It’s been a long road but we have a matchup between the two best teams in the league in Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs have the league’s best quarterback and the Philadelphia Eagles might have the most complete roster in the NFL.

With so much to take in for this Super Bowl matchup, we’ll get to as much as possible — looking at what to watch when each team has the ball.

*all data provided by TruMedia unless noted otherwise

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When The Chiefs Have The Ball

Can the Eagles’ Pressure Get Home?

No defense in the league was better at getting to the quarterback than the Eagles. Pressure and hits were converted to sacks at the highest rate in the league. During the regular season, four Eagles defenders had at least 11 sacks. Another, Fletcher Cox, had 14 quarterback hits that resulted in seven sacks. With Haason Reddick off the edge, the Eagles have a quick and dynamic pass rush that has been able to take control of games.

During the regular season, the Eagles had the second-highest pressure rate with a four-man rush. They were 11th when they sent a blitz but no team created quicker pressure with an extra pass rusher (2.25 seconds) and Philadelphia was second in EPA per play with a blitz.

This is a team that ranked first in ESPN’s pass rush win rate. The Chiefs have gotten themselves into trouble in past Super Bowls against top-tier pass rushers, but the Kansas City offensive line is significantly improved over those units. The Chiefs were first, by a wide margin, in pass block win rate this season.

However, there is a bit of a disconnect between the team pass block win rate and the individual performance of the offensive linemen, especially the tackles. According to Sports Info Solutions, among 64 tackles with at least 500 snaps, the Chiefs’ tackles rank 52nd (Orlando Brown Jr.). and 60th (Andrew Wylie) in blown block rate. But that is also partly due to what those win rate stats measure — wins within 2.5 seconds of the snap.

45.9% of Mahomes’s pass attempts this season have come within 2.5 seconds of the snap. On those throws, he has averaged 0.28 EPA per play which was behind only Jimmy Garoppolo. 54% of his quick pass attempts traveled between 1-10 yards past the line of scrimmage. Another 39% come at or behind the line of scrimmage.

With an aggressive pass rush, the Chiefs could go to the screen game — something Andy Reid would have no problem doing. Kansas City ran the fifth-most screens in the league and totaled the most EPA. That’s one area where the Eagles have been a bit weak. They have faced the ninth-most screens and ranked 23rd in EPA per play against them and 21st in success rate.

When Mahomes is pressured, he was second in EPA per play at -0.07. Including the playoffs, he has seven games this season with positive EPA under pressure, behind Josh Allen who had 11. Since Mahomes took over as a starter in 2018, he is tied with Allen for 22 games with positive EPA under pressure. That includes the AFC Championship Game when Mahomes averaged 0.26 EPA per play under pressure against the Bengals. That’s the same efficiency Mahomes has led the league with overall throughout 2022.

No quarterback has been sacked less often when under pressure. Including the playoffs, Mahomes has a sack rate of just 11.4% while the average among quarterbacks this season was nearly double that at 20.5%.

Blitzing Mahomes remains a fool’s errand, as it has been his entire career. Mahomes averaged a league-leading 0.31 EPA per play against the blitz this season.

Where Coverage Matters

Because of how the Chiefs can eliminate a pass rush, the coverage might be even more important in this matchup. The Eagles have gotten by with two incredible corners leading a secondary that was first in yards per attempt. James Bradberry was second among cornerbacks in adjusted yards allowed per coverage snap in the regular season, using coverage charting from SIS. Darius Slay was fifth. With that duo, the Eagles were second in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers and fourth against opposing No. 2 receivers.

Yet, with how the Chiefs are set up, only Lamar Jackson threw to wide receivers less often. 49.1% of Mahomes’s pass attempts have targeted wide receivers, while Jackson was at 42.9%, the only two quarterbacks below 50%.

The Eagles have been aggressive in their coverages, allowing the corners to break on the ball. Both Bradberry and Slay created tight window throws on over 20% of their targets.

