It's Super Bowl week, which means the media is desperately grasping at storylines related to the game—something, anything.
Am I above that? Hardly.
So let's try a nonsense exercise and compare two teams from different eras that will never play: The Andy Reid-coached 2004 Philadelphia Eagles and the Andy Reid-coached 2022 Kansas City Chiefs. Reid is just the fifth head coach in NFL history to face his former team in the Super Bowl, after all — we have to celebrate that.
To make things fair, I'll approach this from both sides before reaching a final verdict based on the deliberations of an unbiased jury (myself).
In short, defense.
Of course, everyone's mind shoots to McNabb and Terell Owens when they think of this Eagles team, but their defense might be what would give them an edge against Kansas City. The case for an Eagles victory is pretty simple: The combination of Hall of Fame pass rusher Jevon Kearse with Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins would have a better shot of making Mahomes look mortal than any defense he's faced this season. They were loaded on that side of the ball with Pro Bowl talent: Jeremiah Trotter, Hugh Douglas, Lito Sheppard were all ballers.
The '04 Eagles shut down Daunte Culpepper and Mike Vick in the playoffs during their Super Bowl run. It took GOAT Tom Brady at the peak of his powers, a Pats defense much better than what the Chiefs are fielding, and TO essentially playing on a broken leg for New England to eke out a 24-21 victory.
Interestingly, Brian Westbrook might have been probably the biggest menace for the Chiefs' defense—2004 was the season he rushed for 800 yards and had 700 yards receiving. He would spread the field in a way that would make it impossible to spy McNabb.
It seems clear the Eagles would be able to score and have a decent shot at getting at least a few stops on Mahomes so for that reason, advantage Birds.
To paraphrase a line from the Amazon show The Boys (this is not a sponsored content plug for Amazon although if they would like it to be PLEASE REACH OUT!), the 2022 Chiefs aren't a knockoff, they're the upgrade.
Kansas City's biggest advantage over the 2004 Eagles would mostly relate to the experience advantage. Andy Reid had several outstanding Eagles teams but ultimately the reason the organization parted ways was that his teams could never get over the hump. They lacked the "it" factor—that special bit of pixie dust that happens to elevate the same teams over and over in close teams.
Patrick Mahomes DNA consists of 98% pixie dust. All the dude has done since entering the league is set records and win. The Eagles' defense would set up a unique challenge but so far there hasn't been a team that's successfully shut down Mahomes in a big moment.
The 2022 Chiefs represent Andy Reid's system he's been crafting for decades fully perfected. His Eagles teams were good. His Kansas City teams have the looks of a dynasty.
This game would be fireworks on offense. Both offenses are diverse enough that if a defense tries to stop one thing, they'll probably figure out a way to do it anyway. The Eagles have an advantage on defense and with a fully healthy TO, the offenses are a wash in my opinion.
With time expiring, Philly would get another attempt at a game-winning drive. This time, there's no drama—they take it down the field, and kicking GOAT David Akers wins it for the Eagles.
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