It’s down to just one more game in the 2022 NFL season. That of course means it’s time for Super Bowl 57 in lovely Glendale, Arizona. It’s a rare all-chalk matchup between the NFC’s top seeded Philadelphia Eagles and the AFC number one seed Kansas City Chiefs. Bears fans are looking forward to getting past the big game and beginning what is hopefully a very busy off-season.
Before that can get started, however, we have a worldwide sporting event to talk about. So how do the two teams in the 57th edition of the big game matchup?
1. Philadelphia Eagles vs 1. Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, February 12 at 5:30pm CT on FOX
Kansas City (16-3) was able to get past the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship despite the high-ankle sprain suffered by quarterback Patrick Mahomes against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round. The Chiefs also overcame losing three of their wide receivers during the game and kicked a late field goal to pull out the win.
Mahomes, now with two additional weeks to heal, should be much more mobile in Arizona for the Super Bowl. The unsung heroes for Kansas City were the defensive line which harassed Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow throughout the day. Chris Jones and Frank Clark could not be contained by the Bengals lineman.
Philadelphia (16-3) relied on a similar outstanding pass rush performance to beat up on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Star defensive end Haason Reddick strip sacked Niners quarterback Brock Purdy in the first quarter. Purdy suffered a torn ligament in his elbow and could not throw the rest of the game.
The Eagles then gave back up San Francisco QB Josh Johnson a concussion knocking him from the game in the third quarter. Philadelphia’s top five defense completely smothered the one-dimensional 49ers the rest of the day and rolled to victory. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was very efficient and running back Miles Sanders picked up two touchdowns.
These are two very evenly matched teams as evidenced by the 1.5 point spread in favor of the Eagles. So what are some potential weaknesses for both of these pretty solid teams?
The Eagles have not faced many elite quarterbacks in the playoffs or the regular season. Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins are probably two of the best three quarterbacks they faced in 2022. As it turns out, Patrick Mahomes is actually better than those two QBs. How well will their defense hold up against an elite quarterback?
Kansas City is facing the likelihood of having to use three rookies in their secondary. With stud Eagles wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith looming that could be a big issue. If Jalen Hurts shoulder is relatively healthy they should be able to take advantage.
As always, injuries will be a big factor in the game. Both quarterbacks have been banged up, but the extra week of rest should help both be fresher. The Chiefs will be without receiver Mecole Hardman who went on injured reserve.
I think the game will come down to which offense can make big plays. For the Chiefs that means getting tight end Travis Kelce going. For the Eagles that means deep passes to Brown and Smith. In the end, I think Philadelphia has more weapons.
It will be a very close game that will come down to the final minutes. Philadelphia will kick a late field goal to take home a 24-21 win.