The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

The Vanderbilt Hustler Super Bowl LVII Roundtable

The Hustler staff makes their picks: Eagles or Chiefs?
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Lexie Perez
The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will face off in the 2022 Super Bowl. (Logos courtesy of SportsLogos.net)

The 56th edition of the Super Bowl is finally here and so too is the Vanderbilt Hustler’s annual Super Bowl predictions. This year’s matchup features the MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the team with the best record in the regular season, the Philadelphia Eagles. It figures to be another classic in Glendale, Arizona, where some of the most notable Super Bowls in recent memory has taken place. 

Here are The Vanderbilt Hustler staff’s predictions before Sunday’s kickoff:

Bryce Smith, Sports Editor

The Andy Reid bowl — or the Kelce bowl if you prefer that — pits the NFL’s two best teams in the big game. As it should be (looking at you, College Football Playoff). This year’s Super Bowl will be a clash of styles between the run-heavy Philadelphia Eagles and the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs. I’m tempted to back our former Sports Editor Justin Hershey and give a vote of confidence for the Eagles, but I’ve already made the mistake of betting against Mahomes as a Hustler sports writer once. Give me the future GOAT and the Chiefs to cement their dynasty status in a snoozer. 

Prediction: Chiefs 35, Eagles 21 

Frankie Sheehy, Deputy Sports Editor

The Chiefs are the Houston Astros of the NFL. They’re the best-run team in the league, always are strong in the regular season and have now made the penultimate round of the playoffs for at least five years in a row. Both teams also have average coaches who will get way too much credit for the success of criminally underrated players (Travis Kelce, Jose Altuve, etc.). Furthermore, they have both been cast by the national media as perennial disappointments, as if Daniel Jones and Aaron Judge have ever won a championship. But just as the Astros put a beating on Philadelphia in November, the Chiefs will do the same on Sunday. That’ll be three straight lost championships in the five major U.S. sports leagues (including MLS) for Philly, and a well-deserved win for Kansas City.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Eagles 7

Bowman Talbot, Staff Writer

Frankly, if I could have chosen the refs, I would have. After watching the Bengals get absolutely robbed by the zebras for 60 minutes (the late hit was valid but they missed a hold and a block in back on the same play), I just want to see the Chiefs go down. Plus, I’ve always been a Jalen Hurts guy ever since Saban kicked him to the curb.  

Prediction: Eagles 35, Chiefs 34

Jayce Pollard, Bowling Analyst

While regular season success has to count for something, it’s hard to deny that the Eagles had one of the softest routes to the Super Bowl of any team in recent memory. Daniel Jones is fine. Brock Purdy is fine. Patrick Mahomes is one of the best to ever do it, and I’m not sure that Jalen Hurts has the firepower to go blow for blow with him and Travis Kelce. The Eagles’ clearest path to victory is a re-aggravation of Mahomes’ injury, which would make this an asterisk Super Bowl anyways. Go(od luck) birds.

Prediction: Chiefs 34, Eagles 17

Bobby Kent, Senior Staff Writer

Is this a must-win game? Yeah, I would say so. On paper, this game is truly a toss-up as both are elite teams that have shown they deserve to be the last two teams standing in the fight for the Lombardi. I believe this game will come down to which defense can get more stops as both quarterbacks are more than capable of putting on offensive clinics. This one also includes many great storylines – Kelce Bowl, Sirianni vs Reid and Mahomes vs Hurts to just name a few. The Eagles will silence the doubters and AJ Brown will be Super Bowl MVP. Also, did I mention the Eagles this season have the second-best win percentage against teams with a winning record since 2000? Go Birds. 

Prediction: Eagles 31, Chiefs 24

Aiden Rutman, Deputy Sports Editor 

Here’s the thing; I’m a Giants fan. As much as it pains me to say it — and believe me, it does — I agree with Bobby. I don’t see the Eagles losing this one. On paper, they have advantages at pretty much every single position outside of quarterback and tight end. It’s not like the Eagles are lacking in either one of those positions, either. Jalen Hurts was a shoulder injury away from an MVP, and Dallas Goedert averaged 58.5 receiving yards per game through 12 contests in 2022. For me, the question is this; Can Jalen Hurts beat the Chiefs and their inexperienced secondary with his arm? The answer, as it has been all season, should be a resounding yes. Patrick Mahomes is amazing, but he’s hobbled and the whole team is banged up. 

