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A too soon look at the Super Bowl matchup

The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will meet next month in Super Bowl LVII, a game that will pit Andy Reid against his former team and feature two black starting quarterbacks for the first time in Super Bowl history.

This will be Patrick Mahomes’ third Super Bowl appearance in his five seasons as Kansas City’s starter, while Jalen Hurts led the Eagles to the Super Bowl in his second full season as a starting quarterback.

The teams play Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona, and both quarterbacks will need to use the time before the game to recover from lingering injuries.

Mahomes sprained his right ankle on January 21 in Kansas City’s divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. While he passed for 326 yards in Sunday’s 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship, and nimbly scrambled for a first down on the play that set up the game-winning field goal, Mahomes was clearly playing in pain and limped to times during the game.

Hurts, a right-handed quarterback, dislocated his shoulder pitching in December and missed two regular season games. He returned for the Eagles’ regular season finale and both postseason games, but said his shoulder isn’t 100% healthy.

Each team entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in their respective conference but advanced to the Super Bowl under very different circumstances.

The Eagles were in control for most of their 31-7 victory against the San Francisco 49ers after both starter Brock Purdy and his backup Josh Johnson – the team’s third and fourth quarterbacks this season – they are injured.

Kansas City’s game against the Bengals, however, came down to the final seconds. On the final drive, a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty was called against the Bengals on Mahomes’ 5-yard run for a first down, which put Kansas City in position to kick a game-winning 45-yard field goal at three seconds from the end.

The Super Bowl matchup between Kansas City and Philadelphia is expected to put a heavyweight behemoth against the Eagles to the ground. Mahomes led the league in passing this season, amassing more than 5,000 yards through the air during the regular season. Against the 49ers, both the Hurts and Eagles set rushing touchdown records this season: 15 for Hurts and 39 for the team.

The last time Kansas City and Philadelphia played each other, in October 2021, Mahomes threw five touchdown passes in a 42-30 win.

Beyond the quarterbacks, a major storyline over the next couple of weeks will see Reid take on the team he led for 14 years. In the early 2000s, Reid led the Eagles to four straight NFC championship games and a Super Bowl appearance, a loss to the New England Patriots, before the team opted not to bring him back for the 2013 season.

Reid took the Kansas City job days later and won his first Super Bowl of the 2019 season, against the 49ers. He led Kansas City back to the Super Bowl in the 2020 season, but the team lost to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Like Kansas City, the Eagles were also recently in the Super Bowl. But while there are still a handful of veteran players on the roster of the team that won the 2017 season, the Eagles are returning to the big game with a different head coach, Nick Sirianni, and a different quarterback, Hurts.

The Kelce brothers — Jason, the Philadelphia center, and Travis, the Kansas City tight end — will become the first set of brothers to play against each other in the Super Bowl.

The last two Super Bowls played in the Phoenix area have been two of the most exciting games in recent history: the Giants’ win over the previously undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and the Patriots’ win over the Seattle Seahawks on Malcolm’s goal line Butler. interception in Super Bowl XLIX.

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