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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Super Bowl LVII Preview

The Chiefs’ and Eagles’ Super Bowl matchup will feature star talent, sibling rivalry and potential revenge scenarios

 

By PATRICK FIGUEROA — sports@theaggie.org

 

This year, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. The NFL season was long and grueling, but it has now reached the point where there will be a payoff for all of the blood, sweat and tears. While there are only 60 minutes of regulation play, the storylines surrounding the big game make it one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. 

The Chiefs clinched their spot in Super Bowl LVII after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in the AFC Championship Game. Even with star quarterback Patrick Mahomes dealing with a high ankle sprain, he still managed to throw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in the game. Defensive tackle Chris Jones also contributed with 10 pressures, five quarterback hits and two sacks that helped the Chiefs’ defense held the Bengals to 20 points. 

The Eagles dominated the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 to win the NFC Championship. The Eagles’ defense sealed the deal, as they achieved a 61.9% pressure rate on the 49ers’ passing plays. Edge rusher Haason Reddick was one of the many disruptors, logging three pressures, two sacks and a forced fumble in this game. 

The two-week gap between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl will help the Chiefs, who are currently dealing with multiple injuries in their receiving corps. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman is unlikely to play, but wide receivers Kadarius Toney and JuJu Smith-Schuster have time to recover after suffering different injuries in the AFC Championship game. 

The Super Bowl this year will also feature two incredibly talented brothers facing off: Chiefs’ star tight end Travis Kelce, who bolstered his Hall of Fame resumé with 110 catches, 1,338 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this season, and Eagles’ center Jason Kelce, who gained his fifth first-team All-Pro nod for his work on the offensive line this season. Now, the two brothers will be the first pair of siblings to play against one another in Super Bowl history. 

On their podcast, “New Heights,” the Kelce brothers talked about what it is like to be facing off against one another for a chance to win the Lombardi Trophy. 

“If somebody is rigging it, thank you very much,” Jason Kelce said jokingly. “It’s working out in our favor heavily.” 

The Kelce brothers enjoy making jokes, but they also discussed the slim odds of playing against one another in the Super Bowl. 

“And did we think it would be both of us [in the Super Bowl]? I don’t know,” Jason Kelce said. “I thought it could happen, but I didn’t really ever fully anticipate it happening until pretty much last week. I was like, ‘Man, this could really happen.’” 

Travis Kelce said, “My entire time, I’ve been like, ‘That’s been the goal: to play my brother in the Super Bowl.’ Now that it’s actually happening, it’s kind of sick.” 

The Chiefs’ head coach, Andy Reid, will also be facing off against an important rival — his former team. Prior to becoming the head coach of the Chiefs in 2013, Reid was the Eagles’ head coach for 14 seasons from 1999 to 2012. During that span, Reid had a win-loss record of 130-93 but was fired after a subpar 2012 season in which the Eagles only won four out of 16 games. 

Since 2013, the Chiefs are 117-45 during Reid’s tenure as the head coach. They have also been to two Super Bowls, winning one of them against the San Francisco 49ers in 2019. 

In a press conference, Reid shared his thoughts on facing his former team in the Super Bowl. 

“I’m happy for them,” Reid said. “I’m happy for the city [of Philadelphia]. They’re passionate. They love football. I mean, I can’t wait until Kansas City and Philly clash. It’s gonna be awesome, man. What a great Super Bowl it’ll be.” 

Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni and Reid have history as well. When Reid was hired by Kansas City in 2013, he chose to let go of Sirianni, who was serving as the Chiefs’ wide receivers coach at the time. 

Sirianni was hired by the Chargers in 2013 and worked there until 2017. He would then work as the Colts’ offensive coordinator from 2018 until he was hired as the head coach of the Eagles in 2021. 

“I knew being as good as he was and the reputation he had, I knew he was going to get something,” said Reid when speaking about Sirianni. 

With so much history and talent going into the game, Super Bowl 2023 is sure to be a memorable experience for NFL fans. It’s also a great time to get together with friends and family to watch one of the biggest sporting events of the year as well as the conclusion of a memorable NFL season. 

 

Written by: Patrick Figueroa — sports@theaggie.org