Super Bowl 57 Preview
By: Ahron Riss
On February 12, 2023, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs will face off in Super Bowl 57. The game will be held at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona. According to Caesar’s Sportsbooks, Philadelphia is favored by 1.5.
Before the 2022-2023 season began, both teams made significant changes to their rosters. The Eagles acquired Pro Bowl (all star) wide receiver AJ Brown through a trade with the Tennessee Titans, adding an immediate impact to a young recovering core. The Chiefs meanwhile traded their 7-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins, but compensated for the loss with the additions of wide receivers Juju Smith Schuster, Marquez Valdez Scantling from free agency, and Kadarius Toney from a midseason trade.
These two teams, while facing different paths to the Super Bowl, are relatively equally matched, rendering it difficult to pick a favorite. Both teams finished the season with 14 wins and 3 losses, securing first-round playoff byes in their respective conferences of the American and National Football Conferences. The Eagles defeated the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers to reach the Super Bowl, while the Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are strong at each position, so let’s take a closer look at the comparison by each teams critical positions to try to determine the results of a highly anticipated matchup:
Quarterback: Both Jalen Hurts of the Eagles and Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs are finalists for the regular season MVP award. Mahomes had 43 total touchdowns this season to lead the NFL, while Hurts had 35 with his duel threat rushing abilities, despite missing a couple games. Despite suffering an ankle sprain during the AFC divisional round game, I still favor Mahomes over Hurts in the Super Bowl.
Running backs: The Chiefs’ duo of Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon combined for 1121 yards this season, while Eagles running back Miles Sanders rushed for 1269 yards by himself, in addition to the help of Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell. The advantage goes to the Eagles.
Tight Ends: Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert missed five games due to injury and still recorded 702 yards. However, he will be facing one of the greatest tight ends in Travis Kelce, who this year had 1338 yards and was named to his 8th Pro Bowl and 4th All-Pro team. Advantage: Chiefs.
Wide Receivers: The duo of AJ Brown and Devontae Smith combined for 2692 yards this season. The top two receivers on the Chiefs – Marquez Valdez Scantling and Juju Smith Schuster – only combined for 1620 yards. The Eagles have better wide receivers.
Offensive line: The Eagles’ offensive line includes 3 Pro Bowlers – right tackle Lane Johnson, guard Landon Dickerson, and center Jason Kelce. The Chiefs also have 3 Pro Bowlers – left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., center Creed Humphrey, and guard Joe Thuney. This is a push for this category.
Defensive line: The Chiefs’ defensive tackle Chris Jones was the only defensive line Pro Bowler from the two teams. However, the impact of Eagles’ Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Robert Quinn along with the Chiefs’ Frank Clark and rookie George Karlaftis cannot be underestimated. Despite this, I will still give the Eagles, who have had the third most scs of all time in a season including playoffs, the advantage of their better defensive line.
Linebackers and secondary: The Eagles’ linebackers and secondary include Pro Bowlers Darius Slay and Haason Reddick, the latter who was second in the league in sacks with 16. The Chiefs have no Pro Bowlers in the linebackers or secondary, but linebacker Nick Bolton was second in the league in tackles with 180. The positive contributions of cornerbacks L’Jarius Sneed and safety Justin Reid cannot be ignored, but I still give the nod to the Eagles for having better linebackers and secondary.
Special Teams: Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend made his first Pro Bowl this year and is the only special teams player named to this year’s Pro Bowl. Harrison Butker made 75% of his field goals, while Eagles kicker Jake Elliot made 87%.
Coaching: Kansas City Head Coach Andy Reid is one of the most respected minds in all of football, having won countless games, already winning a super bowl, and advancing to numerous championship games with the Chiefs and ironically the Eagles. Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni is only in his second year as a head coach after guiding the Eagles to a playoff appearance last season. The experience of Reid makes the difference, advantage: Chiefs.
After conducting a comprehensive evaluation of both teams’ rosters and performance, it appears that the Philadelphia Eagles hold a slight advantage over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles possess superior players and personnel in four out of the seven positions, an incredibly small edge while the special teams and offensive line units of both teams are evenly matched and only marginal differentiation. It is important to note that having the advantage does not guarantee a win for the Eagles. The unpredictable nature of sports, especially in a high-stakes event like the Super Bowl, means that anything can occur on game day, as the saying goes “Any given Sunday”. However, based on the current analysis, I favor the Philadelphia Eagles to emerge victorious against the Chiefs in Super Bowl 57 by a score of 37-34.