Tremendous Bowl LVII predictions: Guardian writers’ picks for Chiefs v Eagles | Tremendous Bowl LVII

Haason Reddick

What the Eagles must do to win …

Minimize off Travis Kelce. Simple, proper? The one Chiefs participant with greater than 1,000 yards receiving within the common season, and the goal for one-third of all passes his group has thrown within the postseason, he’s the individual that an injured Mahomes will need to search for when the strain is on. NB

The important thing to profitable Tremendous Bowls and beating elite quarterbacks is getting strain with 4, permitting a protection to cheat an additional defender into protection. Towards Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ go-go offense, it’s a should. Excellent news for Philly: They lead the league in sack fee and strain fee with a four-man rush this season. OC

Deal with the bottom recreation. Whereas the Chiefs’ protection has improved, it’s weaker against the rush than it’s the go. That is the place having a dual-threat quarterback like Hurts helps them, as he gained’t essentially need to attempt to beat Mahomes in a shoot-out to steer his group to victory. HF

Swarm the backfield. Philadelphia’s tricked-out go rush has introduced the quarterback down behind the road of scrimmage in nearly one of eight plays this yr, the very best sack fee for any group in additional than three many years. Mahomes removes the ball quick and doesn’t get hauled down typically, however the Eagles will begin 4 gamers on Sunday who racked up double-digit sack totals on the season: one thing not even the 1985 Bears might boast. If they carry that menace on Sunday like they’ve all yr, it might get late early for Kansas Metropolis. BAG

Easy because it sounds, Philadelphia should management the clock and hold the ball out of Mahomes’ palms. Brock Purdy’s harm within the NFC championship recreation cleared the best way for the Eagles, however so did Philly’s offensive line and operating backs. The Eagles don’t need to need to depend on Jalen Hurts airing it out. MJ

What the Chiefs must do to win …

Preserve the Eagles’ formidable go rush off Mahomes lengthy sufficient for him to win the sport. Not one of the league’s final 9 Most Helpful Participant winners have mixed that award with a Lombardi trophy, and there’s a trace there of how harmful it may be to ask an excessive amount of of 1 particular person. However it’s exhausting to think about a situation by which Kansas Metropolis win this recreation with out the newly minted MVP within the starring function. NB

Stylistically and schematically, the Chiefs don’t have the items to decelerate the Eagles’ overwhelming offense. What they will do is trigger every kind of chaos up entrance and hope that they’re capable of idiot Jalen Hurts into making a few pricey errors. To win, the Chiefs might want to steal a possession. OC

The improved offensive line can’t let Mahomes endure any additional harm. There’s no query Mahomes is the largest difference-maker right here, however it’s additionally unsure how wholesome his ankle is, regardless of how effectively he performed in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals within the AFC title recreation. Any substantial harm to Mahomes will tilt the sport in favor of Philadelphia. HF

It hasn’t reared itself typically throughout the Eagles’ charmed season, however we’ve seen what the tender underbelly of Jonathan Gannon’s protection can seem like at its worst. If ever a man was constructed to use that weak point, it’s Kansas Metropolis’s supremely gifted quarterback. Mahomes and Kelce should probe the brief and intermediate areas over the center early and sometimes, placing the query linebackers TJ Edwards and Kyzir White together with safeties Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Reed Blankenship and Marcus Epps. BAG

The Chiefs’ defensive entrance should penetrate that elite Eagles line and power Hurts to throw the ball. Whereas Hurts is a confirmed quarterback, the lingering affect of his shoulder harm was evident in opposition to the 49ers. Oh, additionally that Mahomes dude must work his regular magic whereas a wideout comparable to Kadarius Toney wreaks havoc on Philly’s secondary. MJ

Haason Reddick
The Eagles’ Haason Reddick, left, celebrates along with his teammates after recovering a fumble throughout the second quarter of the NFC championship recreation final month at Lincoln Monetary Subject. {Photograph}: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Pictures

Key participant for the Eagles …

Haason Reddick, edge rusher. The Chiefs won’t repeat the error that San Francisco made, assigning tight ends and receivers to dam Philadelphia’s finest edge rusher. However he had 16 sacks within the common season, too, his third straight yr hitting double figures. You don’t must be naïve for him to harm you. NB