Philadelphia plays single-high coverage at about a league-average rate (55.2%) but where the Eagles have separated themselves is how well and often they play Quarters. Only the Jets play Quarters more often than the Eagles at 23.2% of their snaps and Philadelphia was seventh in EPA per play in Quarters coverage. The Eagles had eight interceptions in Quarters, double the next-highest team, along with a league-high 26 passes defensed.

When playing Cover-4, the Eagles have been so technically sound with their rules and responsibilities that the unit-wide trust has allowed defenders to jump routes and close windows that might be available against other defenses. The production from safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is a perfect reflection of the overall defensive cohesion. Gardner-Johnson has a team-high six passes defenses in Quarters, most of them from reading a play and coming over to help in coverage.

If there is a “weakness” for Mahomes and the Chiefs, it could be against Quarters where Mahomes has his lowest EPA per play among the most common coverages. Of course, that’s a relative weakness compared to the overall Mahomes machine. His 0.13 EPA per play against Quarters is sixth among all quarterbacks.

Patrick Mahomes vs Coverage Type. 2022
data provided by TruMedia

Coverage TypeEPA/PlayDropbacksaDOTTime To ThrowComp 10+ Yards

The Chiefs haven’t really pushed the ball against Quarters this season. It’s the coverage Mahomes gets the ball out the fastest against and that has partly suppressed the potential for big plays. Kansas City hasn’t been the big play offense like it was earlier in Mahomes’s career, but with just 42% of his completions against Quarters gaining 10 or more yards, it’s easily the least explosive version of the offense.

There were moments when the Chiefs did go deep and there were some big plays. Kansas City had eight plays of 20 or more yards against Quarters. Two of them came in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos. If there is a way to take advantage, it could be with some deep crossing routes, like the 27-yard pass to Kadarius Toney which took advantage of the spacing between Denver’s two safeties.



On a Week 7 play against the 49ers, the Chiefs used a 2×2 formation to stress the coverage rules and create a one-on-one on the outside for Marquez Valdes-Scantling. An in-breaking route from the outside receiver on the opposite side pulled that safety in, while a post from the slot on Valdes-Scantling’s side occupied the other safety. That left no one deep once Valdes-Scantling got behind the corner, which led to a 57-yard gain.



Teams were just 2-of-11 with an interception when throwing deep against the Eagles in Quarters this season.

When facing Quarters, Mahomes only throws to wide receivers a league-low 44.2% of the time with a league-high 38.5% target rate to tight ends, which brings us to…

Will Travis Kelce Be Stopped?

The Eagles were sixth in DVOA against tight ends during the regular season, but they didn’t play anyone quite like Kelce because there really is no one like him. After the trade of Tyreek Hill, Kelce became the Chiefs’ No. 1 receiver. Kelce was 15th among all players in target share during the regular season and nearly a third (32.9%) of the Chiefs’ passes have gone Kelce’s way in the playoffs.

Kelce and the Chiefs have figured out a way to bring the tight end’s game to another level at the age of 33. Last year, especially late in the season, Kelce was able to be slowed when defenses aggressively pressed and played physically. Opponents pressed Kelce on 21.3% of his routes last season, according to Next Gen Stats, and on those routes, he averaged 1.7 yards per route run with a catch rate of 48%, 17% below expectation. This season, the Chiefs have been able to get Kelce away from press coverage a bit more (17.7% of his routes) and he’s been better against it with 2.7 yards per route run and an 83% catch rate, 19% above expectation.

This stems from moving Kelce around the formation. Kelce has always moved around and his value comes from how often he can win outside and in the slot. But last year, a ton of his routes came as an isolated receiver, especially in 3×1 sets, as the Chiefs tried to hide Hill in the slot on the three-receiver side.

Kelce now has taken over that role. Per Sports Info Solutions, 33.2% of Kelce’s routes last season came as an isolated receiver. This year, that number was down to 26%. He was more often used as part of the three-receiver side when the Chiefs went 3×1 and his numbers there improved.

