The first Super Bowl with two black quarterbacks will be remembered
Philadelphia’s first loss to the Eagles: Hurts’s interception and two touchdowns, Smith’s intercept, and a pair of fumbles
It was the first defeat of the season for the Eagles, who were sloppy all evening, and they fell to 8-1 on an night when they were continually affected by turnovers.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw an interception – as well as two touchdowns – and the Eagles lost three fumbles as Philly’s self-inflicted mistakes stunted potential scoring drives.
“I think when you play the way we did tonight, and you play the way we did on all three phases – offense, defense, special teams, coaching – when you play like that,” Sirianni said, “it does seem like everything’s going against you, you create your own luck, and we played like crap.”
Washington was able to only muster two field goals, two punts and an intercept in the second half after being provided a lot of opportunities, and the Eagles never capitalized.
After the Commanders scored a touchdown on their first drive, the Eagles didn’t win again until the second half.
On the final play of the game, Washington’s defense recovered a fumbled punt by Smith, allowing them to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Although Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke didn’t dazzle in the beginning, the victory continues his run of plucky results.
“I don’t know,” Heinicke told the media. “There’s a lot of mistakes I’ve made throughout the games, but again, it’s one thing where if my number’s called and I have to play, let’s go out there and play, and I’m going to try to do the best of my abilities, so we’ll see what happens.”
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Instead, he said, he was rooting for two players: Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes, the starting quarterbacks of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively — both of whom, like Williams, are Black.
First came Philadelphia, which cruised to victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The Eagles had won the game, and Williams sat there waiting.
After a back- and-forth game against Cincinnati, the Kansas City scored in the final seconds to win 23-20.
Williams said that cold chills went through his body when he saw the ball go through the uprights. I had enough water in my eyes and there wasn’t any tears running.
Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback taken in the first round of the draft, he started and won a Super Bowl, and he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“It was just understood that if you were a Black quarterback in college, you were moving to another position [in the NFL]. And it really just came down to systemic racism,” Reid told NPR’s Morning Edition.
For the first time in Super Bowls, both teams will start a Black quarterback. The two players, Mahomes and Hurts, have had superlative seasons. Both are competing for the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award.
Both acknowledged the long history of Black quarterbacks who risked their lives to pave the way for their opportunity this weekend.
“It’s the first time in history that something like this has happened,” said Mahomes. I think it’s going to be a special moment, because so many people paved the way for us, and to be playing with a guy like Jalen who I know is doing it right, I hope lives on forever.
A tribute to Jalen Moon, the first two African American QBs to face each other in a Super-Bowl victory
He said that White players dominated those leadership positions and that Black players were demoted to positions that were perceived to be more physical than intellectual.
The University of Washington came away with a Rose Bowl victory, but nobody showed any interest in him. Moon won five straight titles in the Canadian Football League. After making the switch to the NFL, Moon was named to the Pro Bowl nine times.
“I’m so proud to see Jalen and Patrick as the first 2 African American QBs to face each other in the Super Bowl,” Moon wrote last week when the Eagles and Chiefs advanced to the Super Bowl. “We have come a long way.”
Williams was only scouted by one NFL coach before he graduated from college. He was for a time the lowest-paid starting quarterback in the league. His career ended soon after his Super Bowl heroics.
“At least I was given the opportunity and was able to do something with it,” said Williams, who is now a senior adviser to the president of the Washington Commanders. “It’s a bittersweet situation. But we take the sweet at this particular time.”
By the time you get to that point, there is more of an acknowledgement that these guys are here and can play. And if they can help us win, we need to look to do that,” Reid said.
Other players deserved credit for victories while losing players were blamed for their losses easily. White commentators pondered if the praise had been inflated due to a desire for good publicity after a Black quarterback succeeded.
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Richardson replied, “Good” afterNewton said that he had no tattoos or piercings. We want to keep it that way.” (Another prominent player on the team at the time, a white tight end, had tattoos.)
There is no question that Patrick Mahomes is the greatest quarterback in the history of the game, as he heads for his third Super Bowl appearance and second award in five years as the starter. The possibilities for quarterback play in the NFL have been redefined by his highlight reel heroics.
“It’s like having Michael Jordan out there. He’s your leader,” said Eagles coach Nick Sirianni after the team’s first playoff game last month. “This guy leads. The entire team is brought up with calmness by him. He plays great football. He is tough as they come.
There is still progress left to achieve for Black men in the NFL, said Doug Williams, especially on the sidelines, where coaching staffs have been slower to diversify than rosters.
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The audio interview was edited and produced by Phil and Destinee. Gabe O’Connor and Patrick Jarenwattananon produced and edited the audio interview with Doug Williams.
That has become the rallying cry of the Philadelphia Eagles. The catchphrase which sums up the city’s attitude towards adversity is emblazoned on sweatshirts, billboards and even Lincoln Financial Field as the team prepares for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Philadelphia has more pressure than any other city. The booing and throwing of snowballs by fans at Santa Claus in 1968, which became known as the ‘Baying crowd’, has gone down as one of the worst sporting moments in history.
