I write this preview with sadness in my heart, since after tomorrow we’ll need to readjust to life without football again until next fall (unless you’re a rabid college football fan like I am, and are counting down the days until spring practice starts – Go Noles!) Sure, the NFL has done an outstanding job of keeping their product in the headlines year round with free agency and the draft (I’m a sucker for the Combine), but after tomorrow I won’t have any excuses for why I’m unavailable to do any of the countless activities my girlfriend wants to plan on Sundays.
After this line initially opened -2.5 in the Chiefs favor, it quickly ran to Eagles -2.5, before settling here. Being that I have multiple futures bets on the Eagles +1700, I took advantage of the opportunity to hedge a little, grabbing the Chiefs +2.5 and buying an additional point.
Did you know that two brothers will be facing each other in the Super Bowl this year? Or that Andy Reid was formerly the beloved head coach of the Eagles, but got fired? The media apparently thinks NFL fans have been living under a rock for the past decade, and to say their narrative is exhausting would be a massive understatement. It doesn’t take away from how exciting this matchup is, though, so let’s dig into it!
Game Preview & Pick:
Other than the quarterback and tight end positions, the Eagles are the more talented team here in every facet. They were the first team in NFL history this year to have four different defensive lineman register double digit sacks, and that doesn’t even take into account what veteran defensive tackle Fletcher Cox provides in the heart of the order (he finished the regular season with a respectable 7 sacks himself). Aside from the revered Purple People Eaters who resided in Minnesota during the 70’s, Philadelphia has arguably the most menacing defensive line of all time. I’m a big proponent of battles being won in the trenches, as well as iron sharpening iron, so the fact this unit faced off in practice every week against the best offensive line in the NFL can’t be overstated enough. After knocking Brock Purdy out of the NFC Championship game early in the first quarter, they then sent 4th string quarterback Josh Johnson to the locker room for good measure, stripping San Francisco’s head coach and offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan of the ability to throw the football, essentially neutering any possible successful gameplan.
The Niners players have been doing a lot of talking these past couple of weeks, and it’s hard to blame them for their frustrations, but if I were a Chiefs fan I’d kindly ask them to shut up. Philadelphia has been playing with a chip on their shoulder all season already, which stems from the lack of respect many members of the media had for the the heart and soul of their locker room, quarterback Jalen Hurts. Most scouts and talent evaluators questioned whether Hurts even had a future in the NFL, let alone rise to this level of stardome. Armed with two Pro Bowl caliber wide receivers, and the best running game in the league, averaging 208 yards per game on the ground, there’s no shortage of ways that the Eagles can attack opponents. I’m sure Hurts will also have a little extra motivation after being a distant afterthought in MVP voting to Mahomes as well.
Despite everything Philadelphia brings to the table, it’s always concerning when Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes get two weeks of preparation. Mahomes is coming off possibly his most impressive season yet, winning his second MVP and breaking the single season record for passing yards, despite the loss of Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs have one of the best offensive lines in the league in regards to pass protection, but it’s not quite as good as the Niners, and we all saw how that played out. Is Mahomes high ankle sprain really in the rear view mirror? According to the Chiefs it is, but who knows how true that actually is, and it only takes one hit to reaggravate it. Mahomes is the best football player on the planet, and he’s proven to be more than capable of getting his team here despite being limited for much of the playoffs, but on top of everything else the Eagles also boast the #1 secondary in the NFL. While I’m sure Roger Goodell would love nothing more than for his posterboy to raise a second Lombardi Trophy (I’ll be keeping a close eye on the officiating all game), I think Kansas City comes up short here.
Eagles ML (-125) 1 unit
Kenneth Gainwell over 11.5 receiving yards (-110) 2 units
AJ Brown anytime touchdown scorer (+105) 1.5 units
Dallas Goedert over 47.5 receiving yards (-135) 1 unit
Miles Sanders over 61.5 rushing yards (-110) .5 unit
Miles Sanders anytime touchdown scorer (-105) 1 unit
Isiah Pacheco over 68.5 rushing + receiving yards (-120) 1 unit
Kadarius Toney over 27.5 receiving yards (-130) 1 unit
Kadarius Toney anytime touchdown scorer (+225) .5 unit
Patrick Mahomes over 38.5 pass attempts (-135) 1 unit
Patrick Mahomes over 19.5 rushing yards (-115) .5 unit Patrick Mahomes over .5 interceptions (-115) 1 unit