We’ve had over a week to process the most beautiful sentence in the English language, “the Eagles are playing in the Super Bowl.” Whether you’re working, in school, playing video games, or passing the time in other ways, Super Bowl 57 is the main thing on our minds this week.
If you’re like me, you’re obsessive and have already had three dreams about the game’s outcome. The national media has declared this Chiefs @ Eagles Super Bowl as even a matchup as there is, with our Eagles being a slim favorite.
I’m going to look at both sides of the argument, why the Eagles will NOT win the Super Bowl, and why they WILL.
Why The Eagles Will NOT Win The Super Bowl
In the Eagles’ three losses, they badly lost the turnover battle. Against the Commanders, Jalen Hurts had one interception and other players on the offense committed three fumbles. Against the Cowboys, Gardener Minshew had two interceptions and one fumble, and Miles Sanders had one fumble.
Against the Saints, Gardner Minshew had one interception returned for a touchdown. Although Minshew is mostly responsible for two of those three losses, ball control has been a minor issue for the Eagles, especially with skill players. If they give Mahomes extra possessions, it will be that much more difficult.
– Although the Chiefs’ secondary can be had, their run defense is stout. It ranks eighth in the league, and the Eagles’ offense may struggle to get into a flow if they don’t establish the run. The run has been mostly responsible for both of their playoff wins, and forcing the pass could be tough on Jalen Hurts’ shoulder. A failure to successfully block Chris Jones could cause him to take unnecessary hits, and the Chiefs’ offense is the last offense to punt to without converting points.
– Patrick Mahomes may have a high ankle sprain, but he’s still Mahomes. Although I despise the strength of schedule argument, he’s the best quarterback the Eagles’ defense will have faced all season, and it’s not even close. Statistically, Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, Trevor Lawrence, Brock Purdy, and Jared Goff were the best quarterbacks this defense has faced. The athletic ability, shovel, and flip passes are ones the Eagles will have to strategize to defend, as the defense seems to historically struggle with this type of quarterback.
If Gannon doesn’t have a spy or plan for Mahomes, the Eagles are in trouble if he consistently escapes pressure. Defending quick slant passes over the middle and defending an elite tight end like Travis Kelce will be a tall task for this defense.
– Coaching experience is also a concern. Andy Reid has been on this stage before, and Nick Sirianni has not. This is Reid’s fourth appearance in a Super Bowl between two teams, and the Eagles have a full staff of inexperience. It is more likely that Reid has learned from his mistakes of Super Bowls past than not.
Why The Eagles WILL Win The Super Bowl
The Eagles are 16-1 in games that Jalen Hurts has started this season. Miscues by Quez Watkins, AJ Brown, and Dallas Goedert had more to do with the loss to the Commanders than Hurts did. In the 16 games the Eagles have won, Jalen Hurts has been consistently able to command game-winning or sealing drives. If the Eagles win the turnover battle, this will not change in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs may have the advantage in coaching, quarterback, tight end, and overall run defense, but the Eagles have the advantage at every other position.
– The Chiefs have one pass rusher over 10 sacks, Chris Jones. The Eagles have four pass rushers over 10 sacks in Haason Reddick, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, and Josh Sweat. The Eagles’ offensive line has neutralized great defensive ends and interior defensive linemen all season, and there hasn’t been an offensive line able to neutralize the Eagles’ pass rush. I fully expect the Eagles’ defensive line to get more pressure on Patrick Mahomes than the Chiefs’ defensive line on Jalen Hurts. The Chiefs have an offensive line that excels in pass protection, but they have yet to face a unit like the Eagles. Although the Chiefs have the advantage at quarterback, Mahomes’ high ankle sprain will still be a factor. If I’m Jonathan Gannon, I’m looking at the film of Super Bowl 55, when Tampa Bay’s defense ate Patrick Mahomes alive. Dropping Avonte Maddox and CJ Gardener Johnson to the middle of the field will work wonders in defending Travis Kelce.
– The Eagles’ secondary is ranked first against the pass and sixth in interceptions. The Chiefs’ secondary is ranked 19th against the pass and 22nd in interceptions. The Eagles’ secondary should have an easier time in this game. Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman has been placed on injured reserve and will not play in the Super Bowl. Juju Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney practiced on Tuesday, but are dealing with knee and hamstring injuries, respectively. Although both will suit up, neither will be 100%. The Eagles’ wide receivers are healthy, and AJ Brown and Devonta Smith will be a tall task for a below-average secondary. This duo has only been silenced in four games this season, and that’s debatable. In the Giants and 49ers playoff games, neither needed to show up since the running game was so dominant.
– The Chiefs were one of the worst rushing teams in the league during the 2022 season, ranked 20th. The Eagles were top-five, and have been able to run the ball on higher-ranked defenses. If they keep Patrick Mahomes on the sideline with the running game and clock control, they will be victorious. The Chiefs have talented RBs in Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Jerick McKinnon, but none have rushed for 1,000 yards on the season. This Eagles defense has stopped elite running backs like Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Jonathan Taylor, and Derrick Henry this season, and will be up for the task against this Chiefs group.
– 68% of the time, the Super Bowl winner won the turnover battle during the game. Only 7 teams that lost the turnover battle have managed to win the Super Bowl. For what it’s worth, the Eagles rank 2nd in overall turnover margin. The Chiefs are ranked 13th.
– I think this Eagles team is legitimately fired up. It’s not to say the Chiefs aren’t, but there’s a lot of bulletin board material aimed at the Eagles. Haason Reddick has been disrespected in pass rusher rankings, 49ers players have implied this team isn’t good, and despite the Eagles being favored, the Chiefs are the darlings of the media. Jalen Hurts has consistently been answering questions about the fans and team wanting him in 2020. The “schedule” narrative is floating around, and the Eagles’ win against the 49ers has been deemed illegitimate because of the injuries to their quarterbacks. I believe this team will use all of those words as fuel, wanting to prove they are the best team in the NFL.
Where do I stand? I’ll be a glass-half-full fan until death, so I’m going with the latter.
The Eagles ARE winning the Super Bowl and there is no doubt in my mind about it.
Confidence in this superior Philadelphia Eagles roster does not equal disrespect for Kansas City. Let’s get this (second) ring and party on Broad street. Go birds.