It looks to be perfect weather, 65 degrees and sunny, and both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs have been given a clean bill of health. With all their weapons locked and loaded, Patrick Mahomes, NFL MVP, and Jalen Hurts, the runner-up, will shoot it out in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.
A salvo of points are expected as the league’s top scoring team (Kansas City 29.2) matches firepower with third top scorer (Philadelphia 28.1). In total offense, the Chiefs rank first with 7032 yards and the Eagles are right behind at 6614. While both teams are quarterback-driven, each takes a different path from there.
The favored Eagles run a more balanced attack, running (544 plays) and passing (536 plays) at nearly an identical rate. Hurts is a proven dual threat and has thrown for 3701 yards on a 66.5 completion percentage and 22 touchdowns. He’s added 760 yards rushing, at a 4.6 clip and 13 touchdowns. He has only thrown six picks, but did fumble nine times.
A stellar receiving trio are led by wideouts A.J. Brown and DaVonta Smith, along with tight end Dallas Goedert. Smith leads in receptions at 95 for 1196 yards with seven touchdowns. Brown has captured 88 passes for 1496 yards at 17.0 yards per catch and 11 touchdowns. Goedert added 55 grabs for 702 yards and three TD’s.
Miles Sanders had a breakout season running the football, chalking up 1269 yards at almost 5.0 per carry and only coughed it up twice in 279 touches. Backups Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott and added a combined 457 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Gainwell also caught 23 passes.
Defense is another strong aspect to Philadelphia’s game, they gave up the least passing yardage in the league, and were tied for sixth in points allowed per game, 20.2. The 70 sacks by the Eagles was 15 more than the runner-up Chiefs and their pressure percentage, 25.5%, ranked second. They also forced 27 turnovers.
Linebackers T.J. Edwards (159) and Kyzir White (110) are the Birds leading tacklers, safety Marcus Epps added 94. Hassan Reddick tallied 16 sacks, while Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham chipped in 11 apiece. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson missed five games and still picked off six passes.
Partick Mahomes right arm led the Kansas City offense to being ranked first in total yards, passing yards, scoring, and percentage of drives ending in a score. The Chiefs were second in third down conversion percentage as well as red zone scoring percentage. Mahomes completed 435 passes for a 67.1 rate and 41 touchdowns. He threw 12 interceptions and had five fumbles.
Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco totaled 830 yards on 4.9 yards per carry and five touchdowns. Diminutive backups Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon combined for 593 yards and four touchdowns. McKinnon added 512 yards on 56 receptions and nine scores. Mahomes chipped in 358 yards four TD’s on the ground.
First team All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce paces the Chiefs deep receiving unit with 110 catches for 1338 yards and 12 tallies. JuJu Smith-Schuster chalked up 78 grabs for 933 yards and Marquez Valdes-Scantling corralled 42 passes for 687 yards at 16.4 per catch. All told, KC had 17 different players with pass receptions.
On defense, the Chiefs have a middle of the pack unit, They certainly rate as a top ten group when it comes to getting after the passer, but they really don’t standout anywhere else.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones leads with 15.5 sacks, rookie defensive end George Karlaftis has six, and both Frank Clark and Michael Danna chipped in five. Linebacker Nick Bolton leads the team with 180 tackles, safety L’ Jarius Sneed had 108 and 3.5 sacks, while linebacker Willie Gay missed four games and still made 88 stops, 2.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss.
Special teams are close, with the edge going to the Chiefs on the leg of All-Pro punter Tommy Townsend. He averages 50.4 yards per punt and dropped 41.5 percent of punts inside the 20. KC kicker Harrison Butker has had a good career, but fell back this year.
What do you have planned?
Here in California’s Central Valley, the weather will great after the morning fog and we’’ll be grilling linguica and a top block sirloin, the original Santa Maria Barbecue. The only modification will be grape stump instead of red oak.
I know it sounds like blasphemy, but Rams, 49ers, and Raiders fans will mix freely, and congregate around the pit to swap tall tales. Share with Turf Show Times what you’re planning to serve and a little about your fiesta.
How to follow the game
Date: Sunday February 12
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. PST
Location: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Watch it live: Nationally on Fox, Fox Deportes, the Fox Sports app, and the NFL+ app.
Live stream: Sling TV, Hulu Live, fubo TV, You Tube TV, DirecTV STREAM, and many others.
Listen: Nationally on Westwood One Sports, SiriusXM NFL and affiliates.
Celebrity sightings: Chris Stapleton will sing the “Star Spangled Banner”, Babyface will perform “America, the Beautiful”, and Sheryl Lee Ralph will vocalize “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Rihanna headlines the halftime show.
Current betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Line: Philadelphia Eagles -1.5 -110
Over/under total: 51 -110
Money line: Philadelphia Eagles -125 / Kansas City Chiefs +105