Super Bowl LVII Preview

Analyzing this year’s Super Bowl. Who will win the big game?


The big game is finally here. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs and NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles will face off this Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Arizona to decide the Super Bowl LVII champion. Despite a wild regular season filled with upsets, the playoffs have gone mostly as expected. Only two teams won on the road in the wildcard through the championship rounds – the Giants and Bengals. In the end, both number one seeds made it to the Super Bowl. Let’s take a deep dive into this matchup and see if I can get a prediction right for once.

Let’s start off with the Chiefs. Kansas City has had Super Bowl expectations for five years running. They have made it to the AFC championship in all of those years, and this is their third trip to the big game in that time. They beat the 49ers in Super Bowl LIX but lost to the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has also won two MVP awards, including this year, during this dominant five year period. The Chiefs traded star wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins last offseason after failing to agree on an extension, but Kansas City’s offense has not missed a beat. Lead by Mahomes and future hall of fame tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs passing game is one of the most prolific units in the league. Their running game has also improved as the season has progressed, as rookie Isiah Pacheco established himself as the lead back on early downs and veteran Jerick McKinnon established himself as a quality passing-down back. The Chiefs also boast one of the league’s best offensive lines headlined by center Creed Humphrey and guards Joe Thuney and Trey Smith. Collectively, KC’s offense is a well-oiled machine. However, their defense, although solid, is more vulnerable. Although they have above average players at pretty much every position, they lack game changing star talent outside of defensive tackle Chris Jones. While Jones does elevate the pass rush, Kansas City’s biggest strength on defense is their secondary. Their three starting cornerbacks – L’Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie, and Jaylen Watson – are all young and athletic while veteran Justin Reid is a steady presence at safety. Overall, the Chiefs have an elite offense and a solid defense. They are well deserving of making it to the Super Bowl. However…

The Eagles are a super team. They went 14-3 in the regular season, and two of their losses came without starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. They then steamrolled their way through the NFC playoffs, beating the Giants and 49ers by a combined score of 59-14. Their roster is flooded with stars. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has proven all the doubters wrong with his development this year. Wide receivers A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith are a deadly duo. Their running backs are only okay, but Hurts significantly elevates the running game with his elite mobility and speed. Philly’s offensive line may be one of the best football has ever seen, with future hall of famers in center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson anchoring a group that also includes budding superstars in left tackle Jordan Mailata and left guard Landon Dickerson. This offense is virtually unstoppable. Even the great 49ers defense had no success against them. Getting pressure on Hurts is basically impossible given his mobility and great pass protection. The Eagles defense is also stacked. Their defensive line is filled with great pass rushers and run stuffers. Edge rushers Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, and Robert Quin, as well as defensive tackles Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Ndamukong Suh, and Linval Joseph, are all significant contributors. This d-line is incredibly deep and diverse. The Eagles only play four defensive linemen at once, so they have the luxury of rotating in different guys to keep everyone fresh and healthy. The secondary is headlined by lockdown cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry, not to mention safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, the NFL’s interception leader this season. As you can see, this roster is loaded.

Both teams are very well coached. Chiefs head coach Andy Reed has more playoff experience than Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, but I’m not sure it will matter. Mahomes is playing through a high ankle sprain he suffered in the divisional round, but I don’t expect it to hinder him too much considering how well he played in the AFC championship game and that he has had a week off to rest since then. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman won’t play due to an injury to his pelvis, but the Chiefs are otherwise healthy. All 22 of the Eagles week one starters played in the NFC championship game, and they all should do the same in the Super Bowl. Both these teams are obviously great, so I expect this to be an entertaining game. However, the Eagles have too much roster talent to ignore, and their coaching has impressed me all season long. I predict that Philly will edge Kansas City for their second Super Bowl title in six years. Fly Eagles fly!

Prediction: Eagles 30, Chiefs 24