I want to pick the Eagles. They have a stupidly great roster and have the ability to absolutely smash the Chiefs.
But we all know how this game is going to go: Fox is going to debut some terrible new TV scoreboard format that everyone on social media will complain about. Probably -250 odds on that. And then -1000 odds on “Nobody will cover Travis Kelce”—like literally not at all—and he’ll have 17 catches for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Mahomes will narrowly avoid sacks on 7+ occasions, and on a few of those plays he will underhand flip the ball to somebody for a touchdown. The Chiefs will dink and dunk it down the field, getting the ball out quickly and neutralizing the Eagles ferocious pass rush. Mahomes despite being slow will somehow run for 60 yards; somehow no one will be able to catch him.
And then of course the refs will be decidedly and noticeably on the Chiefs’ side in this game. We might even get another 5th down for them again. There will be at least one big roughing the passer or late hit out of bounds penalty that bails the Chiefs out in a critical moment.
You just know the Eagles defense will suddenly turn into the Washington Generals in this game because they’re playing against the Chiefs. They’ll be out there looking like Wil E. Coyote trying to catch the Roadrunner. It will be one pratfall after another.
But then again, all the “smart people” are picking the Chiefs to win. Every analyst and talking head out there “likes the Chiefs and the points.”
On Wall Street they would call this a “crowded trade,” which refers to a stock that everyone thinks is a smart investment, but because of its popularity, it becomes overbought and thus is no longer actually a smart investment.
Everybody out there who offers picks is acting like they’re giving you insider information when they offer up Chiefs +1.5. “Psst, hey buddy. Chiefs +1.5. Yeah, keep it on the DL.”
And the 49ers have been salty as hell since the NFC championship, with like half their team throwing shade at the Eagles over the past week. Even the 49ers kicker got in on it! Everyone hates Philly I guess.
So all this is to say, there is no way the Chiefs can play the underdog “nobody respects us” card. It was idiotic and delusional when they did it against the Bengals, but you could at least understand how they got the idea in their heads that they were underdogs. People (rightly) doubted them because Mahomes was hurt.
Now nobody is doubting them. Everyone is picking the Chiefs. I haven’t seen a single analyst pick Philly in this game. Of course I’m sure there are some out there, but in the sphere of people I follow and pay attention to on a regular basis, it’s all Chiefs.
Because like half the sports media is based out of New York, they all hate Philly and thus the Eagles. And then the ones who aren’t based out of New York are mostly advanced stats nerds on social media who have spent the last two weeks j*rking off over Patrick Mahomes’ EPA/play stats.
To the TV sports media, though, the Eagles are a mere obstacle here. Mahomes is the main character and this is all about him trying to get his second Super Bowl, which would make him the GOAT or something (seriously, people are talking about this). The Eagles are just in the way. It’s obvious who the narrative-crafters favor here because they’ve been pushing this narrative for two weeks now: Mahomes is the Main Character, the Eagles are the antagonists of his story arc.
And we all know what the Main Character does to the bad guys in the movies.
This is why it FEELS like the Chiefs are destined to win; because the media has been pushing that agenda the whole time. There’s been a lot of talk lately about “NFL rigged” and “the script”, and it feels like the media has been heavily foreshadowing what the script calls for in this game: Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid to win their second Super Bowl. The media wants it so badly, probably so they can have an NFL GOAT debate.
So there’s no way the Chiefs can play their little “LITERALLY EVERYONE IN AMERICA THOUGHT WE WOULD GO 0-17 THIS YEAR!!!! 😡😡😡” nonsense.
Except…. Vegas still has Philly as a 1.5 point favorite. The game opened as a pickem, then quickly went to Chiefs narrowly favored, and then sharp money flipped the line to Eagles -1.5, where it has sat for about the past 12 days or so. Of course, most of the bets on this game will be placed in the next 24 hours, so we could see the line shift in a major way here between now and kickoff. Yet despite the sports talking heads telling everyone to take Chiefs +1.5, the line hasn’t moved. Sharp money has not yet piled in on the Chiefs, and it may not happen at all.
