Super Bowl 2023: Five bold early predictions for Chiefs vs. Eagles, including a surprise MVP candidate

Our Super Bowl LVII game is officially set, as the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles square off on February 12 with NFL glory on the line. These two teams went their separate ways as the best in the league, and there are a lot of interesting subplots that come with this game.

This will be the first Super Bowl where two brothers face off, with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles center Jason Kelce. This is also the first Super Bowl game to feature two Black starting quarterbacks. Andy Reid will become the fifth head coach to coach against his former team in the Super Bowl, something that hasn’t happened since 2014.

What will this game look like? Will the season end with more heroics from Patrick Mahomes, or will the Eagles’ rushing offense dominate the day? Below, we’ll break down five bold early predictions for Super Bowl LVII.

Mahomes sacked a playoff top five times

The Eagles and Chiefs went 1-2 in sacks during the regular season, with Philly recording 70 quarterback kills and Kansas City recording 55. This is the third Super Bowl game between the top two teams in the sacks, and the first Super Bowl game between teams that recorded at least 55 sacks during the regular season. Our bold prediction is that Mahomes is sacked five times – which would be a playoff high for him.

Mahomes has been sacked five times only once, in 2018 against the Arizona Cardinals. In his first Super Bowl appearance against the San Francisco 49ers, Mahomes was sacked four times. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV — where he had a battered offensive line — Mahomes was sacked three times.

Teams have taken different approaches to defending Mahomes. Some tried to blitz him, while others sit with two safeties high. Mahomes had success against both. Either way, the Eagles were No. 1 in the pass-rush category this season, per PFF. Philadelphia will build on their strengths in the biggest game of the year.

Travis Kelce throws a touchdown

The Chiefs star’s tight end was definitely on a after the AFC Championship win over the Cincinnati Bengals. “Browhead, my ass!” Our prediction is that Kelce will throw a touchdown to Kadarius Toney in the red zone – a bit “special” against Philly, if you will. Kelce is a versatile red zone threat who can both find gaps in zone coverage or shovel pass down the middle for the score. Expect something creative from Coach Reid in the Super Bowl LVII red zone.

Kelce has attempted just one career playoff pass. This attempt resulted in a 2-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jalen Hurts sets Super Bowl record

This may be our least daring take, as Hurts looks set to break a Super Bowl record in particular. The great Steve McNair holds the Super Bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback, as he rushed for 64 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV. Hurts hasn’t rushed for 64 yards since Week 14, but we say he did reach 65 rushing yards in Super Bowl LVII.

Hurts averaged 50.7 rushing yards per game this season, which was just slightly below the 52.3 rushing yards he averaged in 2021. His 760 regular-season rushing yards rank second among quarterbacks to reach the Super Bowl behind Russell Wilson in 2014.

CJ Gardner-Johnson makes the case for Super Bowl MVP

The versatile defensive back is going to play a big role in the Super Bowl. Ceedy Duce should have a hand to help defend Kelce in the passing game, and also as a blitzer. The former Saint has recorded just four career sacks, but he’s the kind of player who forces turnovers one way or another. We saw it against the New York Giants in the Divisional Round, as his pressure on Daniel Jones forced the quarterback to throw an interception to James Bradberry. In the Super Bowl, Gardner-Johnson will record 1.5 sacks and an interception that will put him in the conversation for Super Bowl MVP.

The Under strike despite the game in overtime

The Chiefs led the AFC in points scored per game this season with 29.2, while the Eagles led the NFC in points scored per game with 28.1. This is the seventh Super Bowl game between each conference’s top offenses. Interestingly enough, both teams have scored exactly 546 points this year, including the playoffs. Our bold prediction is that the Chiefs and Eagles will score the same number of points in regulation on Feb. 12, forcing the game into overtime.

This will be the second Super Bowl to go to overtime — the first, of course, being Super Bowl LI, which saw the Atlanta Falcons take a 28-3 lead. While Philly and Kansas City will have more time to score more runs, that won’t help those holding Over tickets. Under bets will strike in this match, with the final score being 23-20, Eagles.

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