Columnists, Sports

4th and Inches: Super Bowl Storylines

The Super Bowl LVII matchup is set. The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium in Arizona on Feb. 12. 

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | DFP Staff

This Super Bowl could go down in history as one of the greatest games ever played. Not only have the Chiefs and Eagles been the two best teams throughout the season, but there are also multiple storylines to catch the interest of the average viewer.

Superstar brothers compete for the Lombardi

Although Jim and John Harbaugh coached against each other in Super Bowl XLVII, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles center Jason Kelce will be the first pair of brothers to be active players on opposing teams facing off in the National Football League’s most important game. 

The two players aren’t just brothers, though — they are also superstars with big personalities. 

Travis Kelce has been an elite tight end for years. His chemistry with quarterback Patrick Mahomes is special and has led them to the big game in the past. 

Jason Kelce is one of the best centers to ever play the game. He’s been selected to six Pro Bowls and is the anchor of what has been a dominant Philadelphia offensive line this season. 

The Kelce brothers also co-host a podcast titled “New Heights” that has gained a massive following since its release in September 2022. The pair discuss everything football related with a splash of comedy and chemistry that only siblings can provide. It’s clear that their relationship is an incredibly strong one.

Whatever the result of the championship is, the episode following the game is sure to be interesting. 

A battle of MVP-caliber quarterbacks

Mahomes and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts have also been two of the most dominant quarterbacks in the league this season. They have both competed at an MVP-worthy level and have only lost a total of four games between the two of them. 

Although Mahomes is struggling with a high-ankle sprain, it didn’t seem to slow him down against the Cincinnati Bengals. Mahomes threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday in the American Football Conference Championship. While there were times when he seemed to have a slight limp, the Chiefs’ offense showcased the elite passing game they’ve had all season. 

Whether the victory was due to Mahomes’s sheer will to win or the strength of his painkillers, the Chiefs will be a tough opponent against a Philadelphia team that hasn’t struggled much over the season. 

Hurts had a rather lackluster performance on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but he managed the win nonetheless. Although 49ers’ quarterback Brock Purdy suffered an injury after only four pass attempts, his presence likely wouldn’t have made much of a difference. 

The Eagles’ running game dominated San Francisco’s No. 1 ranked defense. Behind Kelce and a stacked offensive line, Philadelphia managed to rack up four rushing touchdowns. 

While the Eagles have one of the best defenses in the league, Mahomes and Kansas City head coach Andy Reid seem to find a new way to exploit NFL defenses each week. 

Mahomes and Hurts make history 

Super Bowl LVII will also mark the first time both teams are led by Black quarterbacks. This feat is long overdue and much more of a cause for celebration than it should have to be. 

The history of Black quarterbacks in the NFL is one the league would like to forget but is impossible to ignore. Even in the modern era where Black quarterbacks have regularly achieved success at the highest level of football, there are still some who lack confidence in their ability as passers. 

The most recent and significant example dates back to 2018, when Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson entered the league.

In his three-year stint at the University of Louisville, Jackson threw for over 9000 yards and 69 touchdowns and won the Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding college football player in 2016. 

Despite his success, coaches and scouts asked Jackson to showcase his skills in receiver and running back drills at the NFL Combine prior to the draft. Jackson refused and fell to the last pick of the first round in the 2018 Draft, with four other quarterbacks getting drafted before him. 

In 2019, Jackson won the Most Valuable Player award and posted one of the best regular season performances in NFL history.

Mahomes and Hurts are two of the best passers in the league. When they take the field in two weeks, history will be made.

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