Jason Kelce, heart. The offensive line fuels the Eagles’ run recreation, and has constantly pitched shutouts in go safety (Lane Johnson hasn’t conceded a strain in six weeks). If the run recreation is rolling early, the Chiefs shall be in bother – and the Eagles’ floor assault is constructed round Kelce’s distinctive skillset, which permits them to run issues different groups can solely think about. OC

Miles Sanders, operating again. Whereas Kenneth Gainwell has been the best operating again for Philadelphia within the postseason, Sanders stays their premier speeding risk (at the very least amongst non-quarterbacks). He ended the common season with the fourth-most speeding touchdowns within the league, plus the fifth-most speeding yards. Count on some game-changing carries from him. HF

Jalen Hurts, quarterback. The Eagles have gained 19 of their previous 21 video games when Hurts is below heart, however the Tremendous Bowl is a unique animal – particularly for a younger signal-caller. Of the seven quarterbacks to begin a Tremendous Bowl earlier than their twenty fifth birthday, solely two have completed with a passer ranking above 66: Tom Brady on the finish of the 2001 season (86.2) and Mahomes on the finish of 2019 (78.1). The 24-year-old Hurts’ even-keeled temperament appears tailored to satisfy the second, however we gained’t know for positive till the rubber hits the highway. BAG

Nick Sirianni. OK, he’s not a participant, however this would be the greatest take a look at but for Philadelphia’s 41-year-old head coach. To date, he has proven poise, self-discipline and a wholesome quantity of guts. (The Eagles have gone for it on fourth down a whopping 35 occasions this season.) However the Tremendous Bowl is a novel beast and lots of extra skilled coaches have crumbled below the highlight. MJ

Key participant for the Chiefs …

Chris Jones, defensive deal with. Mahomes, after all, however to be rather less apparent I believe Jones might have an enormous function on the opposite facet of the ball. The Eagles’ offensive line are bullies, however a participant who piled up 15.5 sacks and 46 quarterback pressures, finest within the league at his place, may simply have the moxie to present them a bloody nostril. NB

Patrick Mahomes, quarterback. You can level to rookie nook Trent McDuffie, whose entry into the lineup has reworked the Chiefs’ protection. However KC’s hopes for a championship experience on Mahomes’ proper shoulder. Throughout the board, the Eagles have a greater roster. It should take an all-time efficiency to push the Chiefs excessive. And who can be keen to guess in opposition to Mahomes to ship? OC

JuJu Smith-Schuster, huge receiver. With Mecole Hardman injured, Smith-Schuster – who had 78 catches for 933 yards within the common season – goes to be much more necessary for the Chiefs, significantly if the Eagles’ protection efficiently covers Mahomes’s prime goal, Kelce. HF

Andrew Wylie, proper deal with. The undrafted free agent from Japanese Michigan, whose 9 sacks allowed within the common season had been joint-third most in the NFL, might want to step up his recreation after drawing the unenviable task of containing Haason Reddick, the sting rusher extraordinaire who’s incomes straight-faced comparisons to Reggie White. BAG

Trent McDuffie, cornerback (and the Chiefs’ different rookie DBs). The Chiefs hit the jackpot with this group of rookies and significantly with McDuffie, who can play on the surface and within the slot. The Eagles will sling it to AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith when there’s a juicy one-on-matchup. How McDuffie and Co maintain up in these moments will go a good distance in figuring out the end result. MJ

Chris Jones
Kansas Metropolis’s Chris Jones sacks Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow throughout the first quarter of the AFC championship recreation final month at Arrowhead Stadium. {Photograph}: David Eulitt/Getty Pictures

One daring prediction …

Hurts units a brand new report for most speeding yards by a quarterback in a Tremendous Bowl. The goal is decrease than you may assume: simply 64 yards by Steve McNair in a dropping effort for Tennessee in opposition to St Louis on the finish of the 1999 season. NB

