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Arrowheadlines: The Chiefs will need the supporting cast to step up

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, February 11

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NFL: AFC Championship-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Super Bowl keys to victory: What Chiefs, Eagles must do to win | FOX Sports

The supporting cast steps up

The Eagles will enter the game intent on neutralizing Travis Kelce based on his impact potential as the No. 1 option in the Chiefs’ passing game. Thus, the onus will likely fall on Smith-Schuster, Valdes-Scantling, Toney and Noah Gray to make enough plays to keep the Chiefs on schedule.

Given the Eagles’ preference for zone coverage, the supporting cast should have plenty of opportunities to catch on an assortment of quick passes designed to attack the short and intermediate areas.

In addition, the Chiefs’ expansive screen game could feature more wide receiver screens that will force the Eagles’ defensive line to run from sideline to sideline in pursuit.

With Mahomes also looking to take deep shots against sleeping defenders, MVS and Toney could emerge as unlikely heroes as big-play specialists on the perimeter.

Eagles vs. Chiefs Super Bowl Game Preview: 7 questions and answers with the enemy | Bleeding Green Nation

3 - To what extent — if at all — do Chiefs fans have a soft spot for the Eagles given the Andy and Kelce brothers connections?

Honestly, this week has been the best. No trash talk, no drama, no nonsense. And I think it starts with the relationship of the Kelce Brothers.

At this point, who doesn’t listen to the ‘New Height Podcast’? It’s so good and unbelievably refreshing that siblings who happen to be athletic, rich and famous still have relationships like I do with my brothers. Never have I felt so aligned with any athlete.

In fact, I actually met the Kelce family (including Jason) in 2015 when the Chiefs played Lions in London. The family made it to a party we had the night before. What I saw that night is a mirror of what we’ve seen this week. They’re incredibly genuine.

The joint admiration for the Kelces and of course Andy Reid has filtered down into the fanbases. I think both sets of fanbases know that these are the two best teams in the NFL and whoever comes out on top will be a worthy winner.

Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan says team, city ready to host draft | 41 KSHB

Dia: What is it like juggling preparing for a Draft, preparing for a Super Bowl and celebrating an MVP?

Donovan: ”I would first start with we have a great team around me and our whole organization. Everyone does their job. We’ve got people here right now working on the draft back in Kansas City, and we’ve got people in Kansas City working on Super Bowl. We’re grateful to be here. It’s such an amazing opportunity to be on this stage and then to be able to be using this stage to promote the draft in Kansas City. It’s just a great combination.”

Dia: What’s your favorite thing kind of about the setup and the layout?

Donovan: “I love that it’s at Union Station. For me personally, having Union Station and the World War I Memorial and Museum just captures Kansas City. It’ll be just a great picture for the rest of the world to see. I keep telling people it’s our opportunity to show off. And I think we’ll show off through the Chiefs Kingdom showing what they do and how they support, but you’re also going to see fans from every single team and they’re going to be in this setting. I have this feeling that a lot of people from other cities are going to be like, ‘Wow this is really cool.’”

2023 Super Bowl guide: Chiefs-Eagles picks, stats, predictions | ESPN

Dan Graziano, national NFL writer: Mahomes. I know the regular-season MVP hasn’t won the Super Bowl since Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXIV, but Mahomes has defied everything this season. From retooling the offense post-Tyreek Hill without missing a beat to winning two playoff games on a bad ankle, Mahomes always finds a way.

Jason Reid, senior Andscape writer: Mahomes. Simply put, Mahomes is the league’s best player. He’s a generational talent at the game’s most important position, and he’s second to none as a leader. Any questions?

Super Bowl 2023: Five bold predictions for Chiefs vs. Eagles, including an unlikely first TD scorer | CBS Sports

5. The Eagles win the Super Bowl by 14 or more points

Philadelphia is currently a mere 1.5-point favorite over the Chiefs, which would be tied for the fourth-shortest Super Bowl spread of all-time. However, they are so well-equipped in just about every position group with Kansas City’s only perceivable edge being that they have Patrick Mahomes. On Sunday, that won’t be enough as the Eagles get ahead early and make Mahomes’ run for his life as he scrambles to pass while attempting to evade Reddick, Graham, Hargrave, and Sweat. Philadelphia deals Kansas City its second consecutive Super Bowl defeat by multiple scores with time-consuming touchdown drives on offense thanks to its punishing offensive line and Hurts’ dual-threat dynamism in addition to wearing down the Chiefs offensive line on the other side.