Travis Kelce In 3×1 Sets, 2021-2022
data provided by TruMedia

YearRoutesYards/Route RunaDOTYAC%WideSlotTight

This has left Kelce with more space to work and room to move. The way in which the Chiefs have targeted Kelce has also helped. Last season, Kelce was targeted most often on hitch routes from 3×1 formations. This season, that has shifted to out routes, which has often allowed him to keep some momentum moving forward like this 16-yard gain against the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.



Having Kelce out as the isolated receiver forced defenses to declare how they wanted to defend him to that side of the field. With Hill on the other side, that often allowed the Chiefs to create some kind of mismatch for the receiver. Now, Kelce is the main focus for the passing offense and getting him inside those formations has made it harder for defenses to get to him off the line. Because Kelce is still moving around between the slot and out wide, defenses still need to declare some kind of coverage against him.

When Kelce is in the slot or out wide, he’s been targeted on 31% of his routes for 2.42 yards per route run compared to a 25.2% target share and 2.01 yards per route run last season. 

The Eagles have only allowed three tight ends to go over 60 receiving yards in a game, but they haven’t faced a tight end quite like Kelce, mostly because he is a singular player. Tight ends only averaged 0.90 yards per route run against the Eagles when lined up in the slot or outside, but Juwan Johnson of the New Orleans Saints did average 3.65 yards per route run on 17 such routes in Week 17 with four receptions of 10 or more yards.

Getting Heavy: Chiefs 13 personnel

With Hill gone and receivers on the roster in and out of the lineup, the Chiefs have leaned heavier into more tight end usage. The Chiefs used 12 personnel (two tight ends) on 28.2% of their offensive snaps, the third-highest rate in the league. They were fourth in EPA per play from 12. Kansas City also led the league in 13 personnel usage on 9.9% of their snaps.

This is where the Chiefs were at their most explosive. Kansas City had a 15.7% explosive play rate from 13 personnel with a 23.8% explosive pass rate. The key is how often the Chiefs used those heavier packages to throw the ball. Kansas City had a 54.5% pass rate from 13 personnel while the league average was 32.8%.

Three other teams had a pass rate over 50%. The Raiders threw on their only snap of 13 personnel on the season and the Bengals threw on all two of their snaps. Houston (60.3%) was the only team to do so with more than two plays but the Texans averaged -0.20 EPA per play while the Chiefs averaged 0.33.

The Chiefs motioned on 57% of their snaps from 13 personnel and they used that in a way to create some mismatches. The best version of this was using Jody Forston on jet motion into a wheel route, similar to what the Chiefs used to do with Hill. With any leverage, the throw goes to Forston, though that only happened once this season — a 40-yard play against the Los Angeles Chargers.



But the attention from the motion can also create room in the middle of the field like it did the next week on a 39-yard touchdown to Kelce.



With the heavier offensive personnel, the Chiefs often got opponents to stay in base defense. Half of Kansas City’s snaps in 13 personnel came with four defensive backs on the field. That plays into the Chiefs’ hands with how often they throw the ball. Some teams may have one or two linebackers who can hold up in coverage. Barely any have three. That’s where the Eagles are.

Linebackers T.J. Edwards (third in yards per coverage snap) and Kyzir White (25th) came out favorable in charting stats but the Chiefs would much rather test that position than the Eagles’ defensive backs. Philadelphia has been one of the heavier nickel teams in the league, using five defensive backs on 73.7% of defensive snaps this season.

The Eagles only faced 36 plays in 13 personnel throughout 2022 but they used base defense on 83.3% of those snaps. Only eight of those plays were passes, though Philadelphia had a league-high 87.5% success rate. Surprisingly, the Eagles were weak against the run with a 56% success rate that ranked 23rd.

