By Jibriel Taha
The final two former Cardinal remaining took aim at a Super Bowl LV appearance this weekend but ultimately neither were able to advance to the championship.
Defensive tackle Harrison Phillips ’18 and defensive end Trent Murphy ’14 of the Buffalo Bills went into Kansas City hoping to secure Buffalo’s first Super Bowl appearance since the 1993-94 season. Despite capitalizing on a muffed punt to take an early 9-0 lead, the Bills could not handle the Chiefs as quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the electrifying Kansas City offense on a 38-6 run. The Bills’ last-ditch efforts made the final score a respectable 38-24 as Phillips recorded two tackles in the loss. He finished with 27 tackles on the year including the postseason, while Murphy, who was a healthy scratch this past weekend, recorded 19 tackles this season including the postseason.
Kansas City claimed their second-straight AFC title and will look to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the 2003-04 and 2004-05 New England Patriots.
In the Chiefs’ path will be the man who led those Patriots teams: now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. His Buccaneers took home the NFC Championship on Sunday with a 31-26 road win over the Green Bay Packers. Brady will make his 10th career Super Bowl appearance on Feb. 7.
More Cardinal are expected to join the NFL ranks next season; cornerback Paulson Adebo ’21, offensive tackle Walker Little ’21, wide receiver Simi Fehoko ’21 and quarterback Davis Mills ’21 are among those who have declared for the draft. The draft is set to begin on April 29.