Super Bowl 2023: Under-the-radar chiefs who could prove important against Eagles in pursuit of Lombardi Trophy

With the NFL’s two top seeds — the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles — heading to Super Bowl LVII, it’s going to be a dream game on Sunday. The game will also feature some of the biggest names in the NFL, including the league’s two All-Pro quarterbacks, first-team Patrick Mahomes and second-team Jalen Hurts. The game between the Chiefs and the Eagles is teeming with top-flight talent.

However, championships are not always won by the expected heroes.

No one would have thought it would be Chiefs running back Damien Williams scoring the go-ahead and game-winning touchdowns in the Chiefs’ Super LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers to wrap up the 2019 season. Super Bowl bring out unsung heroes and Super Bowl LVII will likely offer the same kinds of surprises.

With that in mind, here are five Chiefs who could emerge as surprise keys to Sunday’s Super Bowl victory:

Some of the element of surprise has faded from the former Green Bay Packer since he had season highs in receiving yards (116) and receptions (six) in the Championship. AFC, but the freshman leader may still receive the under-the-radar tag. since he now has as many playoff receiving touchdowns (two) as he had in the regular season. If Valdes-Scantling makes an impact on Sunday, it will likely be on the reception of a deep ball from Patrick Mahomes as he leads the NFL in yards per strike since entering the league in 2018 averaging 17.2 yards per strike. reception. MVS is a big-play threat as 76.2% of his catches have gone for a first down or touchdown, third-most in the NFL behind only Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (80%) and Florida wide receiver Browns Amari Cooper (78.2%).

First-team All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive end Frank Clark shine as the guys rack up sacks and pressures, but that defense doesn’t hold without Nick Bolton, whose 180 tackles this season were second-best plus the entire NFL, just four shy of the league lead. He is the glue of Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, having played 98% of snaps defensively this season. His brilliance could come with the Eagles facing fourth and short with the game on hold because Philadelphia, thanks to quarterback Jalen Hurts, is the best quarterback team in the NFL. They went 31/35 on QB sneaks, the most conversions and attempts in the NFL. No other team has attempted more than 20 or converted more than 17. Bolton being able to make a possession-ending tackle on Hurts could turn the game around.

Playing the Eagles will be the ultimate test for the Chiefs defensive front as Philadelphia has the best offensive line in the nfla group that Aaron Rodgers called “ohne of the best of the last 20 years. “For Kansas City to emerge victorious, the Chiefs need their defensive line to shock the world. As already mentioned above, Jones and Clark are the stars of the Chiefs’ pass rush, but rookie George Karlaftis, the 30th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, will likely have to play like a Pro Bowler He’s shown some promise lately, recording at least a half sack in seven of the last nine games, and he’s only one of two rookies to have at least six sacks (6.0) and eight tackles for loss (eight) this season, joining Detroit Lions second overall pick and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson Karlaftis has also shown better chops in this area with at least one tackle for loss in eight of the last nine games.

The usually reliable Chiefs kicker had the worst season of his career, making less than 88% of his field goals for the first time, converting 18 of 24 attempts in the regular season, good for a rate of 75%. However, he has shown his ability to pull through in critical moments, connecting on his 10 kicks during the playoffs this year, a perfect 5 for 5 on field goals and extra points, including the game winner from 45 yards. with three seconds left in the AFC Championship Game to send Kansas City to the Super Bowl. Due to his struggles this regular season, he deserves to be included as an under-the-radar X-factor. Both of the Chiefs’ playoff wins have come by one possession, so Butker has a very real chance of being called on to make a difference come Super Bowl Sunday.

McDuffie, the Chiefs’ 21st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, suffered a hamstring injury that caused him to miss six games this season. However, his 51% completion percentage allowed in the regular season ranked fifth among rookies with 25 or more passes thrown their way. He’s yet to have an interception in his career, so getting his first could tip the big game over to Kansas City. The Chiefs secondary will have to play a near-perfect game to slow down AJ Brown, Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith, putting McDuffie in a pivotal role on Super Bowl Sunday.

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