The 2023 NFL playoffs conclude this weekend with Super Bowl 57. The best two teams in the NFL have managed to make it this far. The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles are the #1 seeds in the AFC and NFC, respectively. They tied for the best record in the NFL during the regular season. There are no underdogs here, no compelling Cinderella stories. Just the best against the best, as it should be in the Super Bowl.
The Kansas City Chiefs feature the NFL’s best offense and the NFL’s best quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. The red hot Chiefs have won 12 of their last 13 games. The Chiefs are an offensive juggernaut. They finished the regular season first in points scored, yards gained, first downs, and passing touchdowns. Defensively, however, the Chiefs have some vulnerability. The Chiefs ranked just 16th in the NFL in points allowed, 32nd and last in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed, and 15th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per attempt. If you can manage to limit the Chiefs offense a bit, you will have opportunities to do some damage against an average-ish Chiefs defense.
The Philadelphia Eagles looked like the best team in the NFL for much of the year, losing just one game all year when starting quarterback Jalen Hurts was in the lineup. The Eagles are an extremely well balanced football team. On offense the Eagles ranked in the top 10 this season in points, yards, first downs, passing yards, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. On defense the Eagles were top 10 in points allowed, yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and passing touchdowns allowed. The Eagles have been particularly difficult to pass against. They feature a ferocious pass rush that racked up an enormous 70 sacks during the regular season. The Eagles also feature an outstanding secondary. The result is a pass defense that allowed as many as 240 passing yards in just one game all season. If the Eagles are vulnerable anywhere, it’s in their run defense. The Eagles allowed 100 or more rushing yards 13 times this season, and they ranked just 24th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per attempt. If you want to beat the Eagles, running the ball is a good place to start.
The way I see this game is the Eagles offense should be able to move the ball on the ground and through the air against a decent but not great Chiefs defense. On the other hand, the Chiefs don’t really have much of a running game to attack the Eagles’ greatest vulnerability on defense. That probably means it will be up to Patrick Mahomes to play Superman against a great Eagles pass defense. Mahomes is so good he might just be able to pull it off, but my money is on the Eagles’ pass rush and secondary giving Mahomes enough trouble to allow the Eagles’ offense to more than keep up. I’m taking the Eagles.
Embedded below is my pick for the Super Bowl. This pick is just a simple who wins the game deal. Odds do not factor in. DISCLAIMER: This is just for fun. I make no claims to actually being any good at this. Anyone who chooses to bet according to my picks will likely prove the old maxim, a fool and his money are soon parted.