The Philadelphia Eagles have earned the right to be in the conversation as one of the best single-season teams in NFL history, if they can edge past the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. . The Chiefs are also looking for their own story, as Patrick Mahomes seeks to become the first quarterback to win two MVPs and two Super Bowls before turning 30 (Mahomes is just 27).
While seeking his second Super Bowl title in four seasons, Andy Reid is looking to become the 13th head coach to win multiple Super Bowls. Reid, who coached the Eagles, is the only head coach to win more than 100 games with two different franchises and more than 10 playoff games with two different franchises. He will become the fifth head coach to face his former team in the Super Bowl.
This Super Bowl will feature first-team All-Pro quarterback in Mahomes and second-team All-Pro quarterback in Jalen Hurts, the seventh time in league history. If Mahomes finishes MVP (as expected) and Hurts finishes second (as expected), it will be the third time the top two MVPs have met in a Super Bowl.
Then there are the Kelce Brothers, the first time brothers from opposing teams will meet in the Super Bowl. Jason Kelce is a First-Team All-Pro center and Travis Kelce is a First-Team All-Pro tight end, both of whom are at the top of their games and are on the fast track to the Football Hall of Fame professional.
Super Bowl LVII contains many intriguing storylines, but the NFL’s two best teams face off at the end of the day. The Eagles and Chiefs are the two teams I focus on the most in the NFL, mostly because of Andy Reid’s connection and his decade of success in Philadelphia and how he carried it over to Kansas City.
I was tasked with making one pick a year for CBS Sports — and that’s who wins the Super Bowl. Now that the game is set, here’s why I pick the Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII.
The Eagles have a historic defensive line
The Eagles’ pass rush went largely unnoticed until recent weeks, thanks to the incredible numbers of sacks the team has racked up throughout the season. Philadelphia has 78 sacks this season, the third most of any team in NFL history (including the playoffs). The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to have four players with 10+ sacks in a season, and all four have 12+ sacks on the year (including the playoffs).
The defense is clearly led by Haason Reddick, who has the most playoff sacks in franchise history (3.5). Reddick certainly made a difference in the playoffs by reaching quarterback and making game-changing plays in the Eagles’ two playoff wins. Philadelphia finished fourth in the NFL in squeezing in 2022 (251) and second in squeezing rate (38.4%), demonstrating a consistent ability to reach quarterback.
That pressure ratio improved to 53.6% in the playoffs, the highest of any NFL team since 2017. It will be the biggest test for the Chiefs offensive line, which has allowed just 26 sacks on the season (third least in the NFL). While Kansas City allowed just 26 sacks, the Chiefs were 14th in pressure rate allowed (33.4 percent) and 2.56 seconds allowed before giving up on a pressure is 13th.
The Chiefs have a good offensive line, especially inside with Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. The lag comes with right tackle Andrew Wylie taking on Reddick, who has allowed nine sacks and 42 pressures this year. Wylie’s 5.0% beat rate significantly favors Reddick, who should have the ability to impact the game and put constant pressure on Mahomes.
Historical racing game
The Eagles set the NFL record for fastest touchdowns in a season with 39, breaking the mark set by the Frankford Yellow Jackets in 1924. Every time a team breaks a 1920s record, it’s a historic group. Philadelphia has seven rushing touchdowns in two playoff games while the rest of the NFL playoff teams have seven combined rushing touchdowns.
Hurts has 15 of those rushing touchdowns for the Eagles, the most by any quarterback in a season in league history. Hurts and Miles Sanders are the first pair of teammates to record 13+ rushing touchdowns in a season. Hurts makes the Eagles’ running game as valuable as it is, allowing the Eagles to be multi-faceted on offense with elite pass catchers like AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. It doesn’t hurt that the Eagles have arguably the best offensive line in football to lead the way in the running game.
The Chiefs have allowed just 12 rushing touchdowns this season, but the advantage goes to Hurts in this one. The injured are averaging 49.0 rushing yards per game this season, the third-most among quarterbacks while the Chiefs have allowed 26.1 rushing yards per game among quarterbacks — the third-most in the NFL . The Chiefs have a top-10 running defense, but Hurts’ ability to make plays with his legs is going to make a difference here.
Featured game | Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Personally, it’s difficult to choose against the Eagles and the Chiefs knowing both teams very well. The Eagles’ pass rush has been historically good, but the Chiefs’ offensive line can match them.
Reddick vs. Wylie is the difference in this game, which will give Philadelphia the edge to pressure Mahomes and get him out of his spot. Mahomes has the ability to improvise, so it’s important for the Eagles secondary to defend the quick passes he gets from Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster and his other playmakers.
Mahomes had 52 pressures in two Super Bowl games, both against strong pass-rushing units in the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49% pressure rating is why Mahomes has two touchdowns to four interceptions and a 64.2 Super Bowls passer rating.
The Eagles pass rush is a different animal. The Chiefs’ offensive line is good, but the Eagles’ pass rush is historic. This will play the difference in a tight context between the two best teams in the NFL.
Score: Eagles 27, Chiefs 24