The Philadelphia Eagles (16-3) and the Kansas City Chiefs (16-3) have made it to Super Bowl LVII as the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences.
As the two best teams for most of the NFL season, this will be a battle between more than just two top teams. It will be a matchup of two top quarterbacks and two of the best at their positions in Jason Kelce for the Eagles and Travis Kelce for the Chiefs. There have been 284 games played. Only one is left. But it is the most important game of the season.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 4-5 all time against the Kansas City Chiefs. The last of these meetings was a 42-30 victory by Kansas City in October of 2021.
Keys to the Game
1. Jalen Hurts' ability to pass the ball against the Chiefs
Jalen Hurts needed to pass for just 121 yards against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. This was due in large part to the inability of the 49ers to move the offense following the injury to QB Brock Purdy on the first drive of the game. This left San Francisco vulnerable to the run game and slowing the clock down. With Patrick Mahomes on the other side in this one, the same cannot be done.
Kansas City has had a subpar pass defense this season. Allowing 33 passing touchdowns during the season, the Chiefs ranked last in the NFL in the number of touchdown passes allowed. L'Jarius Sneed suffered a concussion during the AFC Championship Game, but he is cleared to play in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs rely heavily on rookies in the secondary in Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams, Brian Cook, and Jaylen Watson. This is a potential matchup advantage for A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert, and DeVonta Smith. If Jalen Hurts has time in the pocket and can find his receivers, the offense will be tough to stop with its outstanding rushing attack.
2. The Eagles' ability to sustain drives on offense
A big key for this game is keeping the offense of Kansas City on the sidelines.
The Chiefs are first in the NFL, averaging 413.6 yards of offense per game. Most of this (297.8 yards) comes via the pass game while the Chiefs rank 20th in rush offense at 115.9 yards on the ground. The Eagles' pass defense, No. 1 in the NFL at just 179.8 yards/game, will have to contend with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce for the entire game. Complementary football will be important for the Philadelphia Eagles, especially with an offense that can keep the Kansas City offense on the sidelines and out of the end zone.
3. Eagles' ability to contain Travis Kelce
Kelce has caught 21 passes for 178 yards and three TD in the playoffs this season. In just two games. These numbers add to an already remarkable playoff career for Kelce, in which he has 127 receptions for 1,467 yards and 15 TD. These numbers are all second all time to Jerry Rice, who has 151 receptions for 2,245 yards and 22 TD. While Rice did his damage as a WR, Kelce has done his as a TE. Which makes the numbers all that more impressive.
With Kelce having 14 catches against the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game, he broke his own NFL record for receptions in a playoff game. It was a mark he had originally set with 13 against the Bills in the 2020 AFC Championship. The Eagles will need to keep this type of game from occurring in Arizona for a chance to win.
4. Eagles' ability to get a pass rush against the Chiefs' offensive line
While the Philadelphia offensive line has been ranked No. 1 by Football Outsiders, the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line comes in at No. 2.
With Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown leading the way and anchored by Creed Humphrey at center and Trey Smith at right guard, the offensive line for the Chiefs is every bit as good as the Eagles have faced this season. This leads the Chiefs to be able to throw the ball as much as they do.
In giving Patrick Mahomes the time needed to find his pass catchers, it will also give the Eagles' pass rush time to get to him. Haason Reddick, after another multiple-sack game in the NFC Championship, will be heading back to the stadium where he started his career with the Arizona Cardinals. He is hoping for a warm homecoming for him and his linemates as they look to add to their 75 sacks on the season and break the 80-sack threshold. By doing so, it will also help the secondary of Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and the returning Avonte Maddox and allow them to cover the Chiefs' receivers.
Get a sneak peek at some of the cool shots that FOX has planned for the Super Bowl broadcast as well as the best photos from Super Bowl Opening Night.
1 – Kenneth Gainwell had his first career 100-yard game against the New York Giants in the Divisional Round and leads the Eagles in the playoffs with 160 total rushing yards.
4 – Travis Kelce has a receiving TD in four straight playoff games and a TD in eight of his last nine playoff games overall.
15 – Jalen Hurts, with his TD run against the 49ers, has an NFL-record 15 rushing TD as a QB this season.
33 – The Kansas City Chiefs, during the regular season, allowed 33 pass TD to opposing quarterbacks. This was four more than any other team in the league.
Marquee Matchup | Patrick Mahomes vs. Jalen Hurts
The MVP finalists are going against each other in the Super Bowl. With Jalen Hurts setting an all-time NFL record with 15 TD rushes as a quarterback and Patrick Mahomes finishing the season with 5,250 yards and 41 TD, these two stars will be the biggest factor in the Super Bowl.
If Patrick Mahomes is able to elude the Philadelphia pass rush and find Travis Kelce and others, the Chiefs will be able to move the ball and put up points. If Jalen Hurts can find his receivers and also get out of the pocket against the Chiefs' run defense which ranks 8th in the league at 107.2 yards per game, the Eagles will be able to stay on the field and shorten the game by not allowing the Chiefs and Mahomes to garner any momentum.
On Monday, the Eagles took over the Arizona Cardinals' Training Facility for a team weightlifting session to kick off the week of prep ahead of Super Bowl LVII.