The field conditions for the Super Bowl have looked more like an ice rink rather than a grass field.
The NFL, which has spent nearly two years preparing the field for the big game, has rolled the field both in and out of State Farm Stadium over the last couple of days to get the sunshine and nutrients the gridiron needs.
Although the humidity level in the city of Glendale is an arid 13 percent, the field is still moist, and the situation arises for players to lose their footing on the playing surface.
Despite there not being any rain in the forecast for the ball to be wet, the pigskin still goes to the ground every time after a play concludes or even before the center snaps the ball to the signal-caller.
During the Kansas City Chiefs’ second offensive drive following the touchdown to tight end Travis Kelce, quarterback Patrick Mahomes found Kelce, resulting in an Eagles defender sliding and losing his footing.
Before the route, Kelce went in motion, trying to keep the Eagles’ defenders from being set. The tight end made an “S” curve with his route, going from left to right. The defender, who was late to getting to Kelce, was unable to stop and slid as the four-time All-Pro recorded a pass for 22 yards to get the Chiefs down to the Eagles’ 31-yard line with 3:48 left in the first quarter.
Not only would the field be moist, but also the football itself as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts fumbled the football, which was returned by Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton for a 36-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 apiece with 9:39 left in the second quarter.
Hurts could not hold on to the ball before he could start running up the field, leading to the lost fumble.
It’s important for players on both sides to have their footing and have a strong plant foot to execute plays, yet it’s hard to imagine anyone having complete confidence their bottom half won’t give out due to the unpredictability of the field. While we’ve seen some mistakes so far, the most important factor will be keeping players healthy.
Related: Super Bowl 2023 highlights: Eagles take 10-point lead over Chiefs at the half