After another storied NFL season, the road ends in Glendale, Ariz. on Sunday, as the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles will face the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Both teams so far have had storied seasons, but let’s start with the odds-on favorite, the Philadelphia Eagles. After a season in 2021 that ended in a wild card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, general manager Howie Roseman went all in, making various offseason moves to make the Eagles a perennial contender. First, Roseman and the Eagles’ front office have played a critical role in free-agent signings and re-signings. Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox, the anchors of the offensive and defensive lines, both re-signed with the Birds. In addition, pickups Haason Reddick and James Bradberry (a Samford alum) signed relatively team-friendly deals. Not to mention trades and in-season moves (A.J. Brown, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Linval Joseph, and Ndamukong Suh) that helped bolster an already stellar roster.
The story of the team this year, other than Roseman’s stellar moves, has been the depth and quarterback play of the Eagles as a whole. Jalen Hurts has been nothing short of a revelation, as the Alabama/Oklahoma product is an MVP candidate with 35 total touchdowns and over 4,000 yards of offense accounted for. However, the team’s overall depth may be the key against the Chiefs. Besides the quarterback and tight end positions, the Eagles seemingly have an advantage at every position head-to-head with Kansas City. The defense is full of perennial talent, and A.J. Brown has been the game-breaking receiver Eagles fans have been yearning for since Harold Carmichael played in Philly. If the Eagles were to win the Super Bowl, it would be a testament to their depth and Howie Roseman’s management of a storied franchise.
However, let’s not sleep on Kansas City. The Chiefs have arguably the best quarterback in the league, after all. Patrick Mahomes is electric; whenever he touches the ball, something magical happens. If he finishes with a win this year, it could arguably be his best season yet. This is mainly because of his lack of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Other than Travis Kelce, who continues to be unguardable, Mahomes has very little talent to throw to. Mecole Hardman was recently put on the IR. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Kadarius Toney have shown promise but do not have the same game-breaking ability that Tyreek Hill had in a Chiefs uniform. Furthermore, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been hurt all season, leaving a void in the RB room and putting more of an onus on Mahomes to perform. Despite the adversity, Mahomes has continued to perform at the highest level, accounting for 44 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards of total offense. He is right there with Jalen Hurts in the MVP race, but a dark cloud hangs over Mahomes heading into Super Bowl Sunday. The quarterback has been dealing with a lingering ankle injury that has hampered his mobility. If Mahomes is not 100%, the Eagles’ crippling pass rush could create havoc, so the hope for Chiefs Nation is that QB1 is ready to go for the big game.
Overall, the Chiefs-Eagles matchup is set to be another Super Bowl for the ages. With a top-notch quarterback battle, stars on both sides of the ball, and two great head coaches in Andy Reid for KC and Nick Sirianni for Philly, I can see this game coming down to the wire. However, I believe that the depth and grit of the Eagles will be too much for a thin Chiefs team to overcome. FINAL SCORE: Eagles 27, Chiefs 20