Super Bowl LVII Preview: The Arm Versus the Leg

Advaith Modali

Super Bowl LVII is quickly gaining traction among fans for its unprecedented lineup. The match will feature two talented quarterbacks at the top of the MVP race: Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. This is the first Super Bowl to feature two Black quarterbacks starting against one another, as well as two brothers competing on different teams —Jason Kelce for the Eagles, and Travis Kelce for the Chiefs. It’s no wonder that this match is so widely anticipated. 

Throughout the postseason, the Eagles have been dominating their opponents, outscoring them 69–14 in the Wild Card and Divisional rounds. With their strong offensive line, they have been consistently taking advantage of the run game, using running backs Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Miles Sanders, as well as Hurts, to score a bulk of their points. On the other side the Chiefs, who lead the league in offense, didn’t have as high of a point differential, but were able to pull off impressive wins against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals, the latter of which came down to a last second field goal by Harrison Butker. 

A player that many are eager to watch is Chris Jones, a defensive tackle for the Chiefs, who amassed an impressive two sacks and three tackles for loss. It will be a tough challenge for the Chiefs’ defensive line, as they are going up against an offensive line in the Eagles that is considered to be one of the best, if not the best, in the league. One crucial key for the Chiefs’ defense is to put pressure on Hurts while reigning in the staggering rushing attack of the Eagles. The tall task of keeping Hurts in check will fall to impressive second-year linebacker Nick Bolton, who has taken major strides as a leader on the Chiefs’ defense. Forcing Hurts to stay in the pocket and make plays is something he is more than capable of doing, yet the offense becomes much less fearsome without the threat of their biggest weapon: Jalen Hurts’ legs. 

All eyes are on Patrick Mahomes and his journey to finish a historic season in style, going up against the Eagles’ lethal secondary led by Darius Slay and James Bradberry. Most importantly, it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs will be able to contain the Eagles pass rush scheme led by Haason Reddick, who showed his dominance against the 49ers last week in the NFC Championship Game. In an aggressive showdown that will come down to how each offense decides to throw the ball, both teams will need to rely on their receivers to take advantage of every opportunity they get. 

For the Eagles, this will depend on the performances of A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, one of the top wide receiver duos in the league, each having caught for more than 1,000 yards this season. For the Chiefs, it will come down to the dominance of Travis Kelce and additional targets like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney, the former of whom caught 6 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in the AFC Championship. 

In a very highly anticipated matchup that will feature two of the most powerful teams in the league, I predict that the Chiefs will beat the Eagles in a very tight game, with a score of 37-34, in an offensive shootout that will bring out the best of both teams. 

Art Courtesy of Michelle Deng of the UCSD Guardian