Super Bowl LVII – Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Who’s Going To Win?

There have been 56 Super Bowls so far, and number 57 might just be the best one yet. The Super Bowl is a bittersweet event as it’s the last of the winter holidays, and while it is the biggest football game of the season, it’s also the final game for seven months. 

The Super Bowl unofficially began in 1967 with Super Bowl I, or as it was called at the time – the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The Kansas City Chiefs were the AFL representative and will be the AFC team in this year’s Super Bowl. The name “Super Bowl” was thrown around by Kansas City owner and founder Lamar Hunt as a play on the Super Ball toy that was popular at the time, and the name stuck despite resistance from league owners. Credit for the name should go to Hunt and Wham-O, the company that sold the Super Balls that inspired the name. 

The name “Super Bowl” was not officially used as the name of football’s ultimate championship game until 1969, when the third AFL-NFL World Championship was played, and this was also the first time the AFL team won the game. Kansas City won the fourth and final AFL-NFL World Championship in 1970, and the two leagues merged the following year and formed the American and National Football Conferences.

Kansas City then went 50 years until their next appearance in a Super Bowl, following the 2019 season. They won a close battle with San Francisco to earn their second world championship and made it back to the big game the following year, where they were easily defeated by Tampa Bay. This will be Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes’ third appearance in the Super Bowl, and if he wins, he will join an elite group of the youngest QBs in NFL history with two championships. The youngest to win two is Tom Brady, who won his second title by age 26. Already 27 years old, Mahomes cannot break that record, but it would still be impressive. 

The Eagles have appeared in the Super Bowl three times, winning one. They didn’t make it to the Super Bowl until 1980 and lost to the Raiders. They didn’t make it back until 2004 and lost to New England. They didn’t win their first Super Bowl until 2017 when they got sweet revenge on Tom Brady and the Patriots and survived the playoffs and the Super Bowl with backup QB Nick Foles. They now have a chance to get to 2-2 in Super Bowls if they win this time. Kansas City is making its fifth appearance and is 2-2, so whichever team gets the win will have a winning record, and the other will have a losing record for at least a year. 

Mahomes is arguably the best player in the NFL and just won his second league MVP award on Thursday night. Mahomes led the league in passing yards and touchdowns this season, despite defenses expecting him to throw with a running game that didn’t elicit much attention from defensive coordinators. He threw for over 5000 yards and eclipsed 40 touchdowns, an incredible feat that is uncommonly rare even in the modern NFL with rules favoring offense and scoring (unless it’s a catch going to the ground in the endzone, in which case it’s like a UFO sighting – no one knows for sure what they saw).  

Philadelphia’s second-year starter Jalen Hurts will be making his first appearance in the Super Bowl and might be on the same level as Mahomes as an athlete, even if he’s not there as a pure passer yet. A gifted passer and runner, Hurts can attack defenses in so many ways, and his numbers prove it. He had nearly 4000 passing yards with 22 touchdowns, and he also came close to 800 yards on the ground and another 13 TDs. Hurts had 11 total turnovers to 35 touchdowns, while Mahomes had 16 turnovers to 44 touchdowns. Both QBs average about 3 scores for each turnover, which is bonkers in today’s league, with defenses finding all sorts of creative ways to steal possessions.

Before the game even kicks off, history has been made. This is the first Super Bowl with both starting QBs being African-American. Doug Williams made history in 1988 when he was the first Black QB to start a Super Bowl, and now some 35 years later, both starting QBs have African heritage. Hopefully, someday this will be as common as seeing two white QBs in the Super Bowl, but it’s a big deal today and needs to be celebrated. 

This game isn’t just about the two people playing QB. Both teams have superstars on both sides and plenty of really good players in between. Philadelphia has receivers AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, pass rushers Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, and cornerback Darius Slay. Kansas City has tight end Travis Kelce, pass rushers Chris Jones and Frank Clark, and George Karlaftis. Jones is also one of the best run defenders in the league. 

Neither team has an established star at running back, but they each have multiple running backs that can contribute in different ways. The Eagles are one of the best teams in the league when they choose to run. Kansas City is better at running than they were early in the season, but they still pass to open the run, whereas many teams run to open the pass. 

Both teams have incredible play callers in their head coaches and offensive assistant coaches that know how to build creative plays that catch the defense by surprise. Chiefs HC Andy Reid has been celebrated as one of the greatest offensive minds in the game for more than 20 years, going back to his days as head coach and play caller for the Eagles from 1999-2012. Reid’s contract was not renewed in 2013, and he signed a deal with Kansas City. 

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni is in just his second year and already has made it to the NFL’s biggest stage. Sirianni worked for Kansas City just before Reid arrived, so while you will hear a lot about Reid’s past with the Eagles, Sirianni was on the staff of the opposite side as well. Philadelphia is the first team to give him play-calling duties as well as being head coach, and he has done a great job bringing in advisors to make sure the job gets done right. 

Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has had to design defenses that can win the Super Bowl before, none more important than his New York Giants defense that dismantled Tom Brady’s 2007 Patriots. He knows how to disguise pressure and coverages, but he also works with many rookies and young players on defense, so we’ll see how well he can prepare them for such a big moment. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has been masterful in just his second year calling plays and has his defense humming and playing aggressively. They fly around, prevent big plays, and know how to get after the QB. Gannon may be young and new to the job, but he designs and calls plays like a time-tested veteran. 

On offense, the Chiefs are the standard for passing, leading the league in yards, points, and big plays over 20 yards while allowing the 3rd lowest sacks. Their only issue is that given the number of times they put the ball in the air, they give it away at the 10th highest rate. Rushing is a different story, as they are just 20th in yards and 8th in scoring, 18th in big plays, and 15th in turnovers. Overall the Chiefs are the number one scoring offense, putting up 61 touchdowns on the season. 

The Eagles are a very balanced offense, ranking 8th in passing yards and 15th in scoring, and 2nd in big plays. They don’t turn the ball over much, with the 4th fewest interceptions, but they do give up a lot of sacks at 13th most. They are one of the best in the league running the ball, ranking 5th in yards and 1st in scoring, 8th in big plays but they do have a lot of turnovers – 14th most. Overall the Eagles are the number two scoring offense with 59 touchdowns on the season.

On defense, both teams are all over the place. The Chiefs have the 19th-worst passing defense in terms of yards and are dead last in scoring. However, they are 2nd in sacks and 27th in first down rate as well as 22nd in turnovers. They are better against the run, ranking 8th in yards and 7th in scoring, and allow the 8th lowest first downs, but are just 18th in turnovers. 

The Eagles have the number one passing defense in yards but are 12th in scoring. They have the 6th most turnovers and are 1st in sacks while allowing the 14th most 1st downs. Against the run, they are just about average, allowing the 16th most yards, 18th most scores, 16th most 1st downs, and are 8th in turnovers. 

Ultimately what matters is how many points a defense allows. The Chiefs are the 14th-ranked defense, and the Eagles are 6th based on scoring drives allowed throughout the regular season. We can talk about yards and first downs and big plays all we want, but at the end of the day, the team that keeps the other team out of the end zone is the one that will be going home with the Lombardi Trophy. 

The challenge with regular season and even playoff information is that neither of these teams will show up to the Super Bowl and just do what they have been doing since September. With two weeks to prepare and no upcoming games, they can finally take the gloves off and show anything they have been holding back or install new plays to take the other team completely by surprise. I promise you’ll see something new from both teams, and it will confuse someone, even if it’s their own team. 

This is not a fairy tale story for either team, as they are both battle-tested and deserve to be here. These are two proud franchises with a ton of history, a great group of players and coaches, and the chance to win it all with the whole country watching. 

Mahomes is playing on a sprained ankle, and Hurts has a sprained throwing shoulder, so neither QB will be at 100%. However, with the entire offseason to get healthy, you’re likely to see them playing at full speed with some help from their friends on the training staff. 

This should be an excellent game, there have only been two Super Bowls played at State Farm Stadium in Arizona, and both were decided by four points or less. This will be the first Super Bowl played in SFS that doesn’t feature Tom Brady and the Patriots, who were 1-1 in their two appearances. The Giants famously defeated the previously undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl following the 2007 season, and the Patriots defeated the Seahawks following the 2014 season in one of the most discussed endings in Super Bowl history. 

Before kickoff, Chris Stapleton will perform The Star Spangled Banner, followed by Babyface performing America the Beautiful. Rihanna will be performing at halftime (and we can only guess that Tom Holland will make a guest appearance), which is her first public performance since the 2018 Grammy Awards. 

The game is scheduled to begin at 3:30pm pacific time, and you can watch it on FOX. Pregame coverage will begin at 1pm, and halftime should occur around 5pm. The game could end as early as 7:30pm, but prepare for it to run into the eight o’clock hour if there are lots of passing plays – and even longer if just the second occurrence of overtime in Super Bowl history happens to take place. 

It should be a back-and-forth game full of entertainment and excitement, with lots of big plays but perhaps not as many points as people would expect from two amazing offenses. The defenses are going to have a say in this game as well and will keep the offenses in check occasionally. 

Prediction: Kansas City 27, Philadelphia 21

Super Bowl MVP: Travis Kelce 

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About Casey Mabbott 252 Articles
Casey Mabbott is a writer and podcast host born and raised in West Philadelphia where he spent most of his days on the basketball court perfecting his million dollar jumpshot. Wait, no, that’s all wrong. Casey has spent his entire life here in the Pacific NorthWest other than his one year stint as mayor of Hill Valley in an alternate reality 1985. He’s never been to Philadelphia, and his closest friends will tell you that his jumpshot is the farthest thing from being worth a million bucks. Casey enjoys all sports and covering them with written words or spoken rants. He has made an art of movie references, and is a devout follower of 80's movies and music. I don't know why you would to, but you can probably find him on the street corner waiting for the trolley to take him to the stadium or his favorite pub, where he will be telling people the answers to questions they don’t remember asking. And it only goes downhill from there if he drinks. He’s a real treat.