Often Philadelphia’s four defensive back looks come with five potential pass rushers, using a 5-2-4 type front. The Eagles had five or more pass rushers on 54% of their defensive snaps with just four defensive backs on the field. The Chiefs will want to test the Eagles in a more traditional base set with their heavier offensive personnel packages, 

The Best Red Zone Offense

No team has been better at getting to or finishing drives in the red zone than the Chiefs. A league-high 39% of Kansas City’s drives have reached the red zone between the regular season and playoffs this year and 70.5% have ended in a touchdown. In the regular season, the Chiefs scored 50 red zone touchdowns, which made them the fourth team to hit that mark over the past decade along with the 2018 Chiefs (51), 2013 Broncos (51), and 2007 Patriots (50).

In the playoffs, the Chiefs have reached the red zone on 6-of-21 drives (28.6%) but five of those six (83.3%) have finished with a touchdown.

There is not a better team at creating open space in the condensed area near the goal line than the Chiefs. Motion, formations, and route combinations create so many opportunities for scoring chances and the offense continually executes in that area.

Take this play from the regular season meeting against the Bengals. The Chiefs come out in a 3×1 set with a bunch and Jerick McKinnon in the backfield to the opposite side of the bunch. At the snap, all three receivers from the bunch break to the middle of the field while McKinnon sneaks out the opposite way through traffic toward plenty of open space in the end zone.



Even when those plays don’t go exactly to plan, the Chiefs have a way of making things work. Against the Raiders in Week 18, Kansas City tried the same concept but a defender stayed outside. Mahomes was forced to flee the pocket, which still eventually drew enough attention that McKinnon was able to back into open space for a touchdown.



The Chiefs use motion on 71.1% of their red zone plays. Only the Dolphins (72.3%) motioned more and just two other teams were over 60%. A ton of Kansas City’s pre-snap movement comes from jet motion designed to pull the defense. Mecole Hardman started the season as the jet guy, but in the later stages of the season that moved to Kadarius Toney. With Hardman ruled out, Toney’s health is going to be a big factor here. Toney was injured and missed most of the AFC Championship Game but said he would be ready to play for the Super Bowl.

Toney’s second game with the Chiefs saw him go completely uncovered after jet motion, free for a six-yard touchdown.



Then there are also the jet sweep passes, which have turned into scores, such as Toney’s 8-yard touchdown against the Seahawks.



Inside the red zone, the Chiefs have nearly limitless options. The motion also helps set up the shovel passes Kansas City has spammed over the past few seasons. It also opens up leverage in the run game, and when all else fails, go to Kelce. Kelce has 13 red zone touchdowns between the regular season and playoffs, four more than the next-highest player. 

Philadelphia allowed the third-highest rate of opposing drives to get into the red zone (34.8%) and 53.6% of red zone trips against the Eagles finished with a touchdown, which was right around the league average of 56.4%.

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When The Eagles Have The Ball

What Coverage Do The Chiefs Play?

The Chiefs use the highest rate of two-high coverages in the league. Kansas City came out with middle of the field open coverages on 65.8% of defensive snaps. The next-highest team is at 54.7% and only two other teams were above 50%. That fit against Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ defense, but it’s not the way most teams have decided to both defend and have success against the Eagles.

Jalen Hurts tied for second in EPA per play against two-high coverages (0.22) but was 15th (0.06) against single-high. 


When throwing against single-high coverages, Hurts threw the ball deeper but that also got in him in trouble. All five of Hurts’s interceptions during the 2022 season came with the middle of the filed closed and four of them came on throws of at least 20 air yards. Those negative plays on top of fewer overall completions with a higher depth of target made up the biggest difference in value.