It’ll be Eagles 34, Chiefs 20, as they join the 1976-1980 Raiders as the only teams to win two Super Bowls in a six-year span with a different quarterback and head coach.

Chiefs’ Creed Humphrey could make Super Bowl history as lefty center | USA Today

Creed Humphrey might be on the verge of making Super Bowl history.

“Might be” because no one seems definitively sure if the second-team All-Pro would actually become the first left-handed center to lift the Lombardi Trophy if the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Told Wednesday he’s poised to be the first southpaw snapper to win it all, Humphrey responded: “Really!?”

When this USA TODAY Sports reporter then admitted he had no idea if it was 100% true – particularly since centers snapped with both hands on the football years ago – Humphrey let loose a belly laugh.

“That doesn’t count,” he giggled.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Bears trade back as C.J. Stroud goes No. 1; Bucs stay put, still find Brady replacement | CBS Sports

Round 1 - Pick 30

Nolan Smith EDGE

GEORGIA • SR • 6’3” / 235 LBS

I can’t say for a certainty I know what position Smith will play in the NFL, but what I do know is how he’ll play in the NFL. He will play with a violent temperament and not take a snap off. He’s a selfless player who is just as happy taking on a block to allow a teammate to make a play as he is making the play himself. Wherever he ends up, it’s only a matter of time until he has a C on the front of his jersey.

Around the NFL

2023 Super Bowl halftime show set list: Rihanna is back; which songs will she perform? | The Athletic

‘This Is What You Came For’ (song by Calvin Harris)

Walker: I can genuinely see this being the opener for Rihanna’s performance. I mean, the proof is in the opening line, “Baby, this is what you came for.” I’m confident that this song will be included in the set, even if it’s briefly. It has commercial appeal, too, which is why I give it such strong consideration. Chance it’s played: 80 percent.

Jones: This song makes me feel like I should be at a club in Las Vegas with neon lights flashing — no surprise given it’s with Calvin Harris. It’s also probably why I’d be fine not hearing it. I realize I’m not the target audience for this kind of track. But it is one that is a crowd pleaser, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it. Chance it’s played: 50 percent.

Tom Brady Reportedly Files Retirement Letter with NFL, NFLPA; Eligible for 2028 HOF | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Brady filed a letter with the NFL and NFL Players Association on Friday confirming his Feb. 1 retirement announcement, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brady officially announced his retirement from the NFL on Feb. 1, and while some were surprised by his announcement, including former teammate Rob Gronkowski, his letter to the NFL and NFLPA confirms that he’s done.

The 45-year-old is now officially eligible to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2028, and there’s little doubt he’ll be a first-ballot inductee.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs-Eagles Super Bowl LVII: 5 players who could be keys in a Kansas City victory

2. Defensive end Frank Clark

What Clark has done for Kansas City in the playoffs has been incredible. His hefty contract has paid for itself in playoff production alone. Time and time again, he’s stepped up in key postseason situations — and on Sunday, he’s going to need to do it again. Philadelphia has a tremendous offensive line, so Clark will have to make a great effort to generate pressure.

But that offensive line is too good (and too smart) to let Chris Jones beat them for the whole game — so the Eagles will have to do whatever they can to control Jones. This means Clark has a chance to win his one-on-one matchups. This won’t be easy — but this year, we’ve already seen Clark beat the league’s best left tackle: Trent Williams. And let’s not forget that quietly, the Philadelphia offensive line has given up as many sacks as the Bengals this season. (They tied Cincinnati in 11th place). In pass-heavy situations, the Eagles’ offensive line can be had. Clark will also have a big role in setting the edge against the option running game the Philadelphia employs.

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