Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
Sunday, February 12, 2022; 5:30 p.m. CT; State Farm Stadium; Glendale, Arizona
Records: Kansas City Chiefs (16-3); Philadelphia Eagles (16-3)
Last Game: Kansas City 23, Cincinnati 20; Philadelphia 31, San Francisco 7
Series History: Kansas City leads series 5-4-0
Last Meeting: Kansas City 42, Philadelphia 30 (2021)
Favorite: Philadelphia (-1.5)
Halftime Performance: Rihanna
Fun Fact: Both of these teams are led by former Big 12 quarterbacks, with Jalen Hurts from Oklahoma and Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech. It’s the first time in history that two quarterbacks from the Big 12 will start in the Super Bowl.
Kansas City Chiefs
QB Patrick Mahomes
The favorite to win the 2022-23 NFL MVP Award, Patrick Mahomes proved once again that he is one of if not the best in the business at his position, and will be for years to come. This season, Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards (5,250), passing touchdowns (41), and QBR (77.5) while leading the top offense in football to 29.2 points per game and 413.6 yards per game, both tops in the NFL.
DL Chris Jones
Chris Jones is one of the most disruptive and dominating defensive linemen in the game today, and has shown that to be the case again in the 2022-23 season. With 15.5 sacks, 30 solo tackles, and two forced fumbles, Jones finds a way to make an impact in every game he plays. Against the Bengals in the AFC Championship game, Jones recorded two sacks and will need to show up in a big way against one of the best offensive lines in football.
QB Jalen Hurts
The other MVP finalist in this game, Jalen Hurts is coming off his best year as a professional to date. In his third NFL season, Hurts threw for 3,701 yards with 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions, maintaining a QBR of 66.3 (4th in the NFL). On the year, Hurts has also racked up 833 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. If Philadelphia is to take control of this game offensively, it will be because Hurts is able to extend plays with his legs outside of the pocket.
The Eagles’ defensive line is a major reason why they are in the position that they are. Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, and Javon Hargrave are listed as the starters, while Jordan Davis, Linval Joseph, Robert Quinn, Ndamukong Suh, and Milton Williams fill “reserve” roles. This is the best defensive line in football, and when you add Haason Reddick off the edge, it gets scary good. Reddick (19.5), Graham (12.0), Hargrave (11.0), and Sweat (12.5) are all in double digits for sacks this season and are a big reason why the Eagles lead the league with an absurd 78 sacks this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
How many receivers are available and is Patrick Mahomes closer to 100% with an ankle injury? In the AFC Championship game, Mahomes was clearly hobbled with a high ankle sprain, but is said to be feeling better. Mecole Hardman has been added to IR, meaning he will miss this game, while JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney both sat out of practice last week to try and get healthy. Kansas City will need to be as close to healthy as possible to challenge the Eagles’ defense.
Speaking of the Eagles’ defense, can they continue to dominate games, even against the best offense in the league? Philly’s defense has been one of the most disruptive units of the season in terms of sacks (78, 1st) and interceptions (17, T-4th), and that has helped them allow a league-low 179.8 passing yards per game. Against the run, the Eagles were middle-of-the-road in 2022, allowing 4.6 yards per carry and 121.7 yards per game on the ground. If it can hold emerging star Isaiah Pacheco in check, Philly should be able to pressure Mahomes in the passing game.
PREDICTION: Eagles 34, Chiefs 31
Get ready for one of the best back-and-forth games of the season in Super Bowl LVII. The offenses are elite. The defenses are elite. Special teams are essentially a wash. This game has the makings of a classic, which is why ESPN’s Matchup Predictor has the game deadlocked at 50.0% for each side to win. I expect several lead changes, several big plays from two big-time quarterbacks, and a dramatic finish that ends with a field-goal victory for the Eagles. Patrick Mahomes will get a chance to tie the game, but an Eagles defensive line that has been so good in 2022 slams the door with a key sack under a minute to go to stymie any chances of a comeback for the Chiefs.