The second-year starting quarterback for the Eagles has been calm and steady throughout the playoffs as the team seeks to return to the Super Bowl.
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Hurts added: “I’ve put a lot of trust and faith in a female-driven team. I have a team of straight hustlers … They get things done. And that’s how I am on the field and off the field. We’re all trying to accomplish something.”
He needs to spend more time with a singing instructor than in the gym because of his rendition of the Eagles fight song, “Fly, Eagles Fly.”
Averion, Hurts’ father, was the head coach at Channelview High School, where Hurts was a senior, and was the man who helped develop his son’s game.
Averion said in an interview with Disney that his biggest trait wasn’t his running ability or long arm, but his mental capacity.
Hurts says that empowering the women around him is something that goes back to when he saw his mother raise a family while studying for a masters degree.
“I admire anyone who puts their head down and works for what they want. And I know women who do that daily, but they don’t get the same praise as men – they don’t get the praise that they deserve,” Hurts told Sports Illustrated.
There are a lot of women in my life that are hustlers. There are athletes, coaches and women in the business of sports. It is something I see a lot. And they deserve their flowers too. If I say something about it that brings attention to it, then I am all for that.
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Lynn told Sports Illustrated last year that she first got in contact with Hurts via a direct message on Instagram after his final college game, in what she describes as a “total Hail Mary.”
She will become the first Black woman agent to represent an NFL quarterback in the Super Bowl and Hurts says he was drawn to working with Lynn because of her determination.
“I know the agent world in the NFL, and all sports, is very male-dominated,” he told Sports Illustrated. Nicole was really up to date on her stuff. She was prepared. She knew what she was talking about. She was hungry. She was determined.
Many people might have heard of his powerlifting exploits. Having initially began lifting when he was a teenager, Hurts attended powerlifting meets during his high school days.
Steadily though, his on-field performances at college began to earn him wider recognition, especially when he started for the Alabama Crimson Tide as a true freshman, the first to do so for 32 years.
Needing a spark, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban benched Hurts in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa – Tagovailoa led a dramatic comeback which resulted in a 26-23 overtime victory.
The Houston native was forced to play second fiddle behind Tagovailoa in his junior season, coming in for the future Miami Dolphins quarterback on select plays due to his running ability and later in the season when Tagovailoa suffered an injury.
After he declared for the draft, Hurts had his name taken by the Eagles with the 53rd overall pick in the second round. The pick was a surprise to many, with starter Carson Wentz just two years removed from an MVP-level season.
People probably don’t want me drafted in my first year here. It was probably something that happened. He told that organization that it handles itself following the 314-7 win over the 49ers.
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It was a surprise to many. I went through lots of stuff in college and it is my favorite Bible verse. and it kind of stuck with me, John 13:7: ‘You may not know now but later you’ll understand.’ Hopefully, people understand.
The starting job was held by Hurts after the trade away of the head coach. And despite some bumps in the road, he and the rest of the offense showed glimpses of a bright future ahead, finishing with a 9-8 record and one of the most threatening running offenses in the league.
The improvement he’s shown with his throwing ability, paired with his running ability, has made the Eagles offense unstoppable, something they displayed emphatically in their victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship.
“The first time for two [Black quarterbacks] to go head-to-head, that’s uplifting the next generation of quarterbacks,” Hurts said when asked about the significance of the moment.
“That four-year-old, five-year-old kid back in Houston, back in Philly, back in Texas, Louisiana, wherever across the world, it shows that regardless of what someone may say or have an opinion about you, you can do it.
Individually, Hurts has been recognized for his stellar season, being named as one of the five finalists for the NFL’s most prestigious individual accolade, the Most Valuable Player award.
“I know I’ve been through a lot personally, but I don’t want to steer away from the direction of how good this team has been at playing together, being together and challenging one another.
He said that he didn’t do all that work for no reason. I put all this work in to be able to have opportunities like this. It will be a good one.
To try and play clean football and play together, that is what we want to do. We are here to finish the job.
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A remarkable rise for a second-round draft pick who was doubted even at the beginning of this season. Handling pressure isn’t for everybody, but, come rain or shine, as Hurts says: “It’s a Philly thing.”
Kansas City safety Bryan Cook said that each time he watches Hurts play, his size and strength stand out, and it often makes Cook think back to Hurts’s massive squat total.
Cook was laughing while he said that the amount of weight was ridiculous. “So he’s naturally going to do things that Patrick Mahomes not going to do.”
Equipped with one of the best offensive lines in the N.F.L. and helped by the off-season acquisition of receiver A.J. Brown through a trade, the Eagles had one of the most balanced offenses in the league. Philadelphia ranked fifth in rushing yards per game (147.6) and ninth in passing yards (241.5) in the regular season. The Eagles’ offense forced defenses to honor those threats by allowing Hurts to make decisions with run-pass-option plays. R.P.O’s allow quarterbacks to hand the ball off to running backs, keep the ball and run it themselves, or throw it to a receiver, depending on the defensive look. The Eagles used the R.P.O. on a league-leading 185 plays in the regular season, according to Pro Football Reference.