Jalen Hurts vs Middle Of Field Alignment, 2022
data provided by TruMedia

Middle of FieldEPA/Play% of playsComp%aDOTTD/INT

Since Hurts returned from injury, there has been a similar split, though he hasn’t really been tested. Hurts averaged 0.09 EPA per play when the middle of the field is open versus 0.01 with the middle of the field closed. The difference in aDOT is even more apparent with a 5.5-yard aDOT against two-high and 8.98-yard aDOT against single-high. Yet, he has only completed 57.4% of his attempts against single-high over the past three games, compared to 67.6% against two-high looks.

Kansas City did not have a game this season with single-high coverage on over half of their defensive snaps. They topped out at 48.8% in Week 3 and then 45.5% in Week 15. Yet, they were still successful when they did so. The Chiefs were 19th in EPA per play and 15th in success rate against the pass when using two-high coverages but 12th in EPA per play and fifth in success rate when playing single-high.

It could make sense for the Chiefs to push their rate of single-high structures to gain an advantage in multiple areas. If Hurts still wants to go deep but isn’t as accurate on those deep shots, the Chiefs would likely rather take that gamble than allowing the Eagles to work shorter passes and creep their way down the field.

Throwing an extra man in the box would also allow the Chiefs to have another defender against the run — though that might not be as much of a help as it sounds. Kansas City played with the ninth-highest rate of light boxes on defense and still did so 43% of the time when they went to a single-high coverage, which was the 12th-highest rate in the league.

The Chiefs actually had their highest rushing success rate with a light box while EPA per play was better with a neutral box. Kansas City was better overall in both of those alignments over stacking the box with eight or more defenders. The Chiefs were 28th in success rate when they used a stacked box on defense.

Playoff Spags

This leads us to the adjustments of Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “Playoff Spags” is a thing, but it’s often been accompanied by a number of different approaches, though with the Chiefs those have at least centered around the idea of using resources to stop the pass.

A lot of this stems from getting lighter. To go back to the stacked boxes, the Chiefs stacked the box on 51.4% of plays in the regular season and that went up to 70.7% so far in the playoffs. Over the past three seasons, Spagnuolo has also dropped his blitz rate in the playoffs, but that’s slightly skewed by two games against the Bengals — a team few teams blitz heavily. Spags, though, did dial back the blitz during the regular season, rushing an extra defender on the 14th-highest rate in the league.

One aspect the Chiefs have gone back to during the past few playoff runs is an increase in dime personnel on defense. By adding a sixth defensive back, the Chiefs can take a linebacker off the field and use a better player in coverage. Over the past three seasons, Kansas City’s dime rate has jumped in the playoffs.

Steve Spagnuolo Upping Dime Rates In Playoffs, 2020-2022
data provided by TruMedia

YearRegular SeasonPlayoffs

While we think of the Eagles as a heavy running team, they do a lot from 11 personnel. Philadelphia has three wide receivers on the field for 70.2% of their offensive snaps. Which is the seventh-highest rate in the league. They’ve seen dime on 15% of their plays, which is right around the league average.

If the Chiefs go light, it’s possible they could get bullied on the ground but they also could have some more versatility in what they do on defense, especially in the pass rush. Using those defensive backs to disguise the pre-snap look might give the Chiefs a bit of an advantage against Hurts.

Kansas City has blitzed under 20% of the time in both playoff games but blitzing Hurts has been one of the easiest ways to throw the Philadelphia offense off. Hurts was the fourth-most blitzed quarterback in the league during the 2022 season at 33.9% and he was 20th in EPA per play (-0.03) against the extra pass rushers. 

Blitzing would already be a solid strategy but if the Chiefs are going to use dime personnel, rushing a defensive back could have an even bigger impact, whether it’s blitzing or using one in a sim pressure.

When rushed by at least one defensive back, Hurts averaged -0.11 EPA per play which ranked 25th among quarterbacks. Hurts was sacked 12 times for a 9.4% sack rate. Only Josh Allen (114) and Justin Herbert (105) saw more defensive back blitzes than Hurts (100). Kansas City’s defense had the second-most plays with a rushing defensive back (141) behind just the Giants (176).

