Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid Credit: Wikipedia, All-Pro Reels

The Kansas Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles are making final preparations for their Super Bowl LVII matchup this Sunday in Arizona. One of the leading storylines is that this is the first-ever Super Bowl with two Black starting quarterbacks: the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. 

At 27, Mahomes is a Super Bowl champion (LIV), Super Bowl MVP (LIV), and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year in 2018. He’s also a five time Pro-Bowler who played in all 17 games during the regular season and led the Chiefs to a 14–3 record, throwing for 5,250 yards and 41 touchdowns. A concern for the Chiefs is his high right-ankle sprain, suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round. He played through it in defeating the Jaguars and then Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship, but was clearly still hobbled.

Referencing his ability to play in Sunday’s game, the last and biggest one of the year, Mahomes said during a media session this week, “I’ll play through all injuries that the trainers will let me play through. As long as the trainers are OK for me to get out there, I’m going to play through it.”

In describing the health of his ankle this week, Mahomes was somewhat evasive. “You won’t know until you get out there in the game,” he said. “I’m gonna push it. I’ll try to leave it all on the line. 

“I think you all saw that in the last game that I played. But it’s about relying on your teammates, and not trying to do too much,” Mahomes noted. “But I’ll definitely be in a better spot than I was last game.”

Sunday will also be the first time brothers play on opposing teams in the Super Bowl. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his older brother, Eagles center Jason, are two of the best players in the league and on a path to the Hall of Fame. Each has already won a Super Bowl, Jason with the Eagles in 2018 and Travis with the Chiefs in 2020.

“It’s going to be an amazing feeling, playing against him,” said Travis, acknowledging that he’ll limit the amount of trash talk that he’ll levy on his big bro because of how much respect and love he has for him, “but it’s definitely going to be an emotional game.”

The Chiefs’ 64-year-old head coach Andy Reid has been at the heart of both teams. He was the head coach of the Eagles from 1999–2012 before taking over the Chiefs in 2013. He’ll be facing a coach whom he did not keep on the Chiefs staff when he took the job. Eagles 41-year-old head coach Nick Sirianni was the Chiefs’ wide receivers coach when Reid came onboard, but was let go along with other coaches on the staff. 

Sirianni said he uses that as a reminder of how much he needs to continue to grind. “Do you always have this little chip on your shoulder?” he said to the media. “Sure you do…I want to make sure I’m working my butt off to get as good as I possibly can. And sure, you hold on to some of those things.”

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