Super Bowl LVII showcases league’s best

On Super Bowl Sunday, the top seeds in each conference face off.


Photo credit: Your Golf Travel

Super Bowl LVII will be played in Glendale, Arizona.

Carter Sims, Managing Editor

There is a single day on the sports calendar that stands above all the others. Whether it’s for the food, the commercials, the halftime show or even the football game, Super Bowl Sunday is always a spectacle. This time around in Arizona, a showdown of the top seed in each conference promises a duel in the desert that should entertain every football fan.
Death, taxes, and the Kansas City Chiefs being in the AFC Championship have been unavoidable, at least in the last 5 years. In the Patrick Mahomes era, the Chiefs have become a perennial power in the AFC and have hosted the last five battles for the Lamar Hunt trophy.
Quietly, however, the Chiefs have been through a slight lull in the dominant run. After losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, the Chiefs started their last campaign in rough conditions. Kansas City gained form come playoff time, but lost at Arrowhead to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship.
By no means a “bad” season, but with the man who has been hailed as the greatest quarterback in the league, and even “the Michael Jordan of football” in Patrick Mahomes, and all-time great tight end in Travis Kelce and one of the sports most innovative coaching staffs, the Chiefs have ambitions that are only satisfied by champagne and confetti.
The off-season wasn’t much better for Chiefs Kingdom, as Pro Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill took his talents to South Beach in a trade with the Miami Dolphins.
While it hasn’t always been pretty, the Chiefs are a winning team because they make winning plays. A young receiver core of Marques Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith Schuster have by committee contributed to keeping KC among the NFL’s most explosive offenses.
Defensively, Chris Jones and Frank Clark headline a front that has been able to get pressure on quarterbacks throughout the playoffs. Though the secondary has been inconsistent at times, the Chiefs are full of players that contribute to and enhance the abilities of the stars that sell jerseys.
The thing that sets them above the rest of the AFC has of course been MVP candidate quarterback Patrick Mahomes. A Super Bowl means a lot to every player to partake in one, but this game could be pivotal to his legacy.
In simpler times of the 2018-2019 season, Mahomes was a young lovable figure in the NFL community. The former Texas Tech Raider was known for his logic-defying passes, escapability once the play broke down, and his Kermit the Frog-like voice.
Recently, Mahomes has taken a different role. Instead of the young gun that was destined to overthrow Tom Brady, Mahomes has become almost a villain to some fans. Some have grown tired of the QB’s “flashy” passes, his family’s boisterous social media presence and the trash talk coming from the Chiefs in recent years.
With the AFC looking to be a race between Mahomes, Burrow and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Mahomes is no longer the shiniest attraction. On top of that, Mahomes never did really take Brady off his perch, as he lost both his playoff matchups against him.
With the Chiefs beating the Burrow-led Bengals for the first time and the Lombardi Trophy on the line, this game is a key moment in Mahomes’ career to plant the flag atop the NFL mountain.
The opposition in his quest will be the Philadelphia Eagles, NFC champions and for most of the season, the best team in the NFL.
Led by an elite defense starring Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Darius Slay, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and Josh Sweat the Eagles have given up the second-least amount of yards per game this season at 301.5, but lead the league in sacks by a landslide.
On the offensive side of the ball, Philly boasts an MVP talent of their own in Jalen Hurts. The former Alabama-turned-Oklahoma quarterback has improved every year he’s been in the league, and the acquisition of A.J. Brown has further advanced an offense that already possessed DeVonta Smith and Miles Sanders.
The Eagles were the last team to suffer a loss this season but hit a bump in the road when Hurts went out with an injury, dropping 2 of their last 3 in the regular season. After making quick work of the Giants and 49ers in the playoffs, the Eagles look back to full strength.
Perhaps the trendiest storyline of the lead-up has been the connections between the teams, such as Travis and Jason Kelce facing off, or how Chiefs coach Andy Ried served as the head coach in Philadelphia in his previous stop, while Eagles coach Nick Sirianni was a quality control coach for Kansas City.
However, more compelling in this matchup are the differences between these teams. While Kansas City is renowned for its offense and tenure at the top of the food chain, Philadelphia is known for defense and has been through a mini-rebuild in the past few years.
Since winning their last Super Bowl in 2017, the Eagles have reloaded after a stint of mediocrity, moving on from both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles and fortifying the defense. Instead of the underdog vibe that was synonymous with their last championship run, the Eagles are the top dog, the hunter in the NFC.
Each of these teams are full of talent as are most Super Bowl teams, but more impressively, these clubs have rebounded from adversity during this title chase, coming back from situations that led to questions about whether they were cut out to play the last game of the year,
Now, these teams face each other for a chance of immortality. When the Kansas City Chiefs collide with the Philadelphia Eagles, sparks are sure to fly in the Valley of the Sun. The game can be viewed at 6:30 pm ET on FOX.