The Chiefs used a defensive back in a four-man rush 20 times in 2022 and finished fifth in EPA per play with a 40% pressure rate. On this sack of Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 7, the Chiefs rushed showed five potential pass rushers with linebacker Willie Gay lined up along the line to the right of the offense. He did rush at the snap but the two linemen next to him dropped out while L’Jarius Sneed rushed from the opposite slot. The two met at the quarterback and split a sack.



Eagles Receivers vs Chiefs Defensive Backs

The defensive backs are going to matter here because the Eagles have arguably the best receiving duo in the league with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. Brown was fourth in receiving yards during the regular season and Smith was ninth, one of two pairs of teammates along with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to both be in the top 10.

As would be expected by those counting rates, the Eagles use their wide receivers in the passing game more than any team outside of the Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa threw a league-high 70.5% of his passes to wide receivers and Hurts was right behind him at 68.1%.

Acquiring Brown for a first-round pick during the 2022 NFL Draft completely changed the ceiling and structure of the Philadelphia passing offense. Few teams had a top cornerback good enough to stick with Brown and even fewer had a second one good enough for Smith.

When teams played man coverage against the Eagles, Brown had a 34.9% target share and averaged 3.25 yards per route run. Smith wasn’t far behind, with a 30.9% and 2.55 yards per route run. Against zone the numbers were still quite good. Brown averaged 2.17 yards per route run while Smith was closer to average at 1.64.

The Chiefs run zone defense at the 21st-highest rate in the league but that still accounts for 67% of their plays. It’s likely Kansas City will stick with more zone coverage to not test their corners in one-on-one matchups.

Regardless of the coverage, the Chiefs do like to play aggressively with their corners off the line. According to Next Gen Stats, no corner has played more snaps in press coverage than Jaylen Watson between the regular season and postseason. L’Jarius Snead is 11th. Both have been hit or miss while playing up at the line. Watson has forced 51.2% of targets into tight windows with press coverage while Snead is at 40.6%. However, both have made a play on the ball just over 14% of the time — a small number considering the close coverage.

Pressing the Eagles’ receivers at the line could be a risky strategy. Like he’s done against man coverage, Brown has killed when pressed off the line. Smith has been less effective but it’s not because of his size. He’s catching more balls than expected but the tight coverage involved has brought him down immediately without much after the catch.

Eagles Receivers vs Press, 2022
data per Next Gen Stats

PlayerRoutesYPRRTargetsCatch Rate Above Expectation
A.J. Brown1374.342+11%
DeVonta Smith1351.628+8%

Kansas City ranks 31st in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers but 10th against No. 2 receivers. That split isn’t so much a No. 1 vs No. 2 corner problem for the Chiefs since they often stick to sides. But it would be a concern that Kansas City doesn’t quite have the corners to hold up through a full game with Philadelphia.

Snead’s health will be a key factor. He left the AFC Championship Game with a concussion four plays in but he has cleared concussion protocol and is in line to play without restriction on Sunday.

Will The Eagles Control The Ground?

What has made this Eagles offense so dangerous is how many ways they can win. Sure, Brown and Smith are a dynamic duo but once Philadelphia gets the lead, there is no hesitation to take it to the ground.

The Eagles have more than doubled the EPA per play of the next-best rushing offense in the league. Philadelphia has averaged 0.11 EPA per play on the ground while the Atlanta Falcons were next at 0.05. By total EPA, you could combine what was gained by the Falcons, No. 3 Ravens, and No. 4 Panthers yet still fall short of the total EPA gained by the Eagles.

So much goes into the Eagles’ success on the ground but a lot of it starts up front with one of the league’s best run-blocking offensive lines, led by center Jason Kelce. No center in the league moves quite like Kelce, who just turned 35 years old in November.

Baltimore’s Tyler Linderbaum is the only center to pull more on run plays this season than Kelce, per SIS. On Kelce’s 185 pulling snaps, he blew one block. He’s so quick off the ball, he creates angles and running lanes few other centers — if any — open up.


