NFL Pick ‘Em: Super Bowl LVII

Hello. I took an impromptu break from the blogfront for about a month, but I’m returning today to honor a yearly tradition (excluding 2020): picking who I expect to win the Super Bowl.

My current record for picking Super Bowl outcomes? 4-7. That may be your indicator to believe the total opposite of everything I say. Allow me to assure you that I do have a good hunch when it comes to football. Though perhaps not as overzealous as the fans that show up to games under the guise of heavy face paint and cardboard cosplay props, the past twelve years of mine have been very heavily involved in dissecting, analyzing, and arguing over a dumb game that people take too seriously.

Also noteworthy is that my record was, at one point, 4-5. I’ve picked the last two Super Bowl outcomes incorrectly, leaving me in a rut that will take many years to pull myself out of. Hopefully the first step in getting back to .500 is in picking this year correctly, and it’s a doozy.

7 looks good on this dude.

The Match-Up

The Kansas City Chiefs, who are appearing in their third Super Bowl in the last four years, are taking on the Philadelphia Eagles, who won the big game just five years prior with a mostly different team and different head coach. The latter fact kind of astounds me. Both teams were the #1 seed in their respective conference and both teams are known mostly for their high-powered offenses. If nothing else, it should be an “explosive” game.

Somehow, though, I’m willing to believe that this will be a relatively low-scoring game. Call it a hunch, but when you expect something so earnestly going into a game, the opposite tends to happen. That, and the Eagles have one of the sackiest defenses in NFL history.

Four different players for Philadelphia registered double-digit sack totals during the regular season. They’ve combined for eight more sacks in their last two playoff games. If they want to continue to maintain dominance, they will make that another four (or more) sacks against Patrick Mahomes. To stop a high-powered offense, you need to apply pressure to throw off the timing and momentum.

This is just a funny image.

At the same time, the Chiefs’ defense is no slouch, either. Chris Jones had an All-Pro season as a defensive tackle, and the pieces surrounding him should make it nearly as hard to perform for Jalen Hurts and his offense. For as much screentime as Steve Spagnuolo, the Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, gets every game, you’d think there’d be a reason. It’d be because, despite the odds, he’s gotten the defense to be sturdy when it needs to be.

Looking at the whole, there is a lot to fear when it comes to the Eagles, particularly on defense. Haason Reddick, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, James Bradberry, Darius Slay, Brandon Graham, and Josh Sweat have all proven themselves to be Pro-Bowl caliber, if not All-Pro caliber players on a team loaded with talent. That’s not even accounting for their offense, which includes an MVP runner-up at quarterback, two Pro-Bowl calibers receivers, and one of the best offensive lines in the league.

At the same time, it’s Patrick Mahomes. One of the all-time greats despite being under the age of thirty, who has almost single-handedly taken his team to dynasty status in the last five years. Three Super Bowl appearances in a four-year span is incredible, even if he’s 1-1 in contests thus far. If nothing else, he will make the game interesting by virtue of his skill. And while that did not help him against the Buccaneers a couple years ago, I doubt that situation will repeat here.

Had to cut out the fabulous beard, unfortunately.

Last year, I chose with my heart after being burned the prior year for not doing so. I ended up being burned again for not choosing with my head. What I can take from this is that whoever ends up winning is completely situational and there is no magic nor logic that can totally compute what all can occur once the clock starts. Picking games is only so much more complicated than predicting a side while flipping a coin. Okay, that’s exaggerative, but the point is I’m almost always confounded.

This year, my choice is pretty clear for a couple reasons. The first is that the team looks better on paper and have a little bit of a “Cinderella story” to them. Secondly, I just want them to win. I cannot totally hide my personal preferences, because it’s hard not to cheer for the team that you cheered for in the old days, when the sport was new and everything was dazzling. With a little bit of both my head and my heart, I genuinely believe the winner will be…

Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

(Also I doubted them against the Patriots five years ago. Not picking against them again.)

Thank you for your time. Have a great rest of your day. #FlyEaglesFly

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