Super Bowl LVII Preview: Dynasty in the Making vs. Dynasty for the Taking

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are gunning for their second Super Bowl title in four years. (Photo credit: David Eulitt/Getty Images)

Postseason record: 7-5

Overall record: 42-38-3 (.525)

Kansas City vs. Philadelphia (-1.5)

Super Bowl LVII is almost here, and I believe it will be worth the wait. Two top seeds square off in Glendale, the first time since the Eagles’ last visit to the Big Game that two No. 1s will meet for the Lombardi Trophy. With a pair of 16-3 clubs, you would expect a heavyweight fight, and the oddsmakers’ line of 1.5 points (in favor of Philadelphia) validates that. The big question is, will the game live up to the hype?

Super Bowl blowouts have been few and far between, unlike in the 80s and early 90s, but the last one is one that Patrick Mahomes wants to forget — and make up for. There are many storylines in this game that are quite obvious: Andy Reid vs. his old team (and Nick Sirianni, as well); the Kelce brothers facing off; two MVP candidate QBs battling for supremacy. But perhaps the biggest storyline is the legacy that will be created by the winning team. For the Chiefs, there is a chance to make a legitimate dynasty claim, a second Super Bowl win for Mahomes and the Chiefs in a five-year span (dare we say, Patriots territory?). For the Eagles, the window may just be opening, and there could be a chance for a dynasty in the NFC — something that no team has really accomplished since the 1992-95 Cowboys. Both teams, of course, have won within the last five seasons, something not seen in a Super Bowl since the Raiders (who beat the Eagles in 1980) and Redskins (the defending Super Bowl champs from 1982) squared off in 1983.

For me, the biggest difference-maker in this contest will be the two pass rushes. The combined 125 sacks between the two clubs could be a Super Bowl record, and the question is whether either — or both — defensive fronts will wreak havoc. One thing that neither club has had to endure this postseason is playing from behind; neither team has trailed at any point this postseason, the fourth time in history that’s happened and first since Reid’s Eagles met the Patriots in 2004. We can’t doubt Mahomes’ ability to lead his team from behind, but what about Jalen Hurts? In his young career the signal-caller has just three comebacks and four game-winning drives in the final quarter, while Mahomes has 13 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career with an additional two in the postseason.

How about the run games? The Eagles come in with a decided advantage here. But Isiah Pacheco is a hard-nosed runner that can set the tone, and the activation of Clyde Edwards-Helaire off IR adds some intrigue. Philadelphia has the better run game coming in, but don’t sleep on the Chiefs’ ability to establish a ground game.

Lastly, the intangibles. Think Super Bowl experience is overrated? It may well be, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Andy Reid is coaching in his fourth Super Bowl, and for whatever reason he has completely dominated this matchup — he was 3-0 against the Chiefs as an Eagles coach, and is 3-0 against the Eagles as a Chiefs coach. Mahomes desperately wants to erase the bitter taste of his last appearance, a 31-9 drubbing at the hands of the Bucs which to this day is still his only single-digit outing in the NFL. The Eagles have had an almost-too-easy run to this point, and I wonder if they might be shellshocked if they suddenly get behind the Chiefs and Kansas City’s pass rush comes into play. Lastly, the Josh Sills arrest seems like a bad omen in the same light as Eugene Robinson (Falcons), Barret Robbins (Raiders), and Britt Reid (Chiefs).

Something tells me Mahomes is even more dangerous as an underdog, and I don’t think his ankle will be any more of a concern than Hurts’ shoulder. I’m putting my eight-game Super Bowl spread winning streak on the line here (and 6 of the last 8 straight-up) and going with the “dynasty in the making” “underdog” Chiefs.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Eagles 27

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