You've probably already been caught up on the Super Bowl's greatest highlights. There were a lot of them, after all. You've also probably taken a stance on the controversial holding call against James Bradberry that set the Chiefs in position to run down the clock for the game-winning field goal by Harrison Butker.
Now, let's take what we've learned and project forward. Here, we'll break down some of the biggest takeaways from Super Bowl LVII... and what they might teach us about the 2023 NFL season to come.
There were a lot of people who weren't sold on Jalen Hurts as an NFL quarterback even heading into this season. He silenced critics, helping lead the Philadelphia Eagles to their second Super Bowl in the last six seasons.
Despite the fact that he didn't walk away with a ring, I'd argue he made one hell of a case for Super Bowl MVP, totaling 374 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. There literally wasn't a touchdown scored that he wasn't responsible for, either as a passer or a runner.
Here's how Hurts performed (and ranked among other QBs*) in various passing metrics in 2022:
Passer rating — 101.5 (4th)
Turnover-worthy play rate — 1.9% (2nd-lowest)
Yards per pass attempt — 8.0 (3rd)
Completion percentage — 66.5% (9th)
TDs on pass attempts of 20+ yards — 11 (Tied-11th)
Stop discounting Jalen Hurts. I'm talking to you, Robbie Gould.
*Among QBs with 200+ dropbacks
I'm honestly kind of at a loss to explain Kadarius Toney's usage vs. production. His biggest issue since he was drafted 20th overall in 2021 has been injuries. But still, Toney (ankle, hamstring) was removed from the final injury report and yet played five total offensive snaps.
His limited playing time will probably get lost in the celebration of the touchdown he scored (on his lone target of the day). Oh, and there's the fact that he literally broke the record for the longest punt return in Super Bowl history during one of his TWO snaps on special teams in the outing. He's a splash
He played just 139 total snaps in his 10 games with the Chiefs this season. For reference, Travis Kelce played 156 snaps in the postseason alone. Sure, we can argue that he plays a much more integral role in the offense. I'm just also here to argue that Toney's efficiency in the snaps he's played has earned him a bigger role. He's explosive. He's athletic. I'd be willing to say there might not be a more fun player to watch once he has the balls in his hands. So, what gives?
Given his encouraging production in the limited touches he's received, I'm cautiously optimistic about what the future might hold for him with the Kansas City Chiefs. There's still just... something weird about it.
It's the Isiah Pacheco show now, y'all. I really thought there was a chance we'd see former first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire take the field for Super Bowl LVII after being activated from IR. But nah. He was a healthy scratch.
Pacheco was the subject of tremendous preseason hype, and for good reason. Despite his seventh-round draft pedigree, he led the team in rushing and finished with 960 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 5.0 yards per rush attempt through the regular and postseason, finishing 10th in the NFL in all-purpose yards, including his involvement as a returner.
If the Chiefs do decide to move on from CEH amid the success they've found with Pacheco, it's not entirely clear what kind of return they might see for him. It's an interesting year for the running back position in free agency, after all, with names like Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Tony Pollard, and David Montgomery (among many others) all set to hit the market.
Perhaps we'll see him land with a team that has more luxury with their draft picks than cap space, with teams like the Panthers or Browns coming to mind.