The NFL’s two No. 1 seeds are set to face off after they both dominated the regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will battle in what’s sure to be a heavyweight bout in Super Bowl 57. This is the first time since 2017 and only the 13th time since 1975 that the top team in each conference met each other for the grand finale.
We’re taking a first look at the key aspects of the Chiefs vs. Eagles matchup in Super Bowl 57 so that you’re covered for the big game. Whether you’re interested in betting on this matchup or simply want to feel confident heading into Super Bowl Sunday, we have you covered.
Let’s dive in.
First Look at Chiefs vs. Eagles Matchup in Super Bowl 57
The 14-3 Chiefs and 14-3 Eagles have built two diametrically opposite teams. While the Chiefs have the more traditional roster construction that relies on a superstar quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, the Eagles have assembled a deep depth chart strong at the game’s most important positions. Both Mahomes and the Eagles are hoping to win their second respective Super Bowl in five years.
Here are the top storylines heading into the Chiefs vs. Eagles Super Bowl matchup.
Andy Reid and Steve Spagnuolo Fight for History
Reid, who coached the Eagles from 1999 until 2012, already made history when he became the seventh head coach to reach a Super Bowl with two different franchises. Winning his second with the Chiefs would potentially certify his place on the coaching Mount Rushmore. Currently second in playoff wins, fifth all-time with 247 wins, and fifth in winning percentage of any coach with 140 or more wins, Reid’s resume is loaded.
Few coaches have as vast of a coaching tree as Reid, and his impact on the NFL as an offensive designer is undeniable. He’s helped develop arguably the most talented quarterback in NFL history and one of the most dangerous tight ends in Travis Kelce. Reid accomplished almost everything possible besides winning a Super Bowl with the Eagles, then got even better in Kansas City.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnoulo could also be on the verge of cementing himself as one of the best to ever be in his position if the Chiefs win. Spagnuolo was the architect of the 2007 Giants defense that upset the 18-1 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He also immediately helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl in 2019 after being hired.
Stopping the Eagles’ diverse offense will be difficult. The Chiefs rely on a number of unheralded young players, including cornerbacks Jaylen Watson, Trent McDuffie, and Joshua Williams, defensive lineman Mike Danna, and safety Bryan Cook. The unit ranked 16th in points allowed and 11th in yards allowed in the regular season but has proven to be ready for the moment in the playoffs thus far.
Can the Eagles Replicate the Buccaneers’ 31-9 Win in Super Bowl LV?
There are several similarities between the 2020 Buccaneers and the 2022 Eagles that don’t bode well for the Chiefs. Tampa Bay relied on their deep array of pass rushers and physical secondary to slow Mahomes and the young Chiefs, forcing two interceptions, 11 penalties, and three sacks. This version of the Chiefs has a better running game but has felt the loss of Tyreek Hill to their receiving corps.
The Eagles have a historically good pass rush thanks to their immense trench talent. No team in NFL history has boasted four 10-sack defenders until this Eagles unit. Their 4.1 sacks per game make the Chiefs, who are No. 2 at 3.3 sacks per game, pale in comparison.
If the Chiefs can’t slow Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox, then their offense won’t be able to keep up with the Eagles’ balanced and dangerous attack.
How Do The Chiefs Slow Jalen Hurts?
The Chiefs’ defense was able to bend but not break throughout the season, relying on timely sacks from Chris Jones and Frank Clark, but their defense still ranked 16th in EPA against the pass and against the run. A mediocre defensive performance against Jalen Hurts and his impressive surrounding cast won’t get the job done unless Mahomes has the game of a lifetime.
Philadelphia was unchallenged through most of the regular season and the playoffs. Their Super Bowl run was maybe the easiest in NFL history, as they played the 21st-ranked regular season schedule and then had two layups against the New York Giants and quarterback-less 49ers in the playoffs. However, this team has the talent to blow out any foe in the league.
Challenging Hurts will be the key. The efficient dual-threat opens rushing lanes for Miles Sanders and does a good job finding star receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. The Chiefs have to hope that Brown has a third-straight game under 30 receiving yards and forces Hurts to be a pocket passer who can’t kill them with a thousand cuts.
Spagnuolo has gotten the most out of his athletic but mostly-nameless defense this season, but he’ll be put to the test by Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni’s fluid offense. Philadelphia was able to grind out six wins where Hurts completed 60% or fewer of his passes, so they’re not entirely dependent on him being a star to win.
But allowing Hurts to get hot as a passer and a runner is a sure death knell. Stopping the Eagles is difficult because they’re able to win at every level of the field. It starts with an elite offensive line, then everyone from Sanders to tight end Dallas Goedert is a major threat to create big plays when given the opportunity.
What Carries Over From Their 2021 Matchup?
The Chiefs beat the Eagles 42-30 in Philadelphia in Week 4 last year, pulling away in the fourth quarter as Hill provided several explosive plays. Mahomes completed 24-of-30 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns. 11 receptions, 186 yards, and three scores went to Hill.
With Hill gone, the Chiefs will need to look more toward tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce has been unbelievable this season but only had four catches for 23 yards in the matchup last year. Kansas City also ran 24 times for 144 yards with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams.
A lot has changed since then in terms of personnel on both sides. Kansas City must establish the run again because it’s a weakness of the Eagles, and Isiah Pacheco is a better rusher than Edwards-Helaire.
But there’s no Hill to bail out the offense this time, and the Eagles’ defense is better at producing pressure and covering receivers, thanks to a ridiculously good offseason last year.
Hurts had a monstrous statistical game, but he was still in a mode where his numbers were less effective than impressive. He accumulated 434 total yards on 32 completions and eight carries, but the rest of the offense was stagnant. The Chiefs didn’t have the best version of Sanders or Brown to worry about.
The entire foundation of the Eagles has matured and become more dangerous since then. Kansas City has changed as well, but it’s been more of a restructuring than an improvement. The Chiefs have to prove once again they’re more than just the “Mahomes Show” on offense and force impact plays on defense to assist him.