GLENDALE, Ariz. — There are many reasons why Haason Reddick and the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t record a sack, managed just one tackle for loss, and allowed 24 second-half points in their 38-35 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57.
The Chiefs’ offensive line played arguably their best game of the season. Game MVP Patrick Mahomes was as elusive as ever on one good leg. And the Super Bowl field at State Farm Stadium had about as much traction as a greased skating rink.
Haason Reddick Rips Super Bowl Field
From basically the game’s first snap, players from both teams were slipping when they tried to cut. Potential completions fell incomplete. Big plays died on the vine. And, as Reddick rightly pointed out here late Sunday night, would-be sacks never had a chance to materialize.
“I’m not gonna lie,” said Reddick, who led the Eagles with 16 sacks in the regular season. “It was the worst field I ever played on.”
Reddick, who changed his cleats during the game but still struggled to find his footing, was just getting started.
“It was very disappointing,” he continued. “You know. It was the NFL. You would think it would be better so, you know, we can get some better play. But it is what it is, man. I don’t know. Maybe the league will look at it and tell Arizona they got to step their stuff up. It’s not my decision to make. It’s not my call to make. I mean whatever it is.”
Reddick, when asked how hard it was to rush the passer when there wasn’t consistent traction, replied:
“It was hard man. I beat my man a couple of times, just trying to turn a corner, slipping. I just couldn’t turn the corner. It is what it is, man, and I make no excuses. They won. I congratulate them. They’re champs. They should enjoy it. We got next year.”
Reddick and everyone else who watched the game surely must hope next year will feature a better pitch.
Much had been made about the field prior to the game. It was the one and only time that field was used. The turf was made up of a new grass called Tahoma 31, a Bermuda/rye hybrid strain developed with funding by the United States Golf Association that was supposed to hold up better.
There were all kinds of theories why it did not.
“Desert,” ESPN analyst Booger McFarland wrote on Twitter. “Warm during the day. Cools down rapidly. Creating moisture on the field Especially with the roof open. Same problem in Las Vegas with grass outside/inside.”
Added former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli: “A lot of players slipping tonight — mostly in painted areas of field (not uncommon on grass). However, those #SuperBowl logos are HUGE & cover almost all grass between hashes from 17-yd line to 33-yd line Looks like much more paint than usual. Potential player safety issue? #NFL”
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