How do the Chiefs and Eagles Stack Up Against Each Other in Super Bowl LVII?
As of this morning, the Eagles are favored to beat the Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII. Philadelphia and Kansas City each went 14-3 this season.
Still, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are playing in their third Super Bowl in the last four seasons. Plus, they’ve got the nod in the coaching department. At least when it comes to experience.
So, why is the money with Philadelphia this Sunday?
Let’s look at how the two teams stack up against each other in each position group. As a heads up, we’re going to look at this today, we will have a preview and prediction tomorrow, and on Saturday, we will have paths to victory posts for each team.
Jalen Hurts was darn good this season. So good that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said this week that Hurts has nothing left to prove to earn a contract extension.
Still, Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes. Even on a bum ankle Mahomes has led the Chiefs to victories over the Jaguars and Bengals to get the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. With two weeks of rest since the AFC title game, the ankle is almost a non-issue.
So, I’ve got to go Chiefs in this one. And it wasn’t a hard call — no offense to Hurts, who has been phenomenal this season.
Offensive Skill Players
Travis Kelce is the best tight end on the planet. He might be the best of all time when it’s all said and done. But outside of Kelce, the Chiefs struggle to stack up against Philly’s offensive weapons.
Isiah Pacheco and Jerrick McKinnon have stepped up in the postseason. Depth players like Skyy Moore have done a decent job. But the offense was drastically different when Mahomes lost JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, and Kadarius Toney in the AFC title game.
On the other hand, the Eagles are loaded with playmakers on offense. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are among the league’s best receiving tandems. Dallas Goedert is excellent. Miles Sanders scored two touchdowns in the NFC title game. Boston Scott also seems to find his way into the end zone. Oh, and don’t forget about Kenneth Gainwell.
This one goes to the Eagles; again, it wasn’t close.
The Chiefs’ offensive line is one of the best in the league. Creed Humphrey is sensational. Kansas City’s offensive line ranked fourth in the league in PFF’s final offensive line rankings.
But the Eagles’ offensive line has been downright dominant this season from the word go. Philadelphia ranked No. 1 in PFF’s offensive line rankings during the preseason and never relinquished the top spot. Lane Johnson didn’t allow a sack or a hit all season long and surrendered nine hurries across 551 pass-blocking snaps.
However, Philadelphia’s line was the most penalized in football. They were called for 44 penalties this season. So, discipline will be paramount for the Eagles’ o-line on Sunday.
Well, this one really isn’t even a discussion.
Philadelphia’s defensive line was a primary contributor to one of the most prolific pass rush units the NFL has ever seen.
Chris Jones and the Chiefs’ defensive line are nothing to scoff at. Still, I’m taking Philadelphia’s defensive line in the talent and depth departments.
The two teams are pretty evenly matched here. However, T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White give the Eagles a slight advantage.
Edwards 81.1 PFF grade ranked seventh among linebackers this season, and White finished 37th with a 65.5 rating. Nick Bolton and Willie Gay ranked 15th and 32nd with grades of 74.7 and 68.3, respectively.
Slight edge for Philly here, in my opinion.
Finally, a spot where I can comfortably say that the Chiefs have the edge beyond the quarterback position. Darius Slay and James Bradberry were solid this season, but Philadelphia’s safeties leave some to be desired.
As for the Chiefs, L’Jarious Sneed and rookie Trent McDuffie graded out in the top 25 among cornerbacks, with Sneed ranking 10th and McDuffie ranking 21st. But how McDuffie has played in the playoffs, particularly in the AFC title game, has been very impressive.
Justin Reid and Juan Thornhill at safety for Kansas City were the tiebreaker for me here.
Tommy Townsend and Harrison Butker are one of the best punter-kicker tandems in the league. Townsend led the league in net punt yards (45.6), and Butker is a career 88.2 percent field goal kicker.
Rick Gosselin ranks the league’s 32 teams on special teams. Teams are ranked in 22 kicking-game categories and assigned points according to their standing – one for best, 32 for worst.
The Eagles ranked 31st and 32nd, respectively, in those rankings for context. But I’m going with the eye test. Give me Butker, Townsend, and the rest of the Chiefs special teams by a hair.