The Philadelphia Eagles–Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl gives us the best possible matchup to end the 2022 season.
Any combination of teams from the conference championships would have made for an excellent Super Bowl 57, but the Eagles against the Chiefs gives us the best of each conference in a battle for all the marbles — exactly as it’s supposed to be.
Let’s run through the matchups for an initial look at how the two teams compare.
PFF's free-agent rankings by position:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | IOL | DI | EDGE | LB | CB | S
Jalen Hurts has taken a massive step forward in 2023, and I don’t want to understate how important he is to this offense or how dangerous he is to the Chiefs defense, but the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes.
The 2021 campaign was a relatively down season for Mahomes, but it still would have been a career year for most quarterbacks. This season, he has been back to his very best and has done it without star wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offense.
Mahomes made his fifth consecutive AFC championship game and only enhanced his legacy with his performance over the last two games on a high-ankle sprain.
He is the gold standard at the position and the rightful heir to the baton Tom Brady passed on when he headed into retirement this week.
|P. Mahomes||J. Hurts|
|Passer rating from a clean pocket||117.2||111.0|
|Passer rating under pressure||78.7||66.8|
|Big-time throw %||4.37%||3.34%|
|Turnover-worthy play %||2.24%||1.91%|
|Power rating rank||1st||9th|
That injury will remain the biggest question for Mahomes heading into this game, as a high-ankle sprain typically results in a four-to-six-week recovery time. Mahomes may have taped it up and headed back out when it first happened and then played on it the following week, but that doesn’t mean it will be fully healed by the time the game rolls around.
Philadelphia’s defensive line can generate pressure with the best of them, and a physically encumbered Mahomes gives them an easier target to attack.
While Hurts is clearly not as good as Mahomes overall, he brings a rushing threat that changes everything. The enhancement his presence gives to that offense simply in how a defense has to approach every play is considerable and goes beyond his statistical impact.
The Eagles already have an elite offensive line, but their job is made easier by the threat of Hurts behind them.
Best Unit: Eagles O-line
The Philadelphia Eagles entered the season ranked No. 1 in PFF’s offensive line rankings, and they stayed at that position every week of the season. They have the best offensive line in football, and it is the foundation of everything they do on offense.