Setting up Super Bowl LVII

February 13, 2023
Today’s Scroll has everything you need to know before the Kansas City Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET with the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the line.
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Setting up Super Bowl LVII

🏈 The details

Originally known as the “AFL​​–NFL World Championship Game,” the first iteration of the big show was held in 1967. Three years later, it came to be known as the Super Bowl, inspired by then–Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt’s son’s “Super Ball” toy. The more you know.

  • Now with over 100 million viewers tuning in around the world, the Super Bowl has grown into a sports (and cultural) tradition unlike any other.
  • Whether you’re in it for the food (an estimated 1.45 billion chicken wings will be consumed), the halftime show (Rihanna Navy, assemble), the football, or all of the above, there’s truly something for everyone.

And when it comes to this year’s edition, there’s plenty of history adding to the hype. This will be the first Super Bowl to feature two starting Black quarterbacks (QBs), with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Philly’s Jalen Hurts squaring off for the trophy. Long overdue.

❤️ The Kansas City Chiefs

How KC got here: KC’s been a postseason mainstay in recent years, fulfilling their destiny by rattling off 10 wins in their final 11 regular-season matchups to nab the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

  • But their playoff dubs were closer than expected — they survived the Jacksonville Jaguars 27–20 in the Divisional Round before pulling out a last second 23–20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game.
  • Regardless of their path, Kansas City has plenty of big game experience: This will be their third Super Bowl in the last four seasons. All the makings of a dynasty.

Player to watch: Who else but their aforementioned starting QB Patrick Mahomes. The youngest QB to start three Super Bowls, Mahomes overcame a high ankle sprain to heroically lead his squad back to the title game, proving why he won his second MVP award on Thursday night after leading the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns (TDs).

Key to success: As playoff Patty goes, KC goes, so it’s no surprise their key to success will be protecting their signal caller. Mahomes should have more mobility after resting his injured ankle, but Philly’s prowess for registering sacks is still cause for concern. KC’s offensive line buying him time to work his Mahomes Magic will be crucial.

🦅 The Philadelphia Eagles

How they got here: The Eagles were giving undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins at the start of the season, going a perfect 8-0 before suffering their first loss in mid-November. And while they came back down to earth towards the end of the regular season, they soared back to dominance, and the NFC’s No. 1 seed, just in time for playoffs.

  • Philadelphia demolished the NY Giants in the divisional round before similarly routing the (very injured) San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, outscoring their opponents 69–14 across both tilts.

Player to watch: You guessed it, Jalen Hurts. The signal caller took a leap from middling QB to MVP candidate in his second full year as a starter. Most impressive of all, not only does Hurts do it with his arm, but he’s a running threat, too.

  • In fact, Hurts had 13 rushing TDs this season, by far the most of any QB and tied for second most in the NFL. He’s a runner, he's a track star.

Key to success: Much of the Eagles’ success will depend on Hurts’ performance (and his injury status), but this one might come down to the Philly defense. If the Birds can disrupt Mahomes’ cruise-control offensive cadence, they might just fly away with the title. You know what they say about defense…

💪 More players to watch

Travis Kelce, Kansas City, Tight end (TE): The younger Kelce bro has another special connection, the one with his QB and bestie Mahomes. The eight-time Pro Bowler hauled in a career-high 12 receiving TDs this year, good for second most in the league. Expect plenty of end zone dancing tonight.

Jason Kelce, Philadelphia, Center: Centers (the players who snap the ball to the QB) don’t usually get much love, but the elder Kelce is one of the best in the biz. He might not stuff the stat sheet, but he’ll be key to shutting down the KC rush and protecting Hurts.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City, WR: KC’s top WR left the AFC Championship game early with a knee injury, but he looks healthy and ready to go ahead of the big kahuna. JuJu’s return could boost the squad in a major way, especially as opponents focus on locking down Kelce.

A.J. Brown, Philadelphia, WR: Of the Birds’ loaded receiving core, Brown has flown the highest, hauling in 11 TDs in his first year repping green and white. Especially after a quiet playoff showing thus far, watch for Brown to break out in a big way on the biggest stage.

Chris Jones, Kansas City, Defensive tackle: In a defensive lineup full of rookies, the Super Bowl champ brings much-needed veteran leadership, not to mention a team-leading 15.5 sacks. He’ll no doubt be hungry to exploit what might be one of Philly’s few weaknesses.

Haason Reddick, Philadelphia, Defensive end: Speaking of sacks, Reddick’s been the centerpiece of an Eagles D that boasts a league-best 70. Not too bad for a guy who was nearly cut from his college squad.

🎉 The entertainment

There’s no time for bathroom breaks on Super Bowl Sunday because — along with the always entertaining (and expensive!) commercials — you already know this year’s halftime show will be must-see TV.

  • It’ll be Rihanna’s first live event in seven years, and there’s been plenty of, ahem, wild thoughts about what she has in store for this “jam-packed” performance.
  • Other celebs who will grace our screens include country artist Chris Stapleton, who will sing the national anthem, R&B legend Babyface who will perform “America the Beautiful” and Abbott Elementary’s Sheryl Lee Ralph who will belt out “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

📺 How to watch

The numbers don’t lie, these two top seeds are as evenly matched as they come, meaning we’re hopefully in for quite the treat when the fun kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

  • If you’re in the U.S., Fox has the call (sorry, Tom Brady isn’t expected to make his debut). For those up North, you can tune in on your pick of TSN, CTV or DAZN.
  • All that’s left to do is let us know who ya got, then kick back, relax and enjoy the biggest party of the year. Game freakin’ on.