Prediction: Eagles 38, Chiefs 20

Jonah Barbin, Sports Copy Editor

The Eagles not only have the better-constructed roster in this game but also have had, hands down, the best squad top to bottom in the league this season. However, the Eagles have not been tested in a long time. Let’s rewind, shall we? On Dec. 18, Jalen Hurts played his first truly sloppy game against the Chicago Bears – he threw two interceptions and ended up injuring his shoulder in the game. After that, things started to look a bit concerning for Philadelphia: after back-to-back losses to Dallas and New Orleans, the Eagles found themselves bringing back a less than one hundred percent Hurts to ensure that they could clinch the No. 1 seed. Since then, the Eagles stomped a young Giants team at home and beat up on a quarterback-less San Francisco squad. The Chiefs have braved a much tougher road to get to Glendale, taking down a pesky young Jacksonville squad and dethroning Joe Burrow and the reigning AFC champions – all with Patrick Mahomes dealing with a high ankle sprain. Among the many storylines coming into this game will be the health of the quarterbacks. The paradox is interesting between the two injuries: while Mahomes has had the more recent, and seemingly, more serious, injury, it has been Hurts who has constantly echoed that he is “not 100%”. It’s shown, as his passes have looked less sharp, and he certainly has not been on the same page with his star wideout A.J. Brown. Hurts and Brown have only connected on 50% of Brown’s targets in the playoffs to date. While Mahomes is clearly in the midst of his own recovery process, this video of him walking perfectly fine came out BEFORE the Cincinnati game. With two more weeks of rest, I expect Mahomes to be as close to as healthy as he needs to be to do all the dazzling things to which we’ve become accustomed. Forget the better roster, give me the better, and perhaps, a healthier quarterback in this one. Andy Reid will finally get his revenge.

Prediction: Chiefs 35, Eagles 30

Brandon Karp, Lead Sports Analyst 

I’m gonna have to go with the leaked Super Bowl script on this one, which has the Eagles beating the Chiefs 37-34. In all seriousness, I think the Eagles are the better team, and that scoring outcome seems fair with two high-octane offenses meeting in the Big Game. However, it’s the Eagles’ defense that sets them apart as the better team in my eyes. Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave make up the most intimidating interior d-line duo in the NFL right now. Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat are two of the most underrated pass rushers in the league, each putting up double-digit sacks this season. And don’t forget their star-studded secondary, featuring all-pro cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry, as well as the NFL’s interception leader in safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. If the Eagles win the championship, I think their defense will be remembered as one of the greatest units to ever take the field. 

Prediction: Eagles 37, Chiefs 34

Luke Rollfinke, Staff Writer

It feels like everyone is expecting this game to be a shootout but I just don’t see it. While Patrick Mahomes will inevitably find a way to get the Chiefs’ offense in the endzone once or twice, the Eagles’ defense is set up perfectly to keep them from driving up and down the field. Not only do they wield one of the best secondaries in the league, but their pass rush is one of the best we have seen in the history of the NFL (70 sacks in the regular season is good for third all-time). Furthermore, their tendency to drop into coverage on third down, rather than bring extra blitzers, will force Mahomes to try to extend plays which may be difficult given that his ankle is still not 100%. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, I think the bright lights may prove to be too much for Jalen Hurts. Up to this point, Hurts’ role in the playoffs has been mostly that of a game manager. He has relied on dominant defensive performances and a strong running game, never having to take the game into his own hands. There’s no chance that will be the case against Andy Reid and the Chiefs, and considering what happened the last time he played in a game of this magnitude when he completed just three of his eight passes for 21 yards before being benched for Tua Tagovailoa in the 2018 National Championship, the results may not be pretty. I’ll take the better of the two quarterbacks in a defensive slugfest. 

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Eagles 20

Connor Campbell, Staff Writer

As an NBA fan, this week was my Super Bowl. LeBron breaking the scoring record, the Nets imploding, my Pelicans finally winning a game. It’s been a wild week. At this point, Sunday is just a small break from the insanity for me. I just hope both teams have fun, and, if Rihanna doesn’t do Love on the Brain, I’m throwing my television across the room.

Prediction: Chiefs 24, Eagles 21

Rachael Perrotta, Editor-in-Chief

I wish I could say that I think the Eagles will best Mahomes and the Chiefs, but I think KC will win this one. Part of me wants Philly to have its moment after it fell short in the World Series, but it would almost be karma for the Eagles to lose after such a stellar season in return for their Philly Special against the Pats in 2018. It’s saying something that Jalen Hurts has made this New England fan root for the Eagles, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to blow past the Chiefs. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Prediction: Chiefs 38, Eagles 31

Lexie Perez, Graphics Director

As a Bengals fan, just not the Chiefs.

Prediction: Eagles 37, Chiefs 34

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About the Contributors
Lexie Perez
Lexie Perez, Graphics Editor
Lexie Perez (‘26) is from Northern Virginia and is majoring in climate studies and human and organizational development and minoring in business in the College of Arts and Science. She enjoys listening to 70s and 80s pop music, doing the daily Wordle and rooting for the Nashville Predators and Cincinnati Bengals. She can be reached at [email protected].
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