Chiefs face Eagles in heavyweight matchup in Super Bowl
PHILADELPHIA (16-3) vs KANSAS CITY (16-3) at Glendale, Arizona
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Eagles by 1 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Eagles 10-9, Chiefs 7-11-1.
SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 5-4.
LAST MEETING: Chiefs defeated the Eagles 42-30 on Oct. 3, 2021, in Philadelphia.
LAST WEEK: Eagles defeated 49ers 31-7; Chiefs beat Bengals, 23-20.
EAGLES OFFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (5), PASS (9), SCORING (3).
EAGLES DEFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (T16), PASS (1), SCORING (8).
CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (20), PASS (1), SCORING (1)
CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (8), PASS (18), SCORING (16)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Eagles plus-8; Chiefs minus-3.
EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Jalen Hurts, 24, will try to become the fourth starting QB younger than 25 to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles went 16-1 when Hurts started, losing two games when he was sidelined by a injured shoulder late in the season. Hurts set an NFL record for QBs with 15 TD runs in the regular season and playoffs, while also ranking tied for first in the NFL this season with 11 TD passes on throws at least 20 yards downfield.
CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Travis Kelce is healthy after playing through the aftermath of back spasms against Cincinnati in the AFC title game. He still had seven catches for 78 yards and a score. The Chiefs lost three wide receivers in that game to injuries, and while JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) will be available, Kelce is still the Chiefs’ best pass-catching option. He caught a career-best 110 passes for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular season. The only player with more playoff TD catches than Kelce’s 15 is Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.
KEY MATCHUP: Eagles DE Haason Reddick vs. Chiefs RT Andrew Wylie. Reddick had 16 sacks in the regular season and 3 1/2 more so far in the playoffs as the dominant force on a strong defensive line for Philadelphia. He will mostly be matched up with Wylie, whose nine sacks allowed in the regular season were tied for fourth most in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
KEY INJURIES: Both teams are relatively healthy. Eagles CB Avonte Maddox (toe) returned in a limited role in the NFC title game and should be full go in the Super Bowl. ... Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed left the AFC championship game with a concussion but has cleared protocol and is set to play Sunday.
SERIES NOTES: The Chiefs have won all three meetings against the Eagles under Andy Reid, who also went 3-0 against Kansas City during his tenure as Philadelphia coach. ... Patrick Mahomes threw five TD passes with only six incomplete passes against the Eagles last season. Jalen Hurts threw for a career-high 387 yards that game for Philadelphia.
STATS AND STUFF: This marks the sixth time since the 1970 merger that the two teams with sole possession of the top two records in the regular season played in the Super Bowl. ... The Eagles are playing in their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. They lost their first two trips and won it all in the 2017 season against New England. ... The Chiefs are playing in their third Super Bowl in four seasons. They beat the 49ers in 2020 before losing to the Buccaneers the following year. Kansas City also won the 1970 Super Bowl. ... Philadelphia will become the fifth franchise to reach the Super Bowl under at least four coaches. ... The Eagles became the fifth team to win their divisional round and conference championship games by at least 20 points. The other four teams all followed it up with a Super Bowl victory, with San Francisco doing it in 1988 and ’89, Chicago in 1985 and Pittsburgh in 1978. ... Philadelphia had a franchise-record 70 sacks in the regular season and eight more in the playoffs. The only teams with more in the regular season and playoffs combined in the Super Bowl era are the 1984 and 1985 Bears with 82 and 80, respectively. ... The Eagles were the first team with four players who had double-digit sacks: Reddick (16), Brandon Graham (11), Javon Hargrave (11) and Josh Sweat (11). ... Philadelphia had a pair of WRs with at least 1,000 yards receiving for the first time ever with A.J. Brown getting 1,496 yards and DeVonta Smith adding 1,196. ... The Eagles set franchise marks for points (477), total touchdowns (59) and rushing touchdowns (32) in the regular season. ... Philadelphia’s 39 TD runs in the regular season and playoffs are the most in the NFL in at least 90 seasons. ... Hurts’ 15 TD runs are the most ever for a QB. ... Andy Reid is the only NFL coach with at least 10 playoff wins with two teams. He had 10 in Philadelphia and has 11 in Kansas City. The only coach with more playoff wins total is Bill Belichick with 31. ... Mahomes has 32 TD passes in the playoffs, tied with Hall of Famer Dan Marino for eighth in NFL history. Ben Roethlisberger is seventh with 36 and Drew Brees sixth with 37. ... Kelce has 1,467 yards receiving in the postseason, second only to Rice (2,245) in NFL history. ... Kelce has 15 TD catches in the playoffs, tying Rob Gronkowski for second in NFL history behind Rice with 22. ... Chiefs DE Frank Clark has 13 1/2 sacks in the postseason. He needs one to tie Bruce Smith for second and 2 1/2 to tie Willie McGinest for the most since sacks became an official stat in 1982. ... The Chiefs are 55-3 in their past 58 games when holding opponents to fewer than than 27 points, including the postseason.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL