We’ve made it to the end of another thrilling NFL season where every weekend produces several unexpected results. Yet this season ends with two teams who were popular projections to win it all, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, facing off for the championship in Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII.
The Eagles enter the game as slight favorites, between 1 and 2 points depending on the time you placed your wager and what sportsbook you used. It’s a fair spread for the matchup pitting MVP Patrick Mahomes against runner-up Jalen Hurts.
The history in those situations favors the runner-up. This will be the fourth time the NFL MVP squares off against the runner-up in the Super Bowl. The runner-up has won the first three meetings, and I expect Hurts and the Eagles to extend that string to a fourth. Here’s why:
In close games pitting teams where either side can win, and that is certainly the case with this outstanding matchup, I like the team that has more paths to victory. Philadelphia’s ability to generate sacks from all over the defensive formation without sacrificing coverage ability is the biggest trump card in the Super Bowl deck. The Chiefs can also bring pressure, but their promiscuous secondary just isn’t as strong or capable of making the big play as what Philly trots out.
Mahomes is the ultimate X-factor, of course. His wizardry and proven experience in leading a talented group in Andry Reid’s well-tailored offense give the Chiefs a great chance to overcome anything the Eagles might do. Travis Kelce is a historically awesome producer at tight end, and Mahomes’ willingness to use him as the primary target is not something the Eagles defense (or any defense) sees a lot. Kicker Harrison Butker gets a slight edge over Eagles counterpart Jake Elliott, as well.
In the end, I think the quality of the depth of weaponry around Hurts edges out what the Chiefs can accomplish against the Eagles defense. But it’s going to be fun watching a pair of healthy 16-3 teams go to battle in what promises to be a close game.
Eagles 30, Chiefs 28
These are always fun diversions. Some of my favorite Super Bowl props:
Coin toss: Tails. Because I just did a coin toss and it came up tails.
National anthem length: Under 120.5 seconds. Country singers like Chris Stapleton aren’t typically performers who overaccentuate notes. That expedites the process.
Opening kickoff touchback: Yes. Nobody wants to risk a big play in either direction there.
First player to score: Chiefs K Harrison Butker
First team to 10 points: Eagles
Total punts in the game: Under 6.5. I smell turnovers mitigating the punt numbers
MVP: Eagles WR Devonta Smith
Gatorade bath color: Yellow
Big man touchdown: No, sadly…