Super Bowl Preview: Chiefs vs Eagles

As the second Sunday in February approaches, it is time for the biggest sporting event in the US: the Super Bowl. This year, the Kansas City Chiefs will play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Star quarterback and MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes will try to lead his high powered offense to a win over a remarkably well-rounded Eagles team. 

To get to the Super Bowl, the Chiefs won an exciting AFC championship over the Cincinnati Bengals, snapping a three game losing streak against their AFC rivals. Bengals QB Joe Burrow fought back in the second half to tie the game, after his offensive line allowed four sacks in the first half. In the fourth quarter, Mahomes fought through a sprained ankle he sustained in the divisional round to scramble for a critical first down. A penalty added on to that play set up an easy field goal to win the game.

The Eagles dealt with less drama in their 31-7 beatdown of the 49ers in the NFC championship. Young QB Jalen Hurts led the Eagles, while the 49ers were stymied after QB Brock Purdy injured his elbow in the first quarter. Purdy was already the 3rd string QB, so 4th string Josh Johnson came in for his first ever playoff appearance. He was taken out to be evaluated for a concussion after a hard tackle, and the 49ers were left without a QB. Purdy came back in, but could not throw, and their run game was snuffled by the Eagles top-notch defense.

Image courtesy of Leo Metzger

During the past two weeks, the Chief’s priority has been to heal up and have several key players healthy enough to play the Eagles. Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, wide receivers Kadarius Toney, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Mecole Hardman are all dealing with injuries. In addition, linebacker Willie Gay and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed were both injured against the Bengals.

On Sunday, the Eagles must find a way to stop Mahomes. The Eagle’s pass rush could be key, as it averaged 4.1 sacks per game this season. They led the NFL in pass rush win rate, and given Mahomes is nursing a sore ankle, a few sacks could decide the game. They will also be trying to revive their dormant takeaway rate, which led the league early in the season. 

On the Chief’s sideline, their red zone defense is arguably their weakest link. They ranked 31st in that area during the regular season, while the Eagles offense ranked 3rd in red zone offense. The Chiefs will likely rely on Mahomes’ offense to overcome their defensive deficiencies. 

This Super Bowl has been highly anticipated around school all week, and junior Joe Pasternack is looking forward to seeing who can execute and win on Sunday. 

“I think the Chiefs are going to win,” Pasternack said. “They have the better quarterback, and I don’t think the Eagles are going to be able to keep up with them.”

 The game is scheduled for 3:30 on Sunday, February 12, and will be played in Glendale, Arizona. The Eagle’s are the slight favorites, but beware all who bet against Mahomes and the Chiefs.