Are You Ready for Super Bowl 57?

Super Bowl 57 is a matchup with so many storylines you’d think it was a Hollywood script. First, you have Kansas City coach Andy Reid coaching against the franchise he spent 14 years with and still is the all-time winningest coach in Eagles history. Next, you have the two Kelce brothers squaring off against each other. Both brothers are almost surefire future Hall of Famers. Eagles Center Jason Kelce and Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce. The two brothers host a podcast called “New Heights,” where the ratings are through the roof. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni was fired by Andy Reid from his post as Wide Receivers coach when Reid took over in 2013. The last big storyline is the Quarterback matchup.

History Making Super Bowl

This is the first time in Super Bowl history that two black Quarterbacks are facing off against each other. Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes are the top MVP candidates for the 2022 season.  Hurts is new to the scene, as he has shown remarkable improvement from last season. Hurts is the unquestioned leader of the Eagles at the young age of 24 years old. He shows a maturity level well beyond his years. Mahomes is regarded as possibly the “Goat” in waiting. This will be Mahomes’ third Super Bowl appearance, and he’s been at least to the AFC Championship game each of the seasons he has started since becoming the starter in the 2018 season. Mahomes is looking for his second Super Bowl title.

The Match Up

While those are the headlines, my take on this matchup is that it’s a battle for the main seat at the NFL’s big boy table. Kansas City is already there. They have a top 10 all-time coach in Andy Reid and possibly the most physically gifted Quarterback this league has ever seen. This is the 3rd Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons for the Chiefs, and they’ve clearly replaced New England as the top dog in the AFC, if not the whole NFL.

On the flip side, we have the Chiefs’ opponents from the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles. Some could argue that the Eagles belong at the main table already.  This is the Eagles’ third Super Bowl appearance since 2004. The Eagles won the Super Bowl 5 short years ago in 2017, the first in franchise history. Philly has the sixth-best record in the NFL since 2000, and along with the 3 Super Bowl appearances, they’ve also been to the NFC Championship game four other times. The Eagles are tied for the 2nd most playoff victories with 16 since the new millennium. They have the third most playoff appearances with 15.

Lurie and Roseman

Owner Jeff Lurie made the infamous comment in 2003 saying the Eagles were the “Gold Standard.” He was ripped for it at the time and prematurely with no Super Bowl victories. However, with a win on Sunday, his words will come to fruition. With a victory on Sunday, the Eagles will capture their second Lombardi trophy in the last five seasons.

This would give the franchise much more credence as one of the elite franchises in the National Football League. General Manager Howie Roseman has done a magnificent job of putting this team together, and he should win his second executive of the year honor this year. There are a few holdovers from the 2017 team, such as Kelce, Cox, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Issac Seamulo, and kicker Jake Elliot.  Derrick Barnett is also on the team but was injured in week one. Many of those players are key contributors to the team’s success.

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Roseman

That being said, the job Roseman has done to rebuild this roster from the 2020 season’s 4-11-1 record debacle is remarkable. The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to make the Super Bowl twice in such a short time period with a different coach and Quarterback. This is a true testament to how well-run an organization the Eagles are, starting with the ownership and executive Howie Roseman.

This last offseason, Roseman has acquired such talent as Wide Receiver AJ Brown, Defensive End Hassan Reddick, Cornerback James Bradberry, Safety Chauncey Gardner Johnson, Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph, and Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. These additions have brought the Eagles from a 9-8 Wild card team to a true Super Bowl contender. The depth on this football team, and the defensive line in particular, has led to the number one pass defense in the NFL and a franchise record of 70 regular season sacks. Many can point to some of Howie Roseman’s past draft mistakes, like taking Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson. Still, Roseman is one of the tops, if not the top, executives in the National football league. If Roseman were available, he’d be hired almost immediately.

The Kansas City Chiefs

Like the Eagles, the success of the Chiefs starts at the top. The Hunt family still owns the Chiefs. The Kansas City General Manager is 45-year-old Brett Veach, who was hand-picked by Andy Reid. Veach, like Roseman, has done a tremendous job. The Chiefs have rebuilt the offensive line with some good free agents signings like Guard Joe Thuney and trade for starting left tackle Orlando Brown. The Chiefs are top-heavy with the salary cap, with seven players having annual average values greater than $10 million dollars per year. Because of this, Veach has spent a lot of draft capital on defense, particularly the secondary. The Chiefs have a very young, talented secondary that should improve as the years go on. As long as Andy Reid and Veach are on the same page, the Chiefs should be in contention year after year.

Eagles vs. Chiefs

Let’s get to the game. In looking at this matchup, it’s uncanny how similar and evenly matched these two teams are. Both teams are 16-3, scored 546 points, were number one seeds, and have 6 All pros. It’s a matchup between the highest-scoring team of the AFC and the highest-scoring team of the NFC. It’s also a matchup of the number one and two teams in sacks. The Eagles had 70, and Kansas City had 55. The Eagles come into the game healthier, with all 22 starters tracking to play. The Chiefs are already without WR Mecole Hardman and have a few other players dinged up, including Wide Receivers JJ Smith Shuster and Kadarius Toney.

While the numbers say this is a very evenly matched game, I see the Eagles having a huge advantage on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The Eagles have the best offensive line in football with five pro bowl caliber players. The Eagles also have a huge advantage on the defensive line, and with the Chiefs’ Wide receivers being so banged up, there’s a huge advantage with the Eagles’ secondary. Cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry should be able to blanket the Chiefs’ wide receivers. The biggest concern for the Eagles defense will be All-pro TE Travis Kelce.

Offensively  I see the Eagles being able to move the ball with ease, whether by ground or air. The Chiefs have given up 33 passing touchdowns this season, the most in the NFL. I expect huge games from AJ Brown, Davonta Smith, and Tight End Dallas Goedert. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a deep pass dialed up for Quez Watkins at one point in this game.

The Prediction:

As much as the Chiefs are the toughest opponent the Eagles have faced this season, I see an Eagles victory by the score of 30-20 and a huge party on Broad Street next week. Jeffrey Lurie’s Gold standard will finally be fulfilled. The Eagles, with two championships in 5 years, will take their place at the head of the main table of the National Football League. Many fans around the country will be nauseated by the Philadelphia fans being on top. As a lifelong Eagles fan, I couldn’t be happier. Like Jason Kelce said in 2017, No one likes us, and we don’t care.

GO BIRDS!!

Al Zaffiri
Al Zaffiri

Al is one of the two co-creators of Edge of Philly Sports. Al started radio and podcasting in 2012 and covering sports in 2015. A lifelong Philly sports fan since watching the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers with his grandfathers at age 7. Al always looks at the other side of the hot topics and gives his different outlook on those topics. Web and Graphic Design.

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