A bittersweet Sunday awaits us. While the Super Bowl has arrived, it also signals the end of the season. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will clash, as each team battles for their second title in the last five seasons. Philly is coming in as the favorite in this matchup. Both QBs are Texas born and raised, but they’ll put their admiration for the Lonestar State to the side as they duke it out in Glendale, Arizona in Super Bowl 2023.
These two teams were both the one seeds in their respective conferences. Both teams enter this game with just three losses and Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts will likely finish first and second in MVP voting. The Eagles lost a couple of games without Hurts who suffered a shoulder injury towards the end of the year, while the Chiefs took a few weeks to kick start this team and get into gear.
Storylines to Watch:
Patrick Mahomes Ankle – Mahomes went through a high-ankle sprain in the Chiefs first playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played throughout the injury but was clearly hobbling all over the field in their win. The next week against the Cincinnati Bengals, he played again, but it was clear that he was not fully comfortable. A high-ankle sprain typically takes 4-6 weeks to fully recover and Mahomes is sitting at the three-week mark with almost zero time off after playing in two full games. If the Eagles defensive front can get after Mahomes, like how the Bucs did in 2021, the Chiefs could be in serious trouble with a QB who isn’t as mobile as he typically is.
The Kelce Bowl – This will be the first time that two brothers play against each other in a Super Bowl. Jason Kelce, the Eagles center, and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs tight end, won’t line up against each other, but will both be going for the same thing. Each brother already has a Super Bowl ring, but is there any better bragging right than saying you beat your own blood for the greatest trophy in all of sports?
Reid’s Revenge – Andy Reid spent 14 years as the head coach of the Eagles until he was fired in 2012. It felt like a shocking move as Reid was clearly one of the all-time great coaches in the league. He immediately came to Kansas City where he took a struggling team to new heights. He has now hosted five-straight AFC Championship Games and goes for his second Super Bowl title. Reid, who is getting up there in age, could very well call it a career if he can notch one more ring and do it against the team that fired him all those years ago.
Keys to the Game:
Philly: Big Plays – If you want to knock out a team like the Chiefs, you have to punch them in the mouth. Jalen Hurts missed a couple of huge throws against the Niners with A.J. Brown just coming up short on deep routes. If Philly can be aggressive and jump all over KC and minimize their confidence in key situations, they can win.
KC: Get the Ball out Quick – The Mahomes issue is serious, he won’t be moving around all that well and the Eagles will likely bring the pressure throughout the night. If Mahomes can release the ball quickly and hit screens in the backfield or wide receivers on bursts over the middle, this offense will be fine. Taking sacks and adding more damage to the ankle would be the downfall.
Jalen Hurts has struggled in big games in college and in the pros, and this Chiefs team from the staff down is built to win in the moment. They still have the taste of the loss in Super Bowl 55 in their mouths, and I think it gets washed out. Chiefs 31 Eagles 29