My head is telling me the Chiefs will throw it to an obscenely wide open Travis Kelce 37 times and pull this one out late in the 4th quarter after Philly gets slapped with a roughing the passer penalty on a key drive, just like all the experts are predicting and just what the NFL script is calling for.
Mahomes is the Harry Potter/Luke Skywalker/”Chosen one” main character and the Eagles are the bad guys, booooo Eagles nobody wants to see them win! Rooting for Philly would be like going to the movies and rooting for the bad guy. Not only are you a dick for doing it, you’re also an idiot because it’s written into the script that the bad guys lose in the end.
But this isn’t the movies.
The Eagles can and will play the “whole world is against us/nobody believes in us” schtick in this game, because unlike with the Chiefs, it’s been true all season long. To the extent anyone talks about Philly it’s just to brush them off for playing a soft schedule.
Philly has the best roster in the league, and nowhere are they stronger than at pass rusher. The Chiefs have a fantastic offensive line, and Mahomes this year has been pressured on a career low 19.4% of his drop backs, but they’ve not faced a pass rush like this. Philly is like 9-10 deep on the defensive line; they just keep rotating guys in so nobody gets tired. That pass rush is coming after you all game long.
Kansas City is also susceptible to the run as well. I expect Philly to run it a lot—with their backs and with Hurts—to keep the chains moving and keep Mahomes on the sidelines. Philly will play ball control, as they should.
The Chiefs are also not at Arrowhead, either, which I think is a big deal. They have literally never played a road playoff game in the Mahomes era, other than technically the Tampa Super Bowl, although that was with 25% crowd capacity. I see Kansas City as a team that benefits tremendously from home field advantage, and not having it will affect them, especially their defense which is a lot better at home.
Additionally, though some are calling for the Chiefs to absolutely destroy the Eagles, the Chiefs have played a lot of close games this year. Both their playoff games were very much loseable, and while you could chalk that up to Mahomes being hobbled, I don’t think he’ll be 100% in this game, either. He suffered a 4-6 week injury against the Jaguars 3 weeks ago and aggravated it against the Bengals.
That’s another thing people are overlooking. They think about Mahomes’ injury and they’re like “Ehh he’s fine it was like 3 weeks ago.” But you don’t recover if you play a game in between. He definitely re-aggravated it against Cincy. He will not be 100% no matter what they say.
The Chiefs barely—just BARELY; by a margin as thin as a damn listerine strip—beat the Bengals at home with a hobbled Mahomes. But Philly has an offensive line, unlike the Bengals. And Philly’s defense is way scarier than Cincy’s.
10 out of 17 regular season games for the Chiefs this year have been one possession games. Both their playoff games were close as well. The record does not point to KC winning this in a blowout, although of course they did blow out the Niners on the road in week 7, so there is a blueprint.
I think it’s either the Chiefs win on a last second field goal or everything unravels for the Chiefs and the superior roster in Philly prevails in a spectacular romp, similar to what we saw in the Tampa/KC Super Bowl a few years ago. I know the Chiefs’ offensive line is much better this time around but I don’t know, my gut is telling me the Eagles win this one convincingly.
My head is telling me the stupid Chiefs and their stupid ass dink and dunk offense and the stupid refs on their side win this game 24-20, but my gut has been telling me for the past 2 weeks Philly wins this game running away. Really since the moment the Chiefs clinched their spot in the Super Bowl on Championship Sunday, my initial read was “Eagles by a lot.”
Philly has a 16-1 record with Jalen Hurts as a starter. That’s tough to overlook.
Meanwhile, if you pay your quarterback the big bucks and it means you won’t be able to build as strong a roster overall. This is why KC is at a roster talent deficit despite having the edge at QB. The Eagles are the better team. QB is important but not everything, just ask Joe Burrow, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.
I think the Eagles bully the Chiefs all game long and win with physicality. Other than Kelce, there is not one single skill player on Kansas City that scares the Eagles defense.
Jalen Hurts, the man who was benched in the National Championship game at Alabama and had to watch his backup come in and win it, finally gets his moment in the sunlight. I can’t think of a dude who deserves this more than Jalen Hurts.
I’m pushing my own agenda here, see?
