Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles (Chiefs +1.5)
The number 1 ranked offense in the NFL goes head to head with the number 2 ranked defense. It’s a heavyweight clash for the sports’ biggest prize – the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVII.
Of course, Patrick Mahomes has been here before – this is the 3rd time he’s led the Chiefs to the Super Bowl in the past 4 years. For Jalen Hurts and the majority of the Eagles team, this is a new experience – although they do still have a handful of players who were part of Philadelphia’s Super Bowl winning team 5 years ago. The Philly Special is a play-call enshrined in history.
The Eagles have the best record in the NFL this season. They’ve only lost 3 games – and only once when Jalen Hurts has started at QB. Patrick Mahomes is operating on a bad wheel, with a high ankle sprain – but that didn’t stop him in the AFC Championship game.
Philadelphia’s offense has been explosive, averaging 28.1 points per game. They finished the season ranked in the top 10 in all major offensive categories – as potent running the ball as they are through the air. Yet, despite those impressive figures, the Chiefs raise the bar – ranked no. 1 overall, no. 1 in points scored (29.2 ppg) and no. 1 in passing – that’s despite trading away star wide receiver, Tyreek Hill last off season!
If there is a weakness in the Eagles, it maybe defending the run – ranked 16th this season – they brought in veteran help in Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Their pass rush though, is the best in the league with 78 sacks this season- just 5 short of the all time record held by the ’84 Bears. If Kansas City are to win this game, how they hold up against the Eagles’ pass rush will be critical.
The Chiefs’ defense is often overshadowed by their explosive offense but they’ve shown in the playoffs, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Chris Jones and Frank Clark are big time players on the defensive line, while a re-shaped secondary more than held it’s own against the Bengals, making game changing plays!
The bottom line is these are the two best teams in the NFL – there aren’t many weaknesses on either side of the ball. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to which QB can make the most plays. Jalen Hurts has been outstanding but his ability to play as a pure pocket passer remains in question. If Kansas City can make him, one dimensional in this game, they have a real chance.
Likewise, if Chiefs rookie running back, Isiah Pacheco can bring a physical running game and help keep the Chiefs out of 3rd & long situations, Philadelphia’s much vaunted pass rush will be negated.
Experience is key in these situations. Ahead of the Conference Championship games I mentioned the Chiefs are chasing history. Even with a bad wheel, Mahomes found a way and proved he can still make plays when needed with his legs.
Patrick Mahomes will be named the NFL MVP before this game gets underway and on Sunday night, he will prove why. If you’re looking for a pointer, Kansas City are playing in white jerseys in Super Bowl LVII. Over the last 18 Super Bowls, the team in white jerseys are 15-3. However, 2 of those 3 teams to win in coloured jerseys came in the past 5 years – the Chiefs and the Eagles!
PICK: Kansas City Chiefs +1.5