2023 Super Bowl Odds: Chiefs vs. Eagles Offensive Edges Breakdown
Cooper Neill, Mitchell Leff/Getty. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
Chiefs vs Eagles Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
Two stud quarterbacks who were both MVP frontrunners at one point during the regular season have led their teams to the promised land.
So, whose offense has the bigger edge?
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles thrive on the ground, with Hurts and running back Miles Sanders coming off the best seasons of their careers. Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, will face the top-ranked DVOA defense against the pass in the Eagles, but he is, well, Patrick Mahomes.
We had two of our experts break down each offense to find out where the edges are and which unit may have a bigger advantage.
Eagles Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
Brandon Anderson: The old football adage says the best offense is a good defense, but sometimes the best defense is a great offense.
The best thing the Eagles can do in this game is what they’ve been doing all season: Run the football, run it some more, control the clock and keep Mahomes on the sidelines in the process.
Philadelphia was the No. 1 rushing team this season, and I expect them to run at will against an outmatched Chiefs defense.
The Chiefs faced only four top-13 DVOA offenses in the regular season. Their defense ranked 24th in DVOA in those four games, and it ranked 31st in the red zone. Kansas City faced only two teams with a positive rushing DVOA attack. The Chiefs went 0-2 in those games and ranked 30th in defensive DVOA, and their only other loss was to another run-centric team in Indianapolis.
Philadelphia’s rushing attack is mean and versatile, and it’s boosted by the league’s best offensive line. There’s more than one Kelce in this game, and Jason might be as much of a weapon with his ability to pull at center and get to the edge as a blocker. Philly can run downhill with power, confuse the defense with RPOs, or get to the edge with speed.
The Eagles do a great job of taking what the defense gives them and adjusting their scheme as the game progresses. This Chiefs’ run defense is quite beatable, and I expect the Eagles to try a lot early to see what sticks, then go to the well over and over once they find what works.
Few things are as demoralizing for a defense as giving up one of those 12-play, 78-yard touchdown drives that drains half the quarter. That’s the script for a Philadelphia win. The Eagles rank first in rushing DVOA and first in rushing EPA. They run consistently and successfully, and they also rank near the top of the league in explosive run rate.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how good Patrick Mahomes is if he can’t get on the field. The Chiefs defense is by far the weakest unit in the Super Bowl, and the run defense is the weak point. It’s there for the taking, and Philadelphia is better prepared than any team to take advantage.
Chiefs Offense vs. Eagles Defense
Anthony Dabbundo: Brandon is right to raise legitimate concerns about the Chiefs ability to stop the Eagles run game. But I trust Steve Spagnuolo’s ability to generate pressure, disguise looks post snap and blitz the run game effectively enough to force a not 100% Hurts to go score-for-score with the best quarterback and pass offense in the NFL.
And I do believe that the Eagles will need to score at least 27 points to win the Super Bowl, and maybe more. Mahomes will have an extra two weeks to recover and the Chiefs are on track to have both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kadarius Toney on the field come Feb. 12. Even without Mecole Hardman, those two wide receivers plus Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Travis Kelce are more than enough to challenge this elite Philadelphia secondary.
If this game were played a week prior, Mahomes’ potentially limited mobility could be a real issue against the Eagles pass rush. But Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon defenses have struggled containing mobile quarterbacks and they’ve been even more vulnerable against elite passers and processors.
In my view, the Eagles only faced two top eight pocket quarterbacks in realistic conditions: Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott. The defense gave up 33 points to Green Bay and 40 to Dallas.
Gannon has shown improved scheme versatility this season and he certainly has more coverage talent to work with. But the truth is, they’re largely untested as a unit.
In three games against top-10 EPA per play quarterbacks, the Eagles secondary allowed 35 to Jared Goff, 14 to Trevor Lawrence in a heavy rainstorm (Lawrence fumbled five times) and 40 to Prescott.
The recipe for controlling clock and keeping him off the field isn’t usually how teams have beaten Mahomes in the past. It’s been simply out-scoring the Chiefs or getting the ball last/getting the final stop. The Eagles have played from ahead almost all year, can they keep up from behind? I’m a bit more skeptical.
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