Philly 38, KC 23
If it seems like I have it out for the Chiefs, it’s because I kind of do.
I like Mahomes but I don’t like their style of play really, ever since they lost Tyreek. It’s the quick release, dink and dunk stuff, and the fact that no opposing team ever seems to cover Travis Kelce.
I watch Kelce on every play now, and so many times he lines up in the slot and there’s just nobody even covering him; they’re playing so far off him and he just does a little 4 yard curl and is wide open every time. And yet people are calling him the greatest tight end of all time, I kind of can’t stand it.
How many times does Kelce make that tough catch in traffic? How often does he have to go up and get it over a defender, and make a contested catch? I feel like every catch he makes he’s wide ass open. Think about it. Try to imagine the last time you saw him making a contested catch. Try to imagine the last time you saw him making a catch where he wasn’t just sitting there wide ass open waiting for Mahomes to throw it to him.
He’s really good after the catch, I’ll give him that, but it just feels like it’s all scheme with how open he is on every play. The only impressive part of his game is the yards after catch in my view. Don’t ever try to convince me he’s the best tight end ever. He’s barely even a tight end as it is; he’s an oversized receiver.
I just don’t like offenses that have to nickel and dime you to death. It feels like it goes against the spirit of football.
Mahomes this year had just 2,397 of his 5,250 passing yards as actual, completed air yards, meaning the amount of yards the ball traveled past the line of scrimmage before being caught. 2,853 of Mahomes pass yards this year were actually YAC–yards after catch gained by his receivers. So 54.3% of Mahomes’ passing yards were actually YAC, which was the second highest rate in the NFL this season behind only Jimmy Garoppolo, who we expect to be a guy carried by his receivers. But not Mahomes:
If you’re in the green, it means a lower percentage of your total passing yards were receiver yards after the catch (YAC). It means you play the quarterback position like a Real Man. Tua is the king of playing Real Football, meaning he throws the ball deep and doesn’t rely on that checkdown/dumpoff/dink-and-dunk B.S. Josh Allen is up there as well–he plays football like a Real Man.
So this is why I kind of hate the Chiefs this year; ever since they lost Tyreek Hill, it’s just a bunch of dink-and-dunk, let the receiver run after the catch bullshit. It’s all Andy Reid’s schemes and quick stuff.
This is what I’m talking about:
It’s a lot of getting the ball out before the defense has time to react, throw it to the designated guy stuff. It feels very college-ish.
I’m not saying it requires no skill or anything, and it’s brilliant scheming by Andy Reid. It requires the receivers to do a ton of blocking, which not every receiver is willing to do.
It just feel cheap, because you as the offense know what you’re about to do before the play, and the defense has to react, so you take advantage of that quick second or two where you have the defense on their heels, throw something super quick and short, and pick up a cheap 4-6 yards. It feels like that’s their whole offense right now. And they use a ton of pre-snap motion and complex rub routes to get in the way of defenders and scheme somebody open.
It feels like Bitch Ball. It feels dishonorable. It feels like it’s only possible because the rules are heavily slanted towards the offense.
I get that they have to run it since they have no legit receivers other than Kelce (and Kadarius Toney is made of papier-mâché). But damn, man, it’s just not fun to watch. I loved the Chiefs when they were launching it deep to Tyreek Hill on every play. Now it just feels like they’re almost cheating. They nickel and dime their way to the #1 seed in the AFC, benefitting from the fact that the Bills couldn’t play a full season due to a freak injury, get all their playoff games at Arrowhead, and basically just bullshit their way into the Super Bowl, with a little help from the refs. That’s what it feels like to me.
So I don’t want to see them win, because they play Bitch Ball. I don’t want Bitch Ball to win the Super Bowl.
I want to see the Eagles open up a can of whoop ass on them, and I think they will.
However, I will admit, it would be cool to see Mahomes get another Super Bowl so we can actually make this GOAT debate more interesting. I’m already seeing a cult form around Brady’s GOAT status and pretty soon it will turn into a religion that you cannot challenge for like 30 years. Mahomes winning tomorrow would really put a damper on all that noise.
But Mahomes isn’t getting his second. At least not this week.