2023 NFL Picks – Super Bowl
The final road to Super Bowl LVII is upon us as the Kanas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. To get the season's ultimate game, these two teams leaned heavily on their quarterbacks, which is surprising considering their combined age will be the youngest between starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.
It's a new age for the NFL, with a new crop of quarterbacks leading the way and redefining greatness along the way. The Chiefs and Eagles were he most winningest teams during the season, both finishing with a 14-3 record. It really is a clash of the titans and should be an epic final.
Kanas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes managed to steer the Chiefs to the championship game, despite their injury concerns about his sprained ankle going into the game. If they hope to capture the Super Bowl, they'll need Mahomes fit and firing. In fact, sportsbooks may be considering the knock, as super bowl odds have the Eagles favored going into the game at -133, while the Chiefs sit at +110. Although the odds may be stacked against them, it would never be completely wise to bet against Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs are going to their third Super Bowl in four years, after missing it last year in the AFC Championship Game. Last year saw Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals upset Mahomes and pave the way for Burrow to become the next star. Mahomes reasserted his dominance this year, and a second Super Bowl ring would already see him go down as one of the greats.
Mahomes threw for two touchdowns and 326 yards in an excellent game management performance. Despite the news that he'd be hobbled, he handled the game well and never appeared to really get hit. He showed his class in the dying moments of the match when he shuffled in the pocket before rushing to get a down that also saw a flag on the play with only 8 seconds remaining. The subsequent kick saw them break the deadlock and go up by three.
What the Chiefs have going for them in this game is experience and outstanding plays from their Captain. He always seems to know what the moment calls for and steps up to deliver.
That's not to say the Philadelphia Eagles have not been impressive themselves. People were robbed of a great NFC Championship game as the San Francisco 49ers were robbed of their starting and backup quarterback through injury. Brock Purdy was forced out after a hit from Haason Redick, which appeared to hurt his elbow, while his replacement Josh Johnson got a concussion slightly later in the game.
It's a shame to see the 49ers' season end in such a manner, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the Eagles deserve to be heading to the Super Bowl. They were the best regular season team and crushed an upstart New York Giants side in the Divisional Round.
The team is built off their spectacular defense, led by Haason Reddick and his tremendous ability to sack a quarterback. Their pass rush is overwhelming and in the game against the 49ers, they generated a 61.9% pressure rate, per Next Gen Stats. Young but innovative head coach Nick Sirianni has put a lot of faith in Jalen Hurts, but he has repaid it in abundance. Not only is he able to manage games effectively, but his throwing has come on leaps and bounds this season, while he is always a threat to run with the football.
With a stinging defense and a trusty quarterback, many expect the Eagles to be able to take down the mighty and experienced Chiefs. It wouldn't be the first time they took down an experienced team with a superstar quarterback, as they defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for their last Super Bowl in 2017. It may be a different cast of characters, but the Philly spirit runs through this team.
Prediction: It's difficult to call, and it's hard to go against the odds on favourite Eagles. However, if Mahomes can get his injury right, the Chiefs can capture this Super Bowl.