(Photo courtesy of ESPN) “Eagles and Chiefs Super Bowl face-off.”
After a thrilling day of football last Sunday, the stage is set for America’s Game. The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII (57). The game will be played on Sunday, February 12th in Glendale, Arizona, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST.
The Chiefs, who have appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls, are poised to make a statement to the rest of the league that they are the premier football team in the last half decade. On the other side, the Eagles are looking to claim their second Super Bowl title in franchise history and prove that they are here to stay after years of inconsistency.
To clinch a spot in the Super Bowl, the Philadelphia Eagles overwhelmed the injured San Francisco 49ers 31-7. The big takeaway from the game was just how dominant the Eagles ground game was, amassing 4 touchdowns on 148 yards through the ground. Since the running game had moved the chains consistently and significantly, the Eagles were able to control the time of possession, limiting the 49ers to score with less time on the clock.
In fact, the Eagles didn’t throw an interception or lose a fumble against the 49ers number one ranked defense. Even more impressive, the Eagles haven’t registered a turnover this entire postseason.
While the Eagles offense is firing on all cylinders, their defense has been just as dominant. The Eagles defense stood their ground against the 49er’s explosive offense, holding them to just seven points and only allowing 164 total yards of offense. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni attributes this dominance to just one crucial aspect of the game.
“We wanted to let everyone know just how physically tough we are,” Sirianni said, “Not just physically, but mentally as well. Regardless of how the game played out, I knew no one was going to stop fighting.”
One thing to note for the 49ers is quarterback Brock Purdy, who was injured during the first quarter of the NFC Championship game. Purdy took a hit to his elbow that completely tore his UCL, and with him out for the game, the offense was unable to find their rhythm. As of right now, Purdy’s elbow will take an estimated six months to heal properly.
Moving forward, the 49ers will have a difficult choice to make. Do they stick with Purdy, who was playing solid in his first year? Or will they choose quarterback Trey Lance, someone who the team values so highly due to his first-round draft pick status in 2021?
Unlike the NFC Championship game, the AFC Championship game was much more competitive. In the end, the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20, winning on a Harrison Butker field goal in the game’s waning seconds.
The X-factor that sent the Chiefs to the Super Bowl was, unsurprisingly, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Like quarterback Jalen Hurts of the Eagles, Mahomes has yet to throw an interception this postseason, allowing his offense to stay on the field and put up points.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Chiefs offense has been elite, whereas the defense has been subpar. However, for this postseason that just hasn’t been the case; the Chiefs defense may have given up 40 points in two games, but they also had four takeaways, tied for the second most this postseason. These takeaways have given the offense more opportunities to score and have been a key factor to the Chiefs success this postseason.
This matchup was very similar to last year’s AFC Championship game, in which the Bengals won 27-24. With Mahomes unable to topple the Bengals during the regular season yet again, the stage was set for the Chiefs to finally get over the hump.
“We felt like we needed to get this win. We wanted to play this team,” Mahomes said, “We were able to finish them off this time. However, our job isn’t finished yet. We still got one more.”
That brings us to Super Bowl LVII, a matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. On the surface, these teams look evenly matched. Both have potent offenses, both have great coaching, both have stout defenses and both have solid special teams. If these teams are evenly matched, what variable will dictate the victor in this clash of powerhouses?
Turnovers. The offense that makes the most mistakes will more than likely be walking away empty handed. As we have seen from this postseason, the teams that have won the turnover battle are 10-2.
In short, the team that plays the cleanest game after 60 minutes will become world champions.
Prediction: Eagles 28 Chiefs 21