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Rating the Chiefs’ and Eagles’ offensive skill players before Super Bowl LVII

In Sunday’s NFL championship, will Kansas City or Philadelphia have better rushers and pass-catchers?

Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles face off in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, we’ll be watching two of the league’s most highly-powered offenses. But which team has the best skill-position players — that is, the players who run with (or catch) the ball?

Let’s take a look.

Running backs


Miles Sanders: With 1,269 rushing yards (and 11 touchdowns) in 2022, the four-year veteran is Philadelphia’s biggest running threat; he’s the only running back with more than 250 rushing yards. And to be honest, I wasn’t expecting that stat at all.

Boston Scott: the former sixth-round pick from Louisiana Tech was essentially a non-factor for the Eagles, accumulating just 232 all-purpose yards this season — that is, unless he was playing the New York Giants. In the two regular-season games against them, Scott recorded 15 carries for 87 yards. In his other 11 games, he recorded 39 carries for 130 yards.

Kenneth Gainwell: If Philadelphia is going to throw the ball to a running back, Gainwell is the guy it will be most likely to target. He caught 23 of his 29 targets in 2022, but gained only 169 yards. He did, however, have 12 carries for 112 yards against the Giants in the playoffs.


Isiah Pacheco: The seventh-round back from Rutgers has slowly become the running back Kansas City fans have wanted to see ever since training camp. It was after the Week 8 overtime win versus the Tennessee Titans when he really began to break out. 633 of his yards (76%) have come since then. He has asserted himself as the Chiefs’ No. 1 back.

Jerick McKinnon: With 291 rushing yards and 512 receiving yards, he’s less of a running back than a receiving back. But just because he’s been less than stellar in the postseason (unlike last season), don’t write him off. As a pass blocker, he’s still a vital part of the team’s blocking schemes.

Ronald Jones II: The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back is still on the roster. I’m not entirely sure what else to say about him. I’m still confused by his random carry (which gained absolutely nothing) against the Bengals.

I fully expected to say that the Eagles have better running backs. But essentially, they have only one real rushing threat. While any one of them could have a breakout game, only Sanders has proven to be consistent. While they certainly have the better running game, a closer look reveals that’s more of a credit to the team’s run blocking than it is to the backs themselves. So for this group, I’m giving the edge to the Chiefs.

Tight ends


Dallas Goedert: Ignoring the irony of his first name being that of the Eagles’ biggest rival, Goedert is a relatively decent tight end. In 2022, he recorded 55 catches for 702 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Eagles, his PFF blocking grades are not phenomenal: just 55.1 for run blocking and 57.1 for pass blocking.

Jack Stoll: As is typical for second-string NFL tight ends, Stoll isn’t nearly as good as the No. 1 player. In 2022, he had just 11 catches for 123 yards. And his blocking grades aren’t amazing, either: 57.4 on running plays and 60.3 on passing plays.

Grant Calcaterra: the rookie from SMU has already carved out a place for himself on the Philadelphia offense — even though he only recorded five catches for 81 yards on the season. He is, however, a good blocker. On running plays, PFF grades him at 63.0 — and at 71.5 for pass blocking.


Travis Kelce: Having just completed his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season, Kelce is indisputably the league’s best tight end, collecting 110 catches for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns this season — the fourth-most receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history. Three of the top 10 seasons by an NFL tight end belong to Kelce. While he’s nearing the end of his career, he is still Kansas City’s X-Factor.

Noah Gray: Taken out of Duke in 2021’s fifth round, he was a factor in the 2022 offense. In fact, without his 27-yard reception against the Titans in Week 8, the Chiefs probably don’t win that game — and likely don’t get the No. 1 seed, either. He is not, however, great at blocking.

Jody Fortson: Although Fortson’s stats have been limited after he was been injured on and off this season, he is an important part of the Kansas City offense: when he is on the field, he is vital to the team’s run blocking.

At tight end, Goedert is a good player — but he’s no Kelce. And the Eagles’ depth at the position doesn’t help their case. Meanwhile, Kansas City has two capable tight ends — one of whom is the best tight end in history. The Chiefs get the edge here, too.

Wide receivers


A.J. Brown: While recording 88 catches for 1,496 yards in the regular season, Philadelphia’s top wideout has only recorded seven catches on 14 targets for 50 yards in two postseason games. Sunday will be the biggest game of his career. How will he play under the brightest lights?

DeVonta Smith: This season, the two-year veteran caught 95 passes for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns. In the postseason, he has caught eight passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. And unlike Brown, Smith has played in three championship games. In 2017, 2018 and 2020, he played in the CFP National Championship game for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Quez Watkins: After Brown and Smith, the Eagles’ wide receiver production drops off. Watkins had 33