I’ve gone back and forth on Super Bowl 57, but the decisive matchup for me is the Philadelphia defense against Kansas City’s receivers.
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are an unstoppable combination, good for seven receptions and 75 yards against any defense. But the Chiefs are trying to go deep by committee, and they haven’t found a chairman to replace Tyreek Hill. In their Super Bowl victory over the 49ers, Hill caught nine passes for 105 yards, including a 44-yarder on third-and-15 with the Chiefs trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter. Super Bowls frequently come down to big plays late in the game.
Injuries compound the uncertainties about the Chiefs’ wide receivers. Mecole Hardman has been declared out while JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney are questionable.
Making Mahomes’ day even more difficult will be the Eagles’ defensive front, the deepest in the NFL. When you threaten the 1984 Chicago Bears D for most sacks in a season, you are bringing the heat, and this group dominated the NFC Championship Game.
My biggest concern about the Eagles is head coach Nick Sirianni. He needs to win the game, not attempt to prove he’s the smartest coach in the NFL. His rugby approach on fourth-and-1 can be lethal, but simply always going for it on fourth-and-2 or fourth-and-3 can lead to disaster. Despite what the nerds preach, football games are won by the Jimmys and Joes, not the X’s and O’s or flawed math.
As for prop action, I’ll be betting “tails never fails” on the coin toss (despite losing two years in a row) and Mahomes to throw an interception because he’s thrown two against both the 49ers and the Bucs in his two previous Super Bowls.
Finally, a bonus prop: Take the winner of the coin toss to lose the game. VSiN’s friends at Doc’s Sports tell me that the winner of the Super Bowl coin toss has lost eight straight games.
Hope that helps you cash some tickets because that’s what it’s all about!
Score: Philadelphia 23, Kansas City 20