After playing some of the best defense in the NFL all season long, nobody made a play for the Birds in Super Bowl 57.

The most critical moments, however, all came down to an inability to handle Kansas City’s pre-snap motion, specifically in the red zone. The Chiefs scored twice off fake inside motion, which saw two guys get wide open. The first was Kadarius Toney:

This is man-to-man coverage and the safety is supposed to rotate down and take the motion man while Darius Slay slides back, only the motion guy just fakes it and comes back. It was a storyline that kind of flew under the radar this season, that the Eagles weren’t amazing with motion and misdirection, which you saw on those sweep runs as well. KC used a lot of sideways shit in this game and the DBs and ends did a poor job handling it.

The second TD went to Skyy Moore on the other side of the field. Same concept:

Jonathan Gannon’s coverage here was different. This is a zero blitz, with seven guys going for the quarterback. Same replacement of the safety and the Eagles just get cooked on the fake.

Dan Orlovsky did a great job of breaking this down:

It’s hard to say if a generic “adjustment” would have made a difference, at least on the first score. The Toney fake was so good that I’m not sure Slay or Maddox would have gotten there even if they weren’t rotating and replacing the safety. The coverage was obviously different on the second TD, but the nickel concept was the same, and Maddox just started his rotation so early that Moore was in acres of space as soon as the ball was snapped.

The more I watch this stuff back, the more it feels like an Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy master class than anything else. Especially in the red zone. We can bitch about Gannon and the defense all we want, but Big Red was playing chess better than that chick from The Queen’s Gambit. That was one of the best offensive performances you’ll ever see. High-level Xs and Os across the board. I honestly think the Chiefs would have cooked all 32 defensive coordinators in the NFL last night.