The two best teams in the NFL this season—the NFC’s No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles and the AFC’s No. 1 seed Kansas City Chiefs—are three days away from kickoff in the United States’ preeminent sporting event. Well over 100 million people are expected to tune into Super Bowl LVII this Sunday, both diehard and casual football fans, with the halftime show and ads that cost a record $7 million for a 30-second spot becoming as big an attraction as the play on the field.
The Eagles have been the most impressive team this postseason after going 14–3 in the regular season, the same record as the Chiefs. They steamrolled the Giants 38–7 in the divisional round, followed by a 31–7 trouncing of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game.
The Eagles’ offensive and defensive lines were arguably the best in the league this season and have been central to their success. They will be critical against the Chiefs in dictating the terms of how the game will materialize. The Eagles want to run the ball—they gained 148 yards on 44 carries versus the 49ers—to open up the passing game.
On the other side of the ball, their relentless pass rush, which had 70 sacks in the regular season and eight in the playoffs, knows they must disrupt the Chiefs’ potent offense. With five more sacks, the Eagles will break the 1984 Bears’ record of 82 combined regular season and postseason sacks.
The Eagles-Chiefs matchup features a superstar and rising star playing the most important position in sports. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is already being compared to some of football’s all-time greats. He will be playing in his third Super Bowl despite being just 27 years old. Mahomes is 1–1 in his previous two appearances.
The Eagles’ Jalen Hurts is making his Super Bowl debut at 24. The game’s outcome could come down to which ultra-talented QB has the ball last.
The duo has already broken new ground as the first Black quarterbacks to start against each other in the Super Bowl.
“To be on the world stage and have two Black quarterbacks start in the Super Bowl—I think it’s special, and I’ve learned more and more about the history of the Black quarterback since I’ve been in this league,” said Mahomes last week. “The guys that came before me and Jalen set the stage for this, and now I’m just glad we can kind of set the stage for the kids that are coming up now.”
Hurts, who like Mahomes is a product of the legendary Texas high school football system, echoed his counterpart’s sentiments.
“I think it’s history,” Hurts said. “I think it’s something that’s worthy of being noted…I think it’s come a long way…To be the first for something is pretty cool. It’ll be a good one.”
The game should indeed be gripping. In the end, the prediction here is Hurts and the Eagles come away with a 30–24 win.