Why the Eagles will take down Mahomes, Chiefs

  • The two best football teams deservedly meet in Super Bowl LVII on February 12 in Arizona.
  • Eagles-Chiefs should be a great game, but Philadelphia has the advantage thanks to its offensive and defensive lines.
  • Kansas City will need an epic game from Patrick Mahomes to deny Philly, which it has proven capable of.

Super Bowl LVII has all the makings of an instant classic.

Football’s two best all-year teams — the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs — are expected to battle it out for the right to call themselves champions.

Bettors have this game pretty close to a draw, with the Eagles only slight favorites over the Chiefs heading into game week.

While it should be a close game as long as both teams play to their abilities, the Eagles have the advantage on both offensive and defensive lines, and that should be the difference in Super Bowl Sunday.

The Eagles offensive line was the best unit in football all season and showed no signs of stopping during the playoffs.

Philadelphia’s offensive line is a juggernaut in every position. Lane Johnson was named All-Pro tackle this year, and across from him is Australian-born rising star Jordan Mailata, one of the most fearsome players to ever dress in green and white.

Jordan Mailata enters the field before a game against the New York Giants.

Jordan Mailata enters the field before a game against the New York Giants.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Veteran center Jason Kelce, who was named an All-Pro for the fifth time in his career this season and is the beating heart of the unit, holds the line together.

Over two playoff games, playing tough rushers like Nick Bosa of San Francisco and Kayvon Thibodeaux of the Giants, that offensive line has been perfect.

The talent on this line not only protects quarterback Jalen Hurts, but the unit also anchors one of the best rushing attacks in recent memory. Including the playoffs, the Eagles have now rushed for 39 touchdowns on the year, more than any team in NFL history, and are expected to find the end zone many more times in the Super Bowl.

Nowhere was the Eagles’ offensive line dominance more evident than in their stealth quarterback execution. This year, Philadelphia turned what might seem like a boring play into a masterpiece and converted third and fourth and short at an astonishing rate.

Between a dominant rushing offense and elite pass catchers in AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert, the Eagles offense is well positioned to score in the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs’ defense is fierce, and defensive tackle Chris Jones has been involved in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation all season long, but the Eagles’ O line just looks unbeatable right now.

Pressuring Patrick Mahomes with just a few passers is key, and the Eagles are designed to do that.

On the other side of the ball, the Eagles once again have the advantage in the trenches.

While the Chiefs have done a good job of protecting Patrick Mahomes this year — the QB has taken just 26 sacks this season — part of that success stems from how teams choose to attack Kansas City.

Blitzing Mahomes isn’t a good idea because he might be the best quarterback in history at finding the gaps a defense leaves him with. Mahomes threw for 17 touchdowns against lightning defenses last year, more than any NFL quarterback.

In last year’s AFC Championship game, the Bengals managed to turn the tide against the Chiefs in the second half by dropping eight defenders into coverage and rushing just three players to Mahomes. Since then, more and more teams have adopted the strategy against the Chiefs, and the game of chess has moved a few steps forward, but for the most part the thought remains the same: go to Mahomes without blitzing, and your defense may contain the scariest offense in the NFL.

The Eagles are well positioned to do just that. Only 13 NFL players have recorded 12 or more sacks this season, and four of them – Haason Reddick (19.5), Josh Sweat (12.5), Brandon Graham (12) and Javon Hargrave (12) – play for Philadelphia.

Additionally, the depth of Philadelphia’s defensive front allows players to rotate continuously and therefore stay fresh. This type of rotation worked wonders for the Eagles in their last Super Bowl appearance in 2018, when Graham forced a late fumble against Tom Brady that helped secure the victory.

There’s always an X factor in the Super Bowl, but we don’t know where it will come from

It’s admittedly a wild ride trying to predict the outcome of the Super Bowl, because in most games a clear hero emerges. There’s so much talent in these two teams that it’s hard to guess who it will be.

Patrick Mahomes is undoubtedly a breakthrough player and has twisted the results of many NFL games during his career, but his receiving corps is limited, and if the Eagles keep tight superstar Travis Kelce in check, as they will. have done with George Kittle in the NFC Championship, Mahomes’ damage can be contained.

Patrick Mahomes is looking to pitch against the Houston Texans.

Patrick Mahomes is looking to pitch against the Houston Texans.

AP Photo/Matt Patterson

Moreover, Mahomes’ injury in the AFC Championship could slightly limit his mobility at kick-off. While the extra week between games means more time to recover, without the hasty threat of their 100% quarterback, the Chiefs’ offense is changing quite a bit.

Special teams often make the difference in the Super Bowl, but these two teams come off as “mostly solid” in that department. Kickers Harrison Butker and Jake Elliott have hit big kicks before in the playoffs and have plenty of much-needed leg.

It should be a great game, but the Eagles have the advantage if both teams play their best

In 18 weeks of regular season football and two playoff games each so far, the Eagles and Chiefs have proven time and time again that they are the best the NFL has to offer this year.

But there’s a reason bettors are giving Philadelphia a slight edge. While Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the rest of Kansas City’s formidable offense can perform many miracles, the Eagles’ overwhelming strength at the line of scrimmage should ultimately tip the game in their favor.

Our final prediction: 33-26 for Philadelphia.

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