Kelce also reaches the second level quickly on regular run plays, which is another added advantage that consistently strains opposing linebackers. If there is a place to target on the Chiefs’ defense, it’s the pursuit of those linebackers in run defense. The Eagles run a ton of inside zone and counter, though the Chiefs were surprisingly good at stopping those two rushing concepts.

Where the Eagles fully have the advantage is with the quarterback run game. That added layer and extra player to worry about adds stress to the defense and the Chiefs have struggled against the quarterback run throughout the season. Kansas City was 19th in EPA per play against quarterback runs this season and allowed a few big plays to opposing quarterbacks. Even Russell Wilson was able to find running room off a zone read against the Chiefs.



Hurts led the league with 79 non-sneak designed quarterback runs. Hurts rushed for 74 first downs on the season and was continually able to scramble for them when nothing was open down the field. With Hurts such a threat, his ability to keep the ball has frozen linebackers all season. In the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles completely froze Fred Warner who did not want to overpursue in either direction but was stuck watching the mesh point while Kenneth Gainwell ran away from him for a 14-yard gain


And when defenses try to crash down on the inside run, Hurts can take off.


One of the keys for the Chiefs will be to take down the Eagles on first contact. Philadelphia wasn’t a great yards after contact team, just 26th in the league, and for all the faults of the Chiefs’ up-and-down defense, the unit was a fairly good tackling one throughout the season. Kansas City ranked 11th in broken plus missed tackle rate, according to SIS. Getting those tackles will matter because the Chiefs might not be making contact until a few yards are already gained — the Eagles ranked sixth in yards before contact per rush.

Chris Jones, Game Wrecker

If there is a defensive player the Eagles need to handle, it’s Chris Jones. Jones had a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year case and he’s had 17.5 sacks across the regular season and playoffs. Few players win off the line as quickly as he does and when that comes from the interior, it’s a lot for an opposing offense to handle.

Jones finished first by a wide margin in pass rush win rate among interior linemen and it might have been the closest we’ve come to a non-Aaron Donald interior defender reaching that level of production. Jones’s quick twitch off the line can ruin plays before they have a chance.



No team has the interior offensive line of the Eagles, which could give the Chiefs something new to deal with. That also works both ways because the Eagles have not had to deal with a player like Jones this season. The closest might be the Giants’ Dexter Lawrence who was one of the best interior pass rushers who did most of his work as a nose tackle.

Getting all of that done from the nose can cause problems for an offense but the Eagles had a plan to get around that. Rarely did the Eagles match Kelce one-on-one with Lawrence and after a chip and there was often a double team. Against the run, the Eagles often had Kelce out quickly to run past Lawrence to set up running lanes down the field.

It’s not quite as easy to do that against Jones, who can and will line up across the defensive line. Jones was still the most double-teamed interior defender when rushing the passer this season but he still found a way to push through. As a 3-technique, Jones could shade toward Isaac Seumalo, who is still good but the relative weak link on the Eagles’ interior line.

No player has more pressures or quarterback hits in the playoffs than Jones. Despite just two sacks, Jones has been a game-wrecker up the middle. Even when it looks like Jones can be taken out of the play, he finds a way to push through.


The interior of the Philadelphia offensive line against Jones might be the most fun matchup of the Super Bowl. It’s the biggest strength-on-strength matchup of the game.

Kansas City is going to have to be reliant on Jones getting to the quarterback because he’s been the most consistent at it. In the playoffs, Jones has accounted for 34% of the Chiefs’ pressures and has double the pressures of the next highest Chiefs defender.

Under pressure. Hurts is only completing 45% of his passes and that’s been the easiest way to disrupt the Eagles’ passing offense. It’s also been a huge boost for the Kansas City defense. The Chiefs are third in EPA per play when the quarterback is pressured but 32nd when not.

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