FOX sports betting analyst
The Super Bowl is ready. The Philadelphia Eagles pounded an injured San Francisco 49ers team, while the Kansas City Chiefs narrowly defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on a late field goal in Sunday’s conference finals.
As we look ahead to the big game, here are three stories to watch Super Bowl LVII at Arizona (Sun., Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App).
1. Patrick Mahomes vs. Jalen hurts
The two quarterbacks who were at the top of the MVP rankings for most of the regular season are in the Super Bowl. The two quarterbacks win with different styles, but both are electric with the ball in their hands. The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes played through his ankle injury on Sunday, throwing for 326 yards on 29 completions with two touchdowns. His late play combined with a Bengals personal foul led to a game-winning field goal. Mahomes was able to work his magic despite losing three wide receivers to injury during the game and the Chiefs’ run game not being successful against the Bengals’ defense.
Mahomes will be tested at tight end against this Eagles defense and a pass rush that will pressure him. He will need options to hit quickly and/or be able to escape with a healthier ankle. At times when he is pressured quickly after the snap early in games, he gets a little sloppy, so it will be important to make sure the Chiefs get him comfortable with protection.
Read more: Chiefs vs Eagles matchup: Who has the upper hand in Super Bowl LVII?
Some offenses play a quarterback and some offenses are the quarterback. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is the Eagles offense. His ability to run keeps defenses honest in the run game and his big arm allows the Eagles to make explosive plays down the field. Yes, this offense benefits from their excellent offensive line (more on that later), but it’s always Jalen Hurts. Pains didn’t have to do much Sunday, only throwing 25 times and running 11 times for a total of 160 yards. The Eagles will need more in two Sundays, but we know Hurts is ready. I can’t wait to see this matchup head to head. It’s a quarterback league, and we got the best two this season.
2. The trenches
I’m going to cheat here and just talk about this whole battle between the greats of this game. I hope the Chiefs are ready because the Eagles can take it, man. The Eagles’ offensive line dominated the 49ers’ defensive front, which is the best in the NFL. There is no matchup where I feel Chiefs star Chris Jones will dominate like he did on Sunday. Also, Frank Clark becomes an All-Pro during the postseason, now moving into the all-time list for most playoff sacks. However, the Eagles have two of the best offensive tackles in the league. How will the Chiefs make Hurts uncomfortable? Because if they don’t, the Eagles won’t stop.
On the other hand, what is the plan for Haason Reddick and Javon Hargrave? The Chiefs have decent matchups inside, but Andrew Wylie vs. Reddick could be a problem. How the Chiefs design an offense that’s effective but not so one-dimensional for fear of the Eagles’ D-line. That’s why the Chiefs beefed up their offensive line after the Tampa Bay loss. I can’t wait for this matchup. The thought of this will consume me for two weeks.
The Eagles hoist the NFC Championship trophy
The Eagles celebrated the NFC Championship as Jalen Hurts sang “Fly Eagles Fly” with Philadelphia fans.
3. Andy Reid vs. his legacy
Andy Reid is a Hall of Fame coach. He’s one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, and it’s unfair how people discredit greatness by pointing to late-season playoff losses. For example, LeBron James has lost six times in the Finals, while Michael Jordan has never lost a single time, even though LeBron has reached more of them. Unfair as it may be, this is the standard by which we judge greatness. If Reid doesn’t win this Super Bowl, especially in a particularly Andy Reid way, his legacy could take a hit. He will have one Super Bowl win and three losses (two to the Chiefs). He will have lost to a younger and unproven coach in Nick Sirianni. He has the best quarterback in this matchup.
Now, if Reid is able to win this game with a hampered Mahomes, after trading Tyreek Hill in the offseason and playing multiple rookies on defense throughout the year, his legacy is set in cement. One of the best coaches in NFL history.
Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his freshman year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @GeoffSchwartz.
FOX Sports Top Stories:
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more