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2023 Super Bowl: Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs will beat Eagles



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Pay attention up. I’m on a profitable streak.

Ignore my 6-17 record in predicting Super Bowl winners, certainly the worst of any knucklehead journalist who has constantly wasted whole workdays for greater than twenty years whereas writing 23 of those foolish columns.

Overlook that I as soon as picked the flawed staff for 11 consecutive years, selecting against the Patriots each time, following my coronary heart. How I needed these cheaters to lose.

Don’t take note of the truth that I as soon as picked the Buffalo Payments for 3 consecutive years, extra predictions from the guts, whilst Scott Norwood’s lost kick and Thurman Thomas’ misplaced helmet broke that coronary heart.

Put aside my misguided evaluation and muddled reasoning and all these unhealthy, unhealthy takes and deal with the one quantity on this column that basically issues.

Counting final season, I’m 1-0.

I picked the Rams, and the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, and now I’m utilizing the identical rationale to maintain this bandwagon buzzing.

I picked the Rams as a result of they’d, on the time, the better quarterback. The league is all about quarterbacks. No place is extra vital in any sport, in another league, than that of NFL quarterback.

In selecting the winner in Sunday’s Tremendous Bowl LVII between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, I’m wanting solely on the quarterbacks.

The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is healthier than the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. He’s extra skilled. He’s extra versatile. He’s extra clutch.

The Chiefs win an in depth one, and Mahomes is the explanation why.

Absolutely you need to debate this selection, and also you’ve most likely received loads of statistics curated by ESPN’s Invoice Barnwell. So will we. Let’s do that.

Mahomes has a nasty ankle, you say.

Sure, however did you see his five-yard scramble that mixed with an pointless roughness penalty arrange the Chiefs for a last-second victory in the AFC championship game towards the Bengals?

He’s not utterly cellular, however he’s cellular sufficient to purchase sufficient time to make one thing occur towards an Eagles protection that doesn’t do properly towards quarterbacks who purchase time.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles against Jacksonville during a divisional playoff game Jan. 21, 2023.

Kansas Metropolis quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles towards Jacksonville throughout a divisional playoff recreation. He suffered an ankle harm that recreation however has needed to time to get well.

(Ed Zurga / Related Press)

The Eagles ranked thirtieth within the NFL in QBR on throws made after the quarterback held the ball for 4 or extra seconds. Mahomes, in the meantime, was the very best quarterback within the league when holding the ball for 4 or extra seconds.

The historically shoddy Chiefs offensive line can’t shield Mahomes for 4 or extra seconds, you say.

Ah, however there is just one lineman left from that group that was bulldozed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers within the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl appearance two years in the past. This rebuilt bunch stored Mahomes upright lengthy sufficient towards the Bengals for him to finish 29 of 43 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

The Eagles have a greater protection than even that Bucs staff, you say.

You’ve received me there. Haason Reddick has been an unstoppable drive for the very best sacking staff in soccer. However these Eagles ranked twenty first towards the run, and Kansas Metropolis can take some warmth off Mahomes by giving the ball to its excitable child working again, Isiah Pacheco.

The Eagles can simply blitz Mahomes into oblivion, you say.

Sure, however over the past 5 years, Mahomes has an NFL-best 76.3 QBR towards the blitz. Even along with his nagging ankle, he has proven the flexibility to step out of bother and switch muck into magic. Virtually no one sends the home at Mahomes — he has been blitzed on solely 19% of his drop-backs in these 5 years — so right here’s guessing the Eagles gained’t strive it both.

Hurts is in higher form to win this recreation, you say.

Sure, the younger Eagles quarterback is amazingly powerful and versatile. His 15 dashing touchdowns this season, together with the playoffs, are essentially the most in NFL historical past. He additionally led the NFL with 12 passing touchdowns that traveled 20-plus yards within the air. He can grind it out and fling it, and whenever you want him to realize one yard for a primary down, he can sneak it. No quarterback within the league is healthier at having bigger teammates push him via the road.

Oh yeah, and Hurts is a winner. He’s 16-1 as a starter this season, together with the postseason. Solely Tom Brady and Joe Montana ever went 17-1 or higher.

However right here’s the factor. He’s not 100% wholesome, and he’s 100% not accustomed to NFL playoff strain.

Everyone talks about Mahomes’ ankle, however they’re forgetting that Hurts suffered a late-season shoulder harm that also appears to hamper him. He has thrown for under 275 yards in two playoff video games whereas gaining fewer than 4 yards per rush. He says he’s high quality. He doesn’t look high quality.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts rolls out during Philadelphia's win in the NFC championship game Jan. 29, 2023.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts rolls out throughout Philadelphia’s 31-7 win over San Francisco within the NFC championship recreation. Hurts has thrown simply 22 passes this season when trailing within the second half.

(Chris Szagola / Related Press)

Then there may be the strain, a great deal of which he confronted as a university quarterback for Alabama and Oklahoma, however not a lot on this postseason. Whereas the Chiefs had been pushed in two powerful playoffs duels towards Jacksonville and Cincinnati, the Eagles have simply soared over an outmanned New York Giants staff and the quarterback-less San Francisco 49ers. The blowouts mirror an everyday season through which the Eagles had been so dominant that Hurts not often needed to full a big-moment cross.

Get this: Hurts has thrown solely 22 passes when trailing within the second half this season, which accounted for simply 4% of his whole passes. In response to the Elias Sports activities Bureau, that’s the second-lowest % of such passes within the final 45 seasons.

Backside line: Hurts hasn’t needed to win a recreation along with his arm. Mahomes has gained loads of video games along with his arm. Mahomes has thrown 10 landing passes beneath strain in playoff video games since 2018, essentially the most within the NFL by a mile. He has led three lead-changing drives within the remaining minute of a postseason recreation thrice. Thrice! That’s thrice as many as another quarterback throughout that span.

Another reason why Mahomes will rock and Hurts will relent: Mahomes was the very best quarterback in soccer beneath strain this season with the bottom sack proportion. Hurts ranked twenty third in sack proportion. And did you see how the Chiefs flattened the Bengals’ Joe Burrow?

This recreation will probably be determined at quarterback, and the daring celebrity who joins Brady as the one quarterback to look in three Tremendous Bowls in his first six seasons is the decide right here.

Mahomes turns into the primary quarterback to win the regular-season NFL most-valuable-player award and the Tremendous Bowl in the identical season in 23 years.

The Chiefs win 30-24.

Now that you just’ve made your annual prediction, I’m making my annual wager for the opposite staff, you say.

Get in line.