playing surface was terrible. Players for both teams were slipping and falling down all game, and while it’s hard to point to a particular instance that completely changed the game, it’s fair to say that the game could have been much different had it not been so slippery.
The NFL should be ashamed for this joke of a field for the SUPER BOWL. pic.twitter.com/GgnyYc09M4
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) February 13, 2023
The field conditions at the Super Bowl were an issue and frankly embarrassing considering the magnitude of the game. These are just some examples. pic.twitter.com/Qd7Wjk8WgS
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) February 13, 2023
Both Eagles pass rushers and the Super Bowl MVP QB, Patrick Mahomes, all slipped on this play. The athletes were totally held back because of the field.
Just absolutely mind blowing. pic.twitter.com/AV5YEmAX4w
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) February 13, 2023
So, Ollie Connelly of The Guardian charted all the slips on the field and found it affected the Eagles more than the Chiefs.
I charted slip/sod-gate:
– The Eagles' defense had a player slip on 38% of Patrick Mahomes' dropbacks — five times they had multiple slippages.
– The Chiefs' defense had a player slip on only 14% of Jalen Hurts' dropbacks — with no multiples
— Ollie Connolly (@OllieConnolly) February 14, 2023
Watching the game, it seemed to hurt the Eagles more. The team relies on its pass rush to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. But, they rarely pressured Patrick Mahomes, and never sacked him. The slippery field clearly affected their get-off. Though, I do wonder why Chiefs players were slipping less than the Eagles.
The NFL is going to have to answer questions about the field for a long time it seems like.