Super Bowl Predictions: Eagles’ Consistency Prevails

On Sunday, Feb. 12, almost a third of the country will gather around their televisions watching the Philadelphia Eagles face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. Although it can be glorious to see the championship dreams of ultra-confident fans fall through, this hasn’t been the year of the underdog. The oddsmakers certainly got it right: both teams have been favorites all season long to make it to the Big Game. After what has been a relatively predictable postseason, we are all hoping that both teams show out in Glendale, Arizona this Sunday.

The Chiefs have consistently been dominant throughout the season. Don’t be fooled by head coach Andy Reid’s lovable grandpa-like exterior: the man is a stone-cold killer. This is his third trip to the Super Bowl in four years. That doesn’t just happen by luck. 

Questions were asked in the offseason after star wideout Tyreek Hill was traded to the Dolphins, but offensive firepower remained a strong point for the team. Travis Kelce has done what he’s always done, which is rack up touchdowns left and right. In Hill’s absence, a new number ten has stepped in: running back Isiah Pacheco, whose blistering speed and versatility draw harrowingly similar comparisons to the former Chiefs star. Wideouts Juju Smith-Shuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling — two headliner offseason pickups — have also terrorized secondaries all year long, and the shifty Jerick McKinnon is always dangerous on special teams. Watch out for receiver Kadarius Toney, too, provided he stays healthy. On top of all that, center Creed Humphery and tackle Orlando Brown anchor down an offensive line that has consistently ranked as one of the best in the league. 

And then, of course, there is the golden boy himself. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is almost a force of nature at this point. Whether he’s hobbling around the pocket on one leg (as he did against Jacksonville and Cincinnati), or is healthy and sure-footed on two, it doesn’t matter. Mahomes just finds a way to win. He has that x-factor that is no doubt keeping Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni up at night. 

We can’t forget the defense either. On the defensive line, nose tackle Chris Jones has been a real standout hammer, and defensive ends George Karlaftis and Carlos Dunlap have wreaked havoc on quarterbacks, racking up sack after sack. However, the Chiefs’ weakness is in their secondary, and pass protection has been an issue all year. A series of injuries have left the team with no choice but to start some inexperienced faces in the secondary, two of whom — Jalen Watson and Trent McDuffie — are rookies. Nevertheless, if there is one thing that the Chiefs have taught us, it’s that you never count them out. Coming into the game as the slight underdog, the Chiefs are looking to silence any doubters who question their dominance. 

Something strange happened with Philadelphia this season. In a reversal of almost the entirety of their history, they are favorites. After several years of grinding and shrewd offseason maneuvering, the Eagles have blossomed into a formidable unit that steamrolled its way through the league. They went 14-3 in the regular season and made quick work of every opponent they faced in the playoffs. 

Even the darling 49ers were no match for Sirianni’s team of world-beaters. Sirianni doesn’t have the resumé that Andy Reid does, and there is no mythical cloud of genius that surrounds him, but he should be commended for letting his players shine and not restricting their skills with overly complex schemes because this Eagles team has some serious talent.

Jalen Hurts emerged this year as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Hurts is a dual threat with a great football IQ, and he has an on-field presence that goes toe-to-toe with that of Mahomes. He’s a natural leader who will be looking to prove critics wrong this Sunday. Like Mahomes, Hurts is also protected by one of the best offensive lines in football. Center Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson lead a rock-solid offensive line. The explosive trio of running backs — Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell — has made mincemeat of defenses all year, and it will be interesting to see if the Chiefs can manage to contain them. Even if the tailbacks are contained, Philly has substantial aerial threats in tight end Dallas Goedert, stud receiver DeVonta Smith, and superstar A.J. Brown. Brown has been virtually unstoppable, always finding a way to get open. The Eagles are looking at the Chiefs’ inexperienced secondary right now with pure excitement. Expect them to bring death from above this Sunday.

Last but certainly not least is Philly’s defense. Four members of their defensive line have ten sacks. Hardened veterans of the trenches abound: Fletcher Cox, Ndamukong Suh, Kyzir White, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Brandon Graham. There really aren’t any holes. Their secondary, headlined by Darius Slay, James Bradberry and C.J. Gardner-Johnson, has been putting wideouts in clamps all year. 

The stage is set for an incredible game. Both the Eagles and the Chiefs have proven that they deserve to be where they are. The game will come down to pass protection in the secondary. If the Chiefs somehow manage to contain Philly’s aerial threats, and if they constantly put pressure on Hurts, they’ve got a good chance to win. The Eagles just need to play the way they’ve played all year: consistent dominance on all fronts. As long as Sirianni and his coaching staff keep their composure, Philly has a good chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come Sunday. 

The Big Game is almost here, folks. Put on that oversized jersey, nuke some nachos in the microwave and buckle up, because there are going to be some fireworks.