Today: Jun 17, 2024

Column on the NFL – Super Bowl

Jaylen Carr Sports Editor

The big game is Sunday, Feb.12, and you know what that means… A Super Bowl LVII prediction is needed. The Chiefs come off a close 23-20 victory over the defending AFC Champions Cincinnati Bengals. The NFC Champs Philadelphia Eagles dominated the San Francisco 49ers defensively so severely that the 49ers were out of healthy quarterbacks to play. 

 This year’s Super Bowl will be intriguing to watch because of the matchups. First off, the Eagles’ offensive line versus the defensive tackle of the Chiefs, Chris Jones, and defensive end Frank Clark.   

The Eagles have the best offensive line in the NFL, led by three pro bowlers, center Jason Kelce, guard Landon Dickerson, and offensive tackle Lane Johnson.  

The offensive line is the heart and soul of the Eagles because when they dominate, which is all the time, that opens up holes for running back Miles Sanders and quarterback Jalen Hurts. Despite Jones having 15.5 sacks in the regular season and two sacks thus far in the postseason, I don’t see Jones or Clark getting to Hurts in the game, so I give the edge to the Eagles’ offensive line.  

The Eagles’ defensive line has been dominant through the playoffs, especially linebacker Hasson Reddick who has 3.5 sacks so far in the postseason. He has been the anchor for their defense was one of Eagles general manger Howie Roseman’s best off-season acquisitions.  

In terms of the skill positions, I’ll give the edge to the Eagles too. The draft night trade the Eagles pulled off to acquire wide receiver A.J. Brown was one of the most significant draft night trades in recent years because he changed their offense entirely.  

The Eagles went from being a predominant run team to a balanced team.  Brown gave Eagles a deep-threat wide receiver to pair him with Marvin Harrison 2.0, Devonte Smith. While, of course, the Chiefs have arguably the greatest tight end of all time Travis Kelce, but that’s it. The Chiefs don’t have any noteworthy wide receivers on their offense, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes always finds a way to win games.  

At the quarterback position, we will see the first matchup between two Black quarterbacks in a Super Bowl, which is a historical moment for the NFL.  Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts grown and improved since his rookie season. He can not only run the ball efficiently but throw the ball accurately. His completion percentage was 66% in the regular season and 63% in the postseason.  

For a 24-year-old, Hurts has proven the critics wrong by improving his skills and being a leader on and off the field.  

Mahomes, on the other hand, won a regular-season MVP in 2018 and already won a Super Bowl back in 2019 season after beating the 49ers. His valiant performance versus the Bengals in the 2022 AFC Championship will go down as one of his best because of the circumstances.  

He was battling an ankle injury all week, and there was some doubt by the media if he was going to be able to move outside the pocket like he usually does. Despite the injury, Mahomes finished the game with 326 passing yards and two touchdowns.  

I think because of Mahomes’ will to win, toughness, and the Chiefs’ Super Bowl experience will help propel them to win the Super Bowl against the Eagles. It will be a close game, but the Eagles’ linebackers will have difficulty guarding Travis Kelce because of his versatility and wide receiver skills.  

I predict a Chiefs 31-28 victory. The game is going to be close because I think its going to be hard for both defenses to stop each offense.  I hope Kelce wins Super Bowl MVP but the NFL loves the quarterback too much so Mahomes will probably receive the award for the second time in his career. 

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