Super Bowl 57 is set with a battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. This promises to be a titanic matchup with plenty of intriguing storylines surrounding football’s biggest game of the year.
Both squads finished the regular season at 14-3 with No. 1 seeds. Coach Andy Reid faces his former team. Reid was the head man in Philadelphia from 1999-2012, appearing in five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. Eagles center Jason Kelce and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce will be the first brothers to square off in a Super Bowl, reminiscent of the Harbaugh Bowl in Super Bowl 47.
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These are two teams with plenty of success over the last six years. This is the Chiefs’ third trip to the Super Bowl over the last four seasons, and they won Super Bowl 54 in the 2019-20 season. The Eagles had a magical run in the 2017-18 season, winning Super Bowl 52 with backup quarterback Nick Foles leading the show.
According to Super Bowl predictions, the Eagles are 2½-point favorites while priced at -135 on the moneyline. Let’s take an early look at Super Bowl 57, highlighting several keys to the much-anticipated matchup. For exclusive offers on betting on Super Bowl 57, click here.
Second Edition of Mahomes Magic?
The 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game was a legacy builder for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs’ signal-caller limped around the field for 60 minutes on a bad ankle. Mahomes was in clear pain at times, but it didn’t stop him. He finished with 326 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a 105.4 passer rating and engineered the game-winning drive for Harrison Butker’s 45-yard field goal.
Will Mahomes do it again in the desert? Philadelphia features a much better pass rush in comparison to the Bengals. In fact, the Eagles led the NFL in regular-season sacks. It generated plenty of pressure in the 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers with three sacks and seven QB hits. Haason Reddick is playing out of his mind with 9.5 sacks in his last six games.
Perhaps the biggest key for Kansas City is pass protection. Will Mahomes have enough time? Also, will Mahomes be healthy? His mobility could dramatically improve by Feb. 12, which of course is a major factor in avoiding pressure and extending plays.
Eagles’ Passing Game Must Improve
The Eagles have thoroughly dominated in their last three games, winning by an average margin of 20.3 points. However, everything has not been perfect. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has not returned to form since returning from a shoulder injury. He was one of the league’s most efficient passers for the majority of the season, but has posted a 72.3 passer or worse in three of his last four starts.
Philadelphia is still a dangerous passing attack with wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert. However, Hurts, who is the youngest Eagles QB to make the Super Bowl at age 24, must be better through the air.
The Chiefs have a susceptible secondary, ranking 18th in allowed passing yards per game. They allowed 270 passing yards against the Bengals as well. The Eagles must take advantage of Kansas City’s clear weakness.
Kansas City Linebackers Up to the Task?
Despite some struggles from Hurts, the Eagles have coasted thanks to a dominant run game. Philly boasts the best offensive line in football, and Hurts’ legs are always a threat. The Eagles ran for 148 yards on the 49ers, who ranked second in run defense.
Philadelphia’s run game will be a massive key. If it’s rolling, this becomes a near-impossible offense to stop with various run-pass option wrinkles and play-action passes. Kansas City’s run defense has been up and down throughout the season. It held up against the Bengals but allowed 144 yards and 7.6 yards per carry against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round.
Chiefs linebackers Nick Bolton and Willie Gay Jr. must be up for the task against a bruising rushing attack. Both certainly have the talent to excel with impressive athleticism, but they have been inconsistent. One could be tasked with spying on Hurts as well.
There will be plenty of hype surrounding this game thanks to various storylines and intriguing matchups. The anticipation will only grow during our two-week wait.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.