Rihanna delays the second half. The league has type for delaying the second half of the Super Bowl. I’m unsure in case you’ve seen the prop bets, however Vegas appears to know stuff. Rihanna to Verify That Her Lyrics Had been Censored by the NFL is a -105 favourite to happen throughout the half-time efficiency. What if that censorship causes the league to panic and delay? Or, I don’t know, somebody slips on RiRi’s fake rain throughout Umbrella. OC

The sport will activate a security. In a contest between the 2 finest groups within the league, you anticipate one thing near a superbly executed recreation. Perfection, nonetheless, not often occurs in skilled sports activities. HF

The Chiefs will attempt an onside kick on their first kickoff. The fearless Andy Reid as soon as opened a season with an onside kick (and watched the same gambit backfire spectacularly just a few years later) throughout his time with the Eagles, so there’s a monitor report right here that Philadelphia ought to concentrate on. Don’t be shocked if he tries to catch his keyed-up opponents off guard earlier than they’ve gotten their legs below them, whether or not it’s to begin the sport or after Kansas Metropolis’s first rating. (Additionally, Rihanna busts out Pon de Replay for the primary time in 12 years.) BAG

Disclaimer: I 100% hope this doesn’t occur. Hurts re-injures his shoulder within the first quarter. Gardner Minshew enters the sport, revs up the aerial assault and is topped Tremendous Bowl MVP. A wide range of hair product corporations battle for his advertising companies, all contingent on Minshew rising again his mullet. MJ

The ultimate rating shall be …

Chiefs 23-20 Eagles. On paper, Philly are the higher group. That offensive line is simply so sturdy, and they’re going to have success establishing the run to manage the clock early on. However shut video games are determined by the moments when all the things goes off script, and who manages these higher than Mahomes? It’s not nearly him, both. Are we but able to put Sirianni above Reid, who has given Kansas Metropolis top-of-the-line many years of any group in NFL historical past? NB

Eagles 34-28 Chiefs. Philadelphia prime Kansas Metropolis in virtually each division. They’ve one of the best offensive line within the NFL by a ways. They’ve one of the best, best defensive entrance. Entrance to again, they’ve one of the best protection within the league. Mahomes continues to be battling a excessive ankle sprain. The Chiefs receiving corps is depleted. And so they’re taking part in a historic variety of rookies on protection. All indicators level to the Eagles operating over an undermanned KC facet. However the Chiefs have one of the best quarterback within the recreation, taking part in on the apex of his powers. The Eagles ought to win, however Mahomes, Kelce and Jones will hold it shut. OC

Eagles 29-24 Chiefs. The Chiefs are going to attain touchdowns on this recreation, that’s the one prediction right here that this author is 100% assured about. The Eagles, nonetheless, have been essentially the most full group all common season and have plowed their manner via the competitors within the postseason. If this recreation hinges on a handful of errors, it feels just like the Eagles are the group finest certified to show these into factors. That could be the distinction in a Tremendous Bowl that ought to go all the way down to the wire. HF

Eagles 33-16 Chiefs. Philadelphia have the NFL’s finest offensive line and one of the best line of defense. They’ve been the deepest and most full group throughout the board all season they usually’re the more healthy facet coming into Sunday’s recreation. And but one way or the other the consultants are nonetheless underestimating them: the Chiefs had been put in as two-and-a-half-point favorites earlier than the general public spoke with their wallets, swinging the road in the Eagles’ direction inside quarter-hour. So long as the ankle holds up, Mahomes’ routine incandescence paired with one of many sport’s finest ever game-planners in Reid will hold the end result doubtful till the championship rounds, the place the physique blows will mount and the Eagles’ class will inform. BAG

Eagles 31-22 Chiefs. The Eagles are higher and deeper throughout virtually each unit. Offensive line? Verify. Receiving corps? Operating recreation? Secondary? Verify. Verify. Verify. The Chiefs, after all, boast one of the best quarterback within the recreation, to not point out one of the best tight finish. However with Mahomes three weeks faraway from a excessive ankle sprain, his receivers banged up and an inexperienced nook group, the Eagles have extra viable lanes the place they will prevail. MJ