PHOENIX, AZ — Quarterbacks are getting all the attention and making headlines. That’s especially true when you have Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, two MVP finalists, set to face off on the Super Bowl LVII stage on Sunday. However, when it comes to which of these quarterbacks will actually lift the Lombardi Trophy when that super shindig is said and done, it may come down to what happens in the trenches.
As you dissect this Super Bowl game, you’ll find an impending clash between two of the NFL’s best at what they do – Eagles center Jason Kelce against Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones. But don’t take my word for it.
“Chris Jones is at least one of the best, I would say, the best defensive tackle in the NFL,” Kelce said from his podium on the Super Bowl’s opening night.
“[Kelce’s] a stallion, man,” Jones said of his next opponent. “Probably the best center in the league in my eyes. »
Kelce is the headliner of a top-notch Philadelphia offensive line that was the NFL’s best in pass blocking and third in rush blocking, according to Pro Football Focus. Specifically, with Kelce, he allowed pressure just 1.2% of the time this season, which ranked second in the league among all offensive linemen who recorded at least 500 pass-blocking snaps.
“They’ve got a terrific offensive line,” Jones said. “Tough ones. Best offensive line in the league as a whole. It’s going to be a challenge.”
This unit and Kelce will be tested against Jones, who himself is in the midst of a dominant season. He enters Super Bowl LVII with 17.5 sacks on the year, 35 quarterback hits and 93 pressures (including the playoffs). Each of those ranks No. 1 among defensive tackles.
“H has it all,” Kelce said of Jones. “Any time you play against a defensive lineman, you try to figure out what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are. Is he a fast guy? Is he a strong guy? Is he a long guy? Chris has It’s not a combination you like to see [as an offensive lineman]. You can’t rely on him trying to work an advantage or do something quick with the ball or he’ll cross you. You can’t crouch and brace for the power or else it will work an advantage. All the things you can do to take away the moves he has, he has a counter. So he’s a guy who can ruin games. He’s ruined games and he’s a guy we’re going to have to pay a lot of attention to this week.”
At Kelce’s point, Jones ruined their AFC Championship showdown against Cincinnati to help propel Kansas City to its sixth Super Bowl appearance in six years. In that victory, he recorded 10 pressures, five quarterback hits and two sacks. It’s only the fourth case to happen this season (including the playoffs) and Jones has two.
So as you sit back to watch these teams fight for immortality, take a look at what’s going on here with Kelce and Jones. Whoever comes out on top will probably tell you which club will be the last one standing.