Predictin’ the Bowl

By Brien Trimbach and Jackson Rader

The annual NFL Super Bowl will kick off on Feb. 12, 2023. Millions of fans across the country will tune in with friends, family and food on Super Bowl Sunday. As the playoffs conclude, the final verdict of the Super Bowl competitors is now decided.

On Sunday, Jan. 29, the two conference championship games were played. The highly anticipated 49ers versus Eagles game left many fans in shock. Due to injuries, the 49ers were left with no healthy quarterbacks, which led to an abysmal passing game and a trouncing by Philadelphia, 31-7.

Later that evening, the Cincinnati Bengals faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made a miraculous comeback after suffering a high ankle sprain in the divisional round of games. He played through another leg injury, which left him limping in the second half of the game. Joe Burrow and the Bengals fell short on Sunday. The Cincinnati offensive line let the strong Kansas City defense get to Burrow for several sacks. The defense also drew multiple penalties, some of which were due to questionable officiating. Many believe this may have cost them the game. In the end, the Chiefs came out on top with a narrow 23-20 victory.

This sets the stage for the ultimate title. Although the Chiefs have been a notorious threat in the postseason, reaching five consecutive AFC championships, the Eagles may simply be too dominant, even against the slightly injured powerhouse that is the Kansas City passing game. 

With defensive stars such as Haason Reddick and Darius Slay, Philadelphia controls the field and leaves no time for a quarterback in the pocket. Additionally, the Eagles possess a dual-threat quarterback in Jalen Hurts and impressive receivers in AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. Hurts also has alternative targets coming from Dallas Goedert at tight end and Miles Sanders at running back. Opportunities for scoring are seemingly always present for the Philadelphia offense.

The last time the Eagles made a trip to the Super Bowl, they were underdogs against the fierce Brady-led New England Patriots. Helmed by clutch backup Nick Foles after a late-season injury to starter Carson Wentz, they made a stellar game plan to face New England. With some help from the officiating and a dropped pass by Brady, the Eagles surprisingly dethroned the biggest football dynasty in a 41-33 riot. 

Within the Masuk body, there are plenty of people who favor the Eagles for winning the bowl. Athletic Director Craig Semple has a personal connection to the team. “I’m gonna go with Philly. The reason why is one of my former players is Jack Driscoll, #63 right tackle,” Semple stated.

Masuk Senior Shane Dauk, when asked who is going to win, exclaims: “The Eagles. Because they beat the Giants.”

On the Kansas City end, they boast an impeccably strong offensive line to protect all-pro quarterback Mahomes. The Chiefs have been injury plagued on their offense for the entire season, yet they still captured the number one seed overall in the AFC. With five out of seven starting receivers injured, they still manage to power through even the toughest teams in the league. Defensively, Chris Jones  has been drawing in many sacks this season. Jones, currently in the running for defensive player of the year, provides a scary good defensive output that is sure to make it difficult for even the best of linemen. 

In recent years the Chiefs have had incredible success in the Super Bowl. Led in 2019 by Mahomes, they appeared in the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. They defeated the San Francisco 49ers and established themselves as a fierce contender for years to come. They returned the following year in 2020. Although they lost to Tampa Bay, they had made another formidable run in the postseason. This year will mark Mahomes’ third Super Bowl appearance in the last five years.

With both teams gearing up for the ultimate title, the anticipation surrounding the Super Bowl match rises. The two teams are both undeniably intimidating in their own right, the winner is still up in the air, as who knows what will happen that fateful Sunday. Whether your predictions come to fruition or not, most will tune in and enjoy watching the culmination of the 2022-2023 season.

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