February 09, 2023
The Eagles are now just days away from their Super Bowl matchup with the Chiefs. The game is always enough, but there is even more to it this year. The storylines are as good as any in Super Bowl history.
When has there been a head coach vs. his former team, plus brother vs brother, plus two quarterbacks 27 years old or younger in the same game?
Clearly that is a rhetorical question, but wow. Then you add in that this is the first time two Black quarterbacks have faced off. It feels appropriate that the Eagles have one of the QBs, considering the history from Randall Cunningham to Rodney Pete (who won a playoff game & is forgotten) to Donovan McNabb to Michael Vick to Jalen Hurts.
The teams also had identical 14-3 records. Add it all up and you have the perfect setup for a special game. In addition to that both Jason and Travis Kelce are headed to the Hall of Fame, and both already have championships.
I am struggling to type because I so amped up. The last Super Bowl was a magic carpet ride, but this one could be even sweeter because the Eagles are better in a lot of areas.
Andy Reid coached the Eagles for 14 years as I am sure you have heard and read 100 times this week and there are still Reid players on the roster. Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, and Fletcher Cox, all contributors, are still on the team. Andy has been better in Kansas City than he ever was in Philadelphia, making his third Super Bowl appearance with the Chiefs (1-1). I do wonder what those Eagles teams would have done if you replaced Donovan McNabb who was a borderline Hall of Famer with Patrick Mahomes, who has already done enough to qualify at just 27 in my opinion.
Opposing him is Nick Sirianni who after a tough opening press conference has had an incredible start to his career. Sirianni is part of why I am so confident about the Eagles. Nobody in the world will care less about Reid’s resume than Sirianni will. I believe that if he was hooked up to a polygraph, he truly believes he is a better coach than Andy.
We know he is still bothered by the fact that he wasn’t retained by Reid years ago as well. Remember, his now wife is from Kansas City. Her parents lived within 30 minutes of the stadium. You think it was easy for him to move at that point? It has worked out well, but there is no way a competitive guy like Sirianni isn’t extra motivated.
I love the killer instinct he has that the locker room buys into. Add that he almost always pushes the right buttons and that bolsters that belief that much more. Look at the Eagles’ slaughter of the 49ers. While 49ers players are crying about the loss, it should be noted that Sirianni dominated media darling Kyle Shanahan. The lack of accountability both in the game and after from the 49ers highlights that.
Drawing up pretty plays isn’t enough. Sirianni is only in year two, but there is something different about him and it goes beyond just strategy. We saw Doug Pederson stare down Bill Belichick, and I think we see a repeat on Sunday.
When it comes to the players, the Eagles clearly have the edge. The Chiefs are better than the Giants and 49ers, but they don’t have a more complete roster than the Eagles do. Even if you believe the Chiefs have the QB advantage with Mahomes over Jalen Hurts, the Eagles still have the edge overall.
Nobody outside of Chris Simms thinks that Hurts can’t also have a huge game. Travis Kelce is the best tight end in football, but Dallas Goedert isn’t a slouch. Chris Jones is an excellent defensive tackle, the best in the game this year. Javon Hargrave is damn good too though, and who knows what his numbers would look like if there weren’t so many double digit sack guys on his defensive line. I know these players don’t play against one another directly, this is just to highlight that the Chiefs talent advantage in the few spots that they may have, is not that large.
When I look at the actual matchups, I like the Eagles’ defenses chances against Mahomes and Kelce even more. Those guys are great, but they have not faced a defensive front nearly as good as the Eagles.
As far as getting to the quarterback, the best defensive fronts they have faced this season are the Buccaneers and the Seahawks. They each generated 45 sacks this year and both teams are about as mediocre as they come. The Eagles defense meanwhile generated 70 sacks, the third most in NFL history.
Nothing the Chiefs have seen in their 19 games can prepare them for what they will see on Sunday. The other weapons on KC are decent, but not scary. Jones has not seen an offensive line like this one either. This is the best offensive line in decades. Great players make plays, but the Eagles have great players available to block. He has to win a lot for the Chiefs to win and nobody wins often against this offensive line.
I have been alive for three Eagles’ Super Bowl appearances now and I feel better about this one than the other two by a wide margin. The Eagles are the best team in football, and I can’t wait to see all of you at the parade next week.
Tyrone Johnson is the host of "The Best Show Ever?" on 97.5 The Fanatic, airing Monday through Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
You can follow him on Twitter: @TyJohnsonNews