Super Bowl LVII Preview: Matchups, Keys to the Game, and Predictions for the Big Game


Image via Fox News 54

Arjun Jaswal and Jacob Farhy

Five years removed from winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history, the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in the Big Game once again, with a revamped roster. Led by third-year MVP-candidate Jalen Hurts and two newly acquired superstars in wide receiver A.J. Brown and linebacker Haason Reddick, the Eagles have dominated throughout the regular season and the postseason on their way to a Super Bowl berth. Their opponents, however, the Kansas City Chiefs, led by former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid, are no strangers to the Super Bowl either. This is their third time in the last four years in which they have made it to the most important game of the year. After a thrilling victory in the AFC Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals, Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks to win his second Super Bowl in just five seasons as a starter and continue down his path to becoming one of the greatest to ever play the game.


Matchups to Watch Out For:

Eagles Pass Rush vs. Patrick Mahomes:

Patrick Mahomes is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history when under pressure, and his ability to make magic happen behind the line of scrimmage is second to none. But this Eagles defensive line, boasting the number one rated pass-rush in the league, is certainly a force to be reckoned with, and will likely make their presence felt very often on Sunday. Haason Reddick, who leads the Eagles with 16 sacks, is one of four players on the Eagles with at least 10 sacks this season, setting an NFL record. While the Chiefs, who have the best rated pass-blocking unit this season, have protected Mahomes well all year, they have not faced a pass rush nearly as dominant as this record-breaking Eagles front seven. Right tackle Andrew Wylie has allowed the third-most sacks this season, so look for the Birds to exploit that matchup as much as possible during the game. When all is said and done, this matchup could end up looking very much like Super Bowl LV, where Mahomes was running for his life all game long.

Chiefs Pass-Catchers vs. Eagles Secondary:

Speed is the name of the game on offense for the Chiefs. They roster three of the fastest receivers in the NFL in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, and Mecole Hardman, in addition to having two of the quickest running backs in the league in Rutgers product Isaih Pacheco and nine-year veteran Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon, who effectively served as a third wide receiver during the regular season, is a perfect receiving option out of the backfield to pair with arguably the greatest receiving tight end of all-time in Travis Kelce and former Pro-Bowl wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. With Andy Reid’s creative play-calling and Mahomes’s strong arm, the Eagles have to prevent the Chiefs pass-catchers from getting the ball in their hands with open space. Even with a strong pass-rush and one of the league’s best cornerback duos in Darius Slay and James Bradberry, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ speedy receivers and yards-after-catch specialists may make it tough for the Eagles defense to find their way off the field.

Eagles Rushing Attack vs. Chiefs Front Seven: 

In their NFC Championship tilt against San Francisco, the Eagles dominated the ground game. Despite not putting up gaudy numbers (only 3.4 yards per carry), Nick Sirriani’s offense was able to maintain possession and gain 12 first-downs on the ground, keeping the ball out of the Niners’ hands as much as possible and preventing any hopes of putting together a second-half comeback. Although Patrick Mahomes has been crowned by many as the “Comeback King ” of the NFL, he cannot surrender too large of a first-half deficit with how strong the Eagles rushing attack is. The Eagles, who have the best rushing offense in the NFL by a wide margin this season, will heavily rely on their run game led by Pro Bowl quarterback Jalen Hurts and Pro Bowl running back Miles Sanders to keep the ball out of Mahomes’s hands and maintain possession for as long as possible. Expect quite a few double teams by the Eagles’ second-best run-blocking offensive line as well, as Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones has proved that he is the best in the league at his position all season long.


Keys to the Game:

Chiefs: Protect Patrick Mahomes from Eagles’ Fierce Pass Rush

If Andy Reid wants any shot of taking down his former team, his offensive line must remain sturdy against Philadelphia’s 70-sack defensive front. Getting to the quarterback has been the goal for Gang Green’s defensive line, led by new acquisition Haason Reddick along with long-time veteran Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. With Patrick Mahomes’ sprained ankle hindering his mobility, the Chiefs must protect their 500-million dollar player in order to hoist up the Lombardi this year.

Eagles: Contain Mahomes and the Passing Game

It’s no secret how the Chiefs have won seven consecutive AFC West titles and hosted five consecutive AFC championship games—they can pass the ball like no other team. With MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes turning in yet another phenomenal year, Philadelphia will have their hands full with his consistently supreme play. Along with Mahomes, Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, who will be competing for a ring against his older brother (Eagles center Jason Kelce), answered any doubt of his tweaked back by torching the Bengals’ defense for 78 yards and a touchdown in the AFC Championship game.




Although the Eagles have looked unstoppable as of late, it is hard to bet against one of the greatest talents in NFL history in Patrick Mahomes, especially on the world’s biggest stage. Having been much more battle-tested throughout the season, I expect the Chiefs to be better prepared for the Big Game than the Eagles, despite the fact that they are dealing with injuries to key players. Mahomes will hopefully make sure he does not repeat his mistakes from his last Super Bowl debacle and make it a priority to get the ball into the hands of his speedy playmakers as quickly as possible against a violent Eagles pass-rush. As impressive as the Eagles looked in their last game, their offense certainly looked shaky with under 270 total yards and a measly 3.8 yards per play. I expect this game to go down to the wire, but ultimately the Chiefs will prevail on a game winning field-goal drive led by none other than the “Comeback King” himself, Patrick Mahomes.

Bold Prediction: Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones wreaks havoc on the Eagles’ top-rated offensive line, recording 2 sacks and a key forced fumble.

Final Score: Eagles 24, Chiefs 27


Two weeks ahead of the big game, there were no signs pointing to the Eagles’ recent dominance slowing down. After just two games, Philadelphia has already piled on a +55 point differential this postseason, thoroughly dominating on all sides of the ball. The Jalen Hurts-led offense has had no struggles moving the ball on the ground behind PFF’s top-graded offensive line, yet also boasts two 1000-yard wide receivers in DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown. On defense, Haason Reddick and the ferocious pass rush combined with the NFL’s best pass defense have held opponents to just one touchdown in each of their first two postseason games. Although Patrick Mahomes can never be counted out, his Kansas City Chiefs have played teams too closely and aren’t quite healthy enough to trust to take down the Green Machine.

Bold Prediction: Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown turns in a dominant performance with a 9 catch, 2 touchdown showing.

Final Score: Eagles 37, Chiefs 20

Mrs. Kevgas:

Final Score: Eagles 38, Chiefs 35