Bold Predictions for the Super Bowl
Well, I made six bold predictions for the conference championships and only two of them were proven correct. At face value, I didn’t do so hot. However, they just so happened to be the two most important predictions of them all; The winners. Jalen Hurts did not have to throw the ball 35-plus times, Patrick Mahomes did not throw four touchdowns, Travis Kelce did not eclipse 100 yards receiving, and Brock Purdy didn’t have a chance to look bad because he got knocked out of the game on the San Francisco’s first drive. But, I did predict that we would get a Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl, and low and behold, here we are. Before we dive into the bold predictions, I’ve gotta say that I’m much more excited for this matchup than I was for Bengals-Rams. There’s just more juice in a Mahomes-Hurts showdown than there was in the Burrow-Stafford battle. Anyways, let’s have some fun and make some bold predictions for the biggest sporting event in America.
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Patrick Mahomes is sacked five or more times
The Kansas City offensive line has been pretty mediocre in the postseason. They didn’t allow a sack against Jacksonville, but they gave up three to Cincinnati in the conference championship. Mediocre is not going to cut it against Philadelphia’s defense. Of course, they are going to have to put a lot of focus on keeping Haason Reddick away from Mahomes, but that will leave a lot of one-on-ones for Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox. We’re talking about a defense that led the NFL in sacks this season while finishing second in pressure rate. Yes, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs excel against blitzes so some might think this could play in the Chiefs’ favor. However, the Eagles did all of this damage on quarterbacks with just the 18th-highest blitz percentage in the league. They can get to the quarterback without having to send extra bodies. This is going to play a huge part in the game. While the Chiefs were able to avoid any sacks against Jacksonville in the divisional round, they did, however, allow six QB hits. Moreover, to go along with the three sacks allowed against the Bengals, Mahomes was hit five times in their last time out. The offensive line in Kansas City can be had. This is still Patrick Mahomes we’re talking about and he will probably be able to make some plays, but this will definitely be the best defense he’s faced all season and I think it will get to him a little bit. Look for Philadelphia to apply the pressure early and often in this one.
Travis Kelce goes for 75 yards and at least one touchdown
This has turned into the weekly Travis Kelce article. I mean, what more can I say about this guy? In the conference championship game, he hauled in seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. This came after an outstanding performance against the Jaguars in which he scored while gaining 98 yards on 14 catches. Let me repeat that; 14 catches. The dude is an absolute beast, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. I expect nothing less from Kelce in Super Bowl LVII. It doesn’t matter that the defense knows where the ball is going. The eight-time Pro Bowler is going to get open and there’s not much the opposition can do to stop him. 75 yards and a touchdown might be a little low given the stage he’s going to be on and the stakes at hand. He’s going to be leaned on heavily, especially with the pressure Philadelphia is going to put on Mahomes in the pocket. He’s going to need his safety blanket more than ever in his third Super Bowl and I think Kelce is up for the task. Look for this be one special performance by one of the greatest tight ends of all time.
A.J. Brown breaks out for the first time in this postseason
Surprisingly, this has been a really quiet postseason for A.J. Brown. The two-time Pro Bowler has hauled in just seven total catches for an underwhelming 50 yards while failing to reach the endzone through the first two games of the playoffs. For a guy who averaged over five catches for 88 yards per game during the regular season, I’m a little shocked. But, to make a case for the lackluster stat lines, the Eagles have been playing with a lead for the majority of the postseason so passing the ball really hasn’t been a priority. They jumped out to a 28-point lead against New York in the divisional round and scored 24 unanswered points against San Francisco in the conference championship to close the game out. Needless to say, the services of AJ Brown and the rest of the receiving core have not really been needed. However, I expect things to be different in the Super Bowl. They aren’t going to be facing Daniel Jones or Josh Johnson in this one. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will put up points no matter how good the defense is. This is going to force Jalen Hurts to use his arm, and quite frankly, that just might be the game plan for the Eagles. They are one of the best running teams in the NFL, but the Chiefs’ secondary is a real weakness that Philadelphia will absolutely want to exploit. I’m expecting A.J. Brown to be heavily involved this weekend in what should be a thrilling shootout between two of the best offenses in football.
Jerick McKinnon makes some big plays after a couple of dud performances
Remember Jerick McKinnon? To remind you, he’s the guy that scored nine total touchdowns in the final six weeks of the regular season which led all skill players. He must be tearing it up in the postseason then, right? Wrong. Through two playoff games, he’s totaled 26 rushing yards and 17 receiving yards while failing to score a touchdown. This is such a shocking drop-off for a player who was so clearly dominant for a long stretch leading into the playoffs. As I mentioned earlier, this Eagles’ defense is going to be giving Kansas City fits. Mahomes is going to be looking for his safety blankets and McKinnon was one of his best down the stretch of the regular season. With little time to be looking downfield to make his progressions, check-downs are going to come in bunches for the Chiefs. I expect Jerick McKinnon to be the recipient of some of those check-downs and he’s shown the ability to make big plays in those spots. Look for the seventh-year running back to make his mark on this game with some momentous plays to give Kansas City a much-needed spark.
Kansas City overcomes Philadelphia in an offensive showdown
I have a feeling that this is going to be one of the most exciting Super Bowls of all time. “Patrick Mahomes vs. Jalen Hurts,” just sounds good. Of course, QBs are the main attraction but this matchup won’t be short of weapons on both sides of the field either. In the end, I think it’s going to come down to experience and the Chiefs clear their opponent in that regard. High-pressure situations will be in play this weekend and not many quarterbacks are better in those moments than Patrick Mahomes. Moreover, he’s done this before. He’s about to appear in his third Super Bowl and was the MVP of the game in 2020. Making it this far is becoming sort of comfortable for the sixth-year quarterback. Yes, there are many other factors to be considered and the Eagles will have several advantages. So many that they are currently the favorites to win. But, don’t forget that this is a bold predictions article so going against the grain is kind of the name of the game. In this case, Patrick Mahomes is an underdog and that just doesn’t seem right to me. I’m predicting that the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl of the last four seasons in an absolute nail-biter. It’s going to come down to the wire and I’m taking Mahomes in that scenario.
Travis Kelce wins the Super Bowl LVII MVP
I like the odds of a non-QB winning the Super Bowl MVP. Over the last four years, the MVP honors have gone to two receivers and two quarterbacks. Last year, Cooper Kupp was awarded the MVP after hauling in eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. In Super Bowl LII, Julian Edelman was the MVP of the game with 141 yards on 10 catches. These are similar stat lines to what I predicted Travis Kelce would produce, so it only makes sense that he be the MVP after proving his worth as the most valuable security blanket. I’m not expecting Mahomes to have an insane line at the end of this one. However, I do expect most of his production to come from Kelce-connections. Given that the game will be tight down the stretch, I’m expecting some timely plays from the four-time All-Pro. This should play a big role in who is awarded the honor. I see a big-time touchdown or two in Travis Kelce’s future and I think that it is what will secure him to be the first tight end to ever win the award.
Will Holtz is a fantasy football analyst and contributes to GridironExperts.com. His goal: Help you win your fantasy football championship.