Super Bowl LVII matchup: Philadelphia Eagles offensive line vs Kansas City Chiefs defensive line

The Philadelphia Eagles offensive line proved to be one of the driving forces behind their NFC Championship Game victory. As we look ahead to Super Bowl LVII, winning in the trenches will be just as crucial against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Philadelphia truly controlled the line of scrimmage against the San Francisco 49ers. It allowed just five pressures and zero quarterback hits in 27 dropbacks by Jalen Hurts, per PFF. Furthermore, Landon Dickerson (92.2), Jordan Mailata (87.2) and Lane Johnson (74.2) finished with top single-game grades from Pro Football Focus.

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Not to be outdone, Kansas City’s defensive line created havoc against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game. Led by All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones (8 pressures, 2 sacks), the Chiefs generated 23 pressures with 11 hurries and five sacks.

Let that set the stage for one of the most important matchups in Super Bowl LVII, with the team that wins at the line of scrimmage likely hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 9.

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Reviewing the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are spending the fourth-most money ($59 million) on their offensive line and every dollar is worth it. One of the best front offices in the NFL has done an outstanding job at identifying offensive line prospects to draft and Philadelphia’s coaching staff has an outstanding track record in player development.

Jordan Mailata

Jordan Mailata, a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the NFL. While it took time for his physical traits to turn into him becoming a refined left tackle, the 25-year-old is now one of the best offensive tackles in the NFC. While he allowed the most hurries (32) and sacks (six) among the Eagles’ offensive linemen, he still posted a 96.3 Pass Blocking Efficiency and is an even better run blocker despite having never played football before being drafted.

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Landon Dickerson

Philadelphia’s left guard Landon Dickerson has blossomed into one of the best interior offensive linemen in the NFL since being selected 37th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Dating back to Week 1, Dickerson ranks eighth in PBE (98.3), allowing just 20 pressures and one sack in 671 pass-block snaps. He delivered his best performance in the NFC title game, allowing just two pressures and earning a 91.3 PFF run-blocking grade. In the regular season, he posted the second-best ESPN pass-block win rate (97%) in the NFL.

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Jason Kelce

In his age-35 season, Jason Kelce earned his fifth first-team All-Pro selection and likely cemented his status as a future Hall of Famer. He ranked third in run-block win rate (75%) and ninth in pass-block win rate (96%). Kelce also allowed just 11 pressures with zero hits or sacks in 19 games this season.

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Isaac Seumalo

Selected with the 79th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Isaac Seumalo is ending a contract year on the perfect note. The 29-year-old rated as the ninth-best guard by PFF this season, largely thanks to his strength in pass protection (22 pressures, 1 sack allowed).

Lane Johnson

When healthy, there are few better linemen in the NFL better than Lane Johnson. The 32-year-old is currently playing through a torn adductor, slightly diminishing his effectiveness. Even at less than 100%, he’s a brick wall in pass protection and should line up against Jones several times.

Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs defensive line heating up

NFL: AFC Championship-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald will go down as the best defensive player of his generation. If Donald is the Patrick Mahomes of defensive tackles, Chris Jones is the Aaron Rodgers equivalent.

  • Chris Jones career stats: 146 QB hits, 65 tackles for loss, 65 sacks in 107 games

The 6-foot-6 defensive lineman is a one-man wrecking crew right now. Of his eight pressures vs Cincinnati, three resulted in sacks and the other five forced Joe Burrow incompletions. It simply highlights his dominance since November, leading all defensive tackles in pressures (44) with the second-most turnovers by pressure (three) since Week 10.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jones led all defensive tackles in pass-rush win rate (21%) during the regular season. He and Donald are the only two interior linemen to generate a PRWR above 20 percent in the last two seasons.

As for how Kansas City will deploy Jones, that’s up to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnulo. While Jones played 71.8% of his snaps at defensive tackle in the regular season, he has been lined up on the edge for 61.8% of his snaps during the playoffs.

The rest of the Chiefs’ defensive line is a bit more spotty. However, Frank Clark (2 sacks, 2 hurries), Carlos Dunlap (5 hurries, 2 QB hits) and rookie George Karlaftis (1 sack, 16.7% pass-rush win rate) seemed to come alive in the NFC Championship Game. Of course, that might be the result of facing a Bengals’ offensive line missing three starters.

Advantage: Philadelphia Eagles

While Jones is arguably the best defensive lineman the Eagles have faced all year, the 49ers’ defensive line was better. Philadelphia boasts both the talent and size advantage over Kansas City, with five starters who should win at the line of scrimmage.

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