At half past midnight Italian, the challenge for the title is played in Glendale, Arizona. Kansas City bets on its superstar, Phila on the collective
Almost in a whisper, not in silence, but without screaming. Tonight at half past midnight in Glendale, Arizona, Super Bowl number 57 is played. Once upon a time, the week leading up to the title challenge lived with great news, maybe some twists. Now, in the social and news overload era, there is little left to reveal. But the juice remains, the game. The emotions for the match that closes the season are always the same. Kansas City Chiefs looking for a success that makes them knock on the door of the great dynasties, Philadelphia Eagles eager to legitimize a season always lived in front of everyone.
mahomes versus the eagles
Let’s face it: if there weren’t a Martian like Pat Mahomes, fresh from winning the MVP of the season, at the helm of the Chiefs, the scales would lean clearly on Phila’s side. But the quarterback phenomenon is there, and how. It won’t be 100%, even if the bad ankle seems to have improved a lot. But in football it doesn’t take much to get hurt unfortunately. And one of the keys will be the protection that KC’s forward line will be able to guarantee to their star. Haason Reddick will be the man to stop in a world-class defensive line for the Eagles.
He can legitimately be defined as the best tight end of the last twenty years after Rob Gronkowski. How Phila will defend against him will be another key to the match. The Chiefs no longer have a receiver like Tyreek Hill capable of “stretching” the field, or worrying the opposing secondary in depth. They have changed their way of playing, they prefer to stay on the “average”, with some screens, and above all to go looking for Kelce in the middle of the field. Andy Reid always looks for the mismatch, even physical, by fielding more tight ends (he did it in 41% of snaps this season).
If Mahomes is not at his best, Jalen Hurts seems to have recovered from a shoulder injury that cost him a couple of games in the season finale. But in the Championship with San Francisco he landed badly again on the limb. He doesn’t seem to have suffered from it, but some small doubts remain. His numbers in the playoffs are modest (20 rushes for 73 yards and 49 passes for only 275 yards) but it is also true that there was not much need for his phenomenal race to win. The run-pass option will be a key weapon for Phila.
The experience factor
Sometimes it’s said to be overrated, but when it comes to the Super Bowl it has value. Reid, Mahomes and the Chiefs are third in four years, the Eagles get there for the first time since 2018, when they surprised Brady and the Patriots in Minneapolis. But there is no one left of that team, including the coach since Doug Pederson now leads the Jaguars. Nick Sirianni has done a great job, we’ll see if the pressure of the Super Bowl will be felt.
We’ve been on the Chiefs bandwagon all season, we’re certainly not going down now, even if it won’t be easy: Chiefs-Eagles 31-27.
February 12 – 00:07
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