The Kansas City Chiefs are set to play in their fifth Super Bowl on Sunday and their third since 2019. While Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes managed to win three years ago, they fell flat against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, giving some second thoughts about the Chiefs’ chances this time around, facing another top defense.
Even Vegas oddsmakers suggest the Philadelphia Eagles are favored in Super Bowl LVII, with a 1.5-point advantage. Yet, this is coach Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts‘ first time on the big stage at the NFL level. Why should the Eagles be viewed as the 2023 Super Bowl favorites?
Mahomes and the Chiefs surely have something to say about anyone doubting their chances to add a third Super Bowl trophy to their showcase. So do we, which is why we’re making our case for why the Chiefs will win Super Bowl LVII.
Kansas City Chiefs have an elite pass rush too
Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, we’ve heard all about how effective the Eagles’ pass rush is. Deservedly so, as to this point, Philadelphia has the third-most sacks in NFL season for an individual season. Five more on Sunday, and they break the all-time record. Obviously, the Eagles led the NFL in sacks this season with 70 and have since added eight more in their two previous playoff matchups.
Yet, we shouldn’t overlook Kansas City’s ability to get after quarterbacks, either. The Chiefs ranked second in the NFL with 55 sacks and actually had a higher hurry and QB knockdown rate than the Eagles did during the regular season.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones leads the way for the Chiefs, having tallied 15.5 sacks during regular season play, and he’s expected to go against Eagles center Jason Kelce, but Jones also moves around the defensive line and will be seeking out any weak points in Philadelphia’s offensive line (which may not exist).
While Hurts has the mobility needed to escape pressure, he won’t be able to do much if multiple Chiefs defenders can break through the line, collapsing the pocket. Whether the Chiefs can get home with their pass rush could have a big impact on Sunday’s showdown, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have his players ready for action.
Andy Reid won’t repeat past failures
This isn’t Andy Reid’s first rodeo. Not only is this his third time taking the Chiefs to the NFL Championship with Mahomes as his QB, he’s also been here before when he was coaching the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004. He later bounced back and won in 2019 with the Chiefs but wasn’t able to repeat in 2020, falling 31-9 to the Buccaneers.
Mahomes was constantly under pressure in Super Bowl LV, getting sacked three times and throwing two interceptions in the tough loss. Shortly after, we saw the Chiefs place a heavy emphasis on revamping their entire offensive line.
It began with trading for left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., but the Chiefs also signed left guard Joe Thuney to a five-year, $80 million contract in free agency. They then drafted center Creed Humphrey with the second-to-last pick in the second round in 2021 and also plucked right guard Trey Smith later in the sixth round. That’s four new starters in a manner of one offseason, but the moves have paid off.
Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line in Super Bowl loss to Bucs:
|Position/Player||PFF pass block grade/Rank|
|Left tackle: Mike Remmers||70.4/53rd among tackles|
|Left guard: Nick Allegretti||54.2/74th|
|Center: Austin Reiter||77.7/8th|
|Right guard: Stefen Wisniewski||60.9/59th|
|Right tackle: Andrew Wylie||52.6/81st|
Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line now:
|Position/Player||PFF pass block grade/Rank|
|Left tackle: Orlando Brown Jr.||76.6/30th|
|Left guard: Joe Thuney||89.7/1st|
|Center: Creed Humphrey||81.3/4th|
|Right guard: Trey Smith||69.7/37th|
|Right tackle: Andrew Wylie||61.3/90th|
According to Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs are getting better pass protection out of each one of their linemen compared to their last Super Bowl group. Is that alone enough to propel the Chiefs to victory on Sunday? Probably not, but it’s a start.
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Patrick Mahomes is a franchise elevator
Let’s be honest. The biggest reason why the Chiefs will win Super Bowl LVII is because of Patrick Mahomes. A soon-to-be two-time NFL MVP and, possibly with a strong performance, a two-time Super Bowl MVP as well, Mahomes is the best quarterback in football.
Sure, the Eagles showed they have the best-passing defense in the NFL, allowing just under 180 passing yards per game, but the list of quarterbacks they faced won’t blow anyone away. Here it is.
- Jared Goff
- Kirk Cousins
- Carson Wentz
- Trevor Lawrence
- Kyler Murray
- Cooper Rush (backup)
- Kenny Pickett (rookie)
- Davis Mills
- Taylor Heinicke
- Matt Ryan
- Aaron Rodgers/Jordan Love
- Ryan Tannehill
- Daniel Jones x2
- Justin Fields
- Dak Prescott
- Andy Dalton
With Rodgers in a down season compared to his past MVP performances, an argument could be made that the Eagles didn’t run into a single top-five QB all season. That changes on Sunday when the league’s best QB takes the field.
Unlike Hurts, Mahomes won’t be feeling as much pressure, as he’s already been here before, having won a Super Bowl before. Not only that, his top weapon, Travis Kelce, is well-versed in turning it up for the playoffs.
While Hurts will be doing his best to not only keep his own emotions in check, he’ll be tasked with getting the most out of his teammates too. While some members of his offensive line have played on the NFL’s biggest stage, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith haven’t. Meanwhile, Mahomes will be calm, cool, and collected all along, knowing he has an entire coaching staff who will be working around the clock to get their young players prepared to perform in the biggest game of their lives.
Once they step out onto the field, it will be on Mahomes’ shoulders, which isn’t an issue. As we witnessed all season long, it doesn’t matter that Tyreek Hill was traded away. Whether they’ve been on the roster for five years or five weeks, Mahomes will still find the open man. Ultimately, all the Chiefs need is a mostly-healthy Mahomes to begin and end the game, and they should have what it takes to emerge victorious on Sunday.