Greg Olsen’s key matchup in Super Bowl LVII? The offensive lines

PHOENIX – All eyes are on two quarterback MVP candidates in Sunday’s Super Bowl (6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app), but FOX Sports color analyst Greg Olsen said a key matchup to watch are the offensive lines that protect them. and specifically how well the Chiefs offensive line can hold up against an Eagles defense that racked up 70 sacks this season.

“When you look at all the big stories, obviously a lot is made of the Philadelphia offensive line,” Olsen said Tuesday as FOX’s NFL broadcast team met with the media. “Kansas City’s offensive line is critical in my opinion. Go back to the Super Bowl loss to Tampa, they really struggled on defense. [Patrick] Muhammad Sure, he got hurt a little bit, but he wasn’t moving great and they couldn’t guard him against Tampa.”

The Chiefs have restructured their offensive line over the past two years, with right tackle Andrew Wylie as the only remaining piece of the depleted line they fielded against the Buccaneers. Kansas City has added three Pro Bowl players, trading for left tackle Orlando Brown, signing point guard Joe Thuney and drafting center Creed Humphrey to turn a position of weakness into a strength. The other starter is 2021 sixth-rounder Trey Smith, and despite passing the ball enough to lead the league in yards and touchdowns, they gave up the third-fewest sacks in the league with 26 in 2022.

“They made it a point to come out and really improve as an offensive line, and they have,” Olsen said. “Right tackle Wylie is the only returning starter. All four new starters since the last Super Bowl. I think his ability to match up with this Philly defensive line, in the run and the pass , but mostly protecting Muhammad and letting him do it. Whatever he does, I think it’s going to be critical.”

Philadelphia’s defense finished two sacks shy of the NFL single-season record for a team, with four players finishing with double digits in sacks: outside linebacker Haason Reddick had 16 (along with five NFL forced fumbles), and Javon Hargrave, Josh. Sweat and Brandon Graham each had 11. This is a significant challenge for the Chiefs’ front line, but one that could help decide Sunday’s final outcome.

“If they can hang on, and they did a great job against Cincinnati most of last week, if they can have similar type production, I think that’s going to be a big deal,” Olsen said. “In a game where the other offensive line gets all the attention, if Kansas City’s line can have the play they’re capable of, I think that bodes well for their ability to match up with Philadelphia.” .

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The best Muhammad sounds from opening night

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Greg Auman is the NFC South reporter for FOX Sports, covering the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He is in his 10th season covering the Bucs and the NFL full-time, having spent time at the Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic. You can follow him on Twitter at @gregauman.

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