Favored Eagles, Chiefs balance preparation with Super Bowl LVII distractions

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes speaks to the media at the Super Bowl LVII Opening Night event at the Footprint Center in Phoenix on February 6, 2023. The Kansas City Chiefs will will play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on February 12. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

PHOENIX, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs players will spend this week trying to avoid distractions while preparing for Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix. The Eagles remain slight favorites for the game Sunday.

"They've got one more game left," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters at Super Bowl LVII Opening Night on Monday at the Footprint Center.


"They have to keep focused, which is important for young guys with all of this hoopla going on. I expect the older guys to keep a thumb on them."

The Eagles opened as 2-point favorites to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but slipped to 1 1/2-point favorites to start this week. Super Bowl LVII will air at 6:30 p.m. EST on Fox.

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"I'm going to go out there and give my all, but I have no predictions," Eagles pass rusher Haason Reddick said. "We will see how this one ends in the fourth quarter."


Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who already pocketed NFL MVP honors from the Pro Football Writers' Association of America for the 2022-23 season, will try to lead the Chiefs to a second title in four seasons.

He appeared three title games during that span, including a 2021 loss to Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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The Eagles, the top seed from the NFC, will try to win their second title in six seasons. They tied the Chiefs, the AFC's top seed, with an NFL-best 14 wins in 2022-23.

"The biggest motivating factor is to step on the field and try to be the best," Mahomes said Monday. "We know we have a great challenge in the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be a great game."

Reid and Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said they installed many components of their game plans last week before they flew to Phoenix.

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But both teams must still fulfill media obligations as they balance finding time to spend with their families and their practice schedules throughout the week.

"We are here to win a football game," Sirianni said. "Obviously, there a lot of things going on, but we are going to enjoy it and do our best to go out there and win a game."


Most of the Super Bowl LVII fan festivities will be in downtown Phoenix. Eagles and Chiefs players will practice at the Arizona Cardinals' and Arizona State University's respective facilities, situated about 8 miles apart, before they meet Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.


The Eagles will bring one of the most balanced rosters into Super Bowl with elite offensive and defensive lines. They finished the regular season with the No. 2 defense and No. 3 offense in the NFL.

The Eagles' attack is led by the No. 5 rushing offense in the league. Quarterback Jalen Hurts spearheaded the offense, accounting for 35 touchdowns and just six interceptions this season.

The Eagles also will bring the best pass rush in the NFL into the contest. They totaled an NFL-high 70 sacks this season. Reddick logged a team-high 16 quarterback takedowns.

The Eagles' top-ranked pass rush and pass defense, paired with an average run defense, means that the Chiefs most likely will need a strong performance from their offensive line and running backs to keep the game close.

The Eagles crushed the New York Giants 38-7 in their postseason opener. They then beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 to advance to Super Bowl LVII. They totaled more than 400 rushing yards in those wins.


"In the past two games, we did a really good job of running the ball and taking advantage of opportunities," Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown said. "However the game is going to go, we just know we have to prepare for whatever is thrown at us."

Mahomes, who also won 2018 NFL MVP honors, led the league with 41 passing scores this season. He sustained a high-ankle sprain and was hampered in the Chiefs' divisional-round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But he bounced back with 326 passing yards and two scores in the Chiefs' victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC title game.

Mahomes said Monday that his ankle now feels "great," but he still need to see how it holds up in a game situation.

The Chiefs' No. 8-ranked run defense will face its strongest test of the season against the Eagles' highly ranked running game. That battle could determine time of possession and how often Mahomes is on the field.

"We will try to be balanced, but we have to be able to run to win the game," Sirianni said.

The Chiefs' defense also allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL and ranked No. 18 in passing yards allowed, which could tempt Hurts to attempt more throws.


While the Eagles totaled a 55-point margin of victory over their first two playoff games, the Chiefs won by just 10 combined points. They beat the Jaguars 27-20 in the divisional round. They then slipped by the Bengals 23-20 in the AFC finale.

They allowed fewer than 250 passing yards and held their opponents to fewer than 145 rushing yards in those victories.

"I'm excited to have an opportunity to play them," Reid said of the Eagles. "They are a very good football team. We are a good football team. It should be a lot of fun competing. ... We are kind of tuning up right now. But you better come prepared when you play Philadelphia."

How to watch

What: Super Bowl LVI

Who: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs

When: 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday

Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

TV: Fox

Streaming:, Fox Sports App, NFL+

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