Sean Pendergast

Four Way Too Early Super Bowl LVII Storylines

Patrick Mahomes is on the cusp of history as he heads to his third Super Bowl in four years.
Patrick Mahomes is on the cusp of history as he heads to his third Super Bowl in four years. Photo by Jack Gorman
After 17 games worth of regular season football, and three weeks worth of a fairly moribund postseason (at least compared to last year's slew of thrillers), we now have our matchup for Super Bowl LVII (NOTE to NFL: Enough with the roman numerals, please!), and it should be a good one, with both No. 1 seeds making it all the way through.

It will be the Philadelphia Eagles, who were 4-11-1 just two seasons ago (Texan fans, there is hope!), versus the Kansas City Chiefs, who have been consistently good for a long time, and borderline historic for five seasons now. In fact, the Chiefs have now made five AFC title games in a row, won three of them, and are going for world title number two. If that sounds familiar, it's because it's basically the football equivalent of the Houston Astros' baseball resume.

The early betting line on the game was all over the place in the moments following Kansas City's win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The line opened with the Chiefs as a one point favorite, and then fluctuated back and forth from the Chiefs to the Eagles, before settling in with the Eagles as a 2.5 point favorite.

It should be a fun game! As we kill time the next two weeks, here are a few storylines you'll need to familiarize yourself with in preparing for the game. I'll lay these out by renaming the Super Bowl for each storyline:

4. Kelce Bowl
On the ten year anniversary of the first Super Bowl in which two brothers faced off as head coaches — the Harbaugh Bowl in 2013 — we get two brothers on the short list of best players in this Super Bowl. Center Jason Kelce, an Eagle fixture for over a decade now, and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, a future Hall of Famer and the most dangerous non-QB weapon in this game, will be on opposite sides a week from Sunday. It should make for a couple epic episodes of their "New Heights" podcast that they do together each week:
3. Andy Reid Bowl
Back in 2012, the Philadelphia Eagles fired Andy Reid after a run of over a decade in which Reid was really, really good, but just couldn't get over the hump and win a Super Bowl, despite numerous appearances in the NFC Title Game and one Super Bowl appearance in 2004. Kansas City, on the heels of a 2-14 season where they were the worst team in football, scooped up Reid, and they've been a consistent winner ever since. Ironically, the knock on Reid in Philadelphia was that he couldn't win the big one. The Super Bowl win three seasons ago dispelled that notion. Now, Reid gets a chance to win his second Super Bowl championship against the team that canned him a decade ago.

2. Texas QB Flavor Bowl
We know there are a ton of quarterbacks in the NFL with ties to the great state of Texas, and the Super Bowl has seen a handful of them over the last several years, going back to Nick Foles in 2017. Just this past Super Bowl, we saw Matthew Stafford lead the Rams to victory. And, of course, now Patrick Mahomes has been multiple times. This will be the first one with TWO Texans high school legends under center, with Mahomes back in the big game and Channelview's Jalen Hurts calling the signals for the Eagles. Even if we all hate Philly and Kansas City, we can be guaranteed we get a Lone Star leader hoisting the trophy in the end.

1. G.O.A.T. Bowl
Hurts is just getting started on building his postseason resume, but Mahomes is already doing things that it takes other great quarterbacks a lifetime to do. With the win over the Bengals, Mahomes now has 10 wins in the postseason, the most of any quarterback in league history through their first six seasons in the league. Beyond that, with this Super Bowl appearance, Mahomes joins the following list of quarterbacks who have been to three Super Bowls in a four season span (Super Bowl numbers in parentheses):

Fran Tarkenton (8.9.11)
Roger Staubach (10,12,13)
John Elway (21,22,24)
Jim Kelly (25,26,27,28)
Troy Aikman (27,28,30)
Tom Brady (36,38,39 AND (51,52,53,55)

The interesting thing here is the won-loss records of those quarterbacks in those particular games. The first four on that list were a combined 1-12 in those Super Bowls, with Staubach's win over Denver in Super Bowl XII the lone win. Aikman and Brady were a combined 9-1 in their ten games. Mahomes is 1-1 thus far, so this is a swing game for him.

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast