No “Sunday scaries” this week — just the Super Bowl

This is the first Super Bowl with two Black starting quarterbacks and two brothers on opposing teams

Written By Kayla Sterner, Co-Sports Editor

Super Bowl LVII is the first “big game” that features two Black quarterbacks in the modern football era, and it’s about dang time. Patrick Mahomes is leading the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl appearance in four years as Jalen Hurts takes the Eagles back to the bowl for their first time since they won the Lombardi back in 2018 with Nick Foles. 

To add to the story line, this is the first Super Bowl with two brothers facing each other as tight end Travis Kelce suits up for Kansas City and center Jason Kelce gets ready for Philadelphia.

Both teams utilize an all-star gunslinger to head their offense, meaning the defenses need to be at the top of their game if they want to win a title on Sunday. Philly has boasted a dominant rushing attack during the regular season as running back Miles Sanders tallied 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns in 17 games played. Running back Kenneth Gainwell had four touchdowns and 240 yards. 

Hurts led the team with 13 rushing touchdowns and 760 yards despite missing two games due to a sprained shoulder. I can’t say it for certain, but I believe the Houston native will break Steve McNair’s record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in the Super Bowl. McNair rushed for 64 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV and although Hurts averaged 50.7 yards per game on the ground this season, I think he will take advantage of his legs this Sunday and claim the record.

The Eagles have been explosive in the postseason as Gainwell has found the end zone once and Hurts, Sanders and running back Boston Scott have scored twice each. Philadelphia has totaled 416 rushing yards in the postseason compared to their opponents 199 yards.  

Wide receiver A.J. Brown tallied 1,496 rushing yards this season along with 11 touchdowns and will undoubtedly put up a fight against the Chiefs secondary. DeVonta Smith was right behind Brown with 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns. I am positive that these two will make up a majority of Hurts’ targets in Glendale, AZ. 

Philly had 95 tackles in the past couple of playoff games, which is just five less than KC, and sacked their opponent eight times. Outside linebacker Haasan Redick has 3.5 sacks and six solo tackles. Cornerback James Bradberry has the only interception of the postseason for the Eagles while Philadelphia has forced three fumbles and defended seven passes.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, used a rushing attack that featured 13 different rushers in the regular season. Running back Isiah Pacheco led Kansas City with 830 yards and five touchdowns in 17 games played. Mahomes was second in rushing with 358 yards and four touchdowns. Running backs Clyde-Edwards Helaire and Jerick McKinnon added 302 yards and 291 yards as well as three touchdowns and one touchdown, respectively. 

Kansas City has totaled a mere 186 yards on the ground this postseason, 121 of which are from Pacheco. No one has found the end zone on a rush for the Chiefs, rather there were four airborne touchdowns from Mahomes and one passing touchdown from back-up quarterback Chad Henne.

 If the Eagles want a chance at another Lombardi, their secondary needs to be on their A-game and the defense must be ready to power through a tough and tight offensive line. 

Travis Kelce has led the receivers this postseason with three touchdowns and 176 yards on 21 receptions. If Philly can hold him down they will have a shot at a title, but I don’t think their secondary will be able to put the dog on a leash.

Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling has tallied two touchdowns and 122 yards on seven receptions. Mahomes has targeted 12 different receivers in the past two games, which makes me believe that the versatility of KC’s offense will outscore and outgain the Eagles.

Kansas City’s defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks seven times during the past two postseason games, with two and a half sacks from defensive end Frank Clark and two from defensive tackle Chris Jones. I think these two game-changers will break through the Eagle’s offensive line and bring Hurts down more than once. 

Meanwhile, their opponents have only been able to bring Mahomes down three times. 

Cornerbacks Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams have had two interceptions and one interception, respectively. As a team, the Chiefs have 100 tackles in the postseason. If their defense can keep it together, I see a trophy in their future. 

With all of that being said, I think it will be a high-scoring, close game with the Chiefs winning by one possession and Mahomes will leave State Farm Stadium with MVP honors. 

Hate him all you want, but with many people favoring the Eagles to win it all I believe Mahomes will take that personally (queue Michael Jordan clip) and bring out his victory mentality. Plus, he and Andy Reid are familiar with the championship game.