Steve Believes: Super Bowl 57

It’s been a little over three months since I last blogged a sports prediction, with it being the 2022 World Series matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. The Astros took it in six games as I predicted, which in turn gave Dusty Baker his first World Series championship as a Major League Baseball manager. 

Now I’m onto predicting the Super Bowl 57 matchup, which pits a guy (Andy Reid) who at one time was the Dusty Baker of the NFL via not winning a Super Bowl as head coach prior to Super Bowl 54 (with the Kansas City Chiefs) taking on another Philadelphia team (Eagles), a team that he had coached for 14 seasons.

Both teams were the one-seed in their respective conferences yet have had significantly different paths to get to this stage, with the NFC champions outscoring their opponents (New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers) 69-14, while the AFC champions have won their two playoff games by a combined 10 (seven over the Jacksonville Jaguars, three over the Cincinnati Bengals) points. And speaking of the latter of Kansas City’s playoff opponents, it’s a game that had horrible officiating against last year’s AFC champions, including that late hit out of bounds, which Patrick Mahomes flopped his way into. But that’s a subject for another day, as I shall resume blogging about this matchup via the paragraph.

Okay, so the Eagles led the NFL with 70 sacks as a team, 49 of which were racked up by four separate players (Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham). And not only did they combine for those 49 sacks because in addition, they all amassed double digits apiece to get there, which is a first in NFL history. And if that isn’t an embarrassment of pass rushing riches, then how about three other players in Fletcher Cox, Ndamukong Suh and Robert Quinn, who at one time or another, had at least one season of 10 or sacks in a single season. Yes, this Eagles defensive line is that deep and even better than the one that was a part of their Super Bowl 52 championship team.

Offensively, the Eagles have four players (Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott) who are all more than capable of running for 100 yards or more, with the latter of those players being a receiving threat out of the backfield. Plus, the Eagles have Zach Ertz 2.0 in tight end Dallas Goerdert, two thousand-yard receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, and a couple of wide receivers in Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal who can make the Chiefs defense pay if they try to take away both Brown and Smith. 

A banged-up Chiefs offense, which includes Mahomes, won’t escape this time around nor will they consistently torch the one-two punch of Darius Slay and James Bradberry. The Eagles will have a sack party against Mahomes, the Chiefs defensive backs will get exposed by Brown & Company, Sanders (and possibly another Eagles players) will run for 100 yards or more against the Chiefs and Hurts as a running quarterback will neutralize Chris Jones the same way that Lamar Jackson did in last year’s Week 2 matchup between the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. The Eagles are going to win this one, 34-20, and Reddick will set a single-game Super Bowl record with 3.5 sacks to capture the Super Bowl MVP award.

Tune in 10 days from now to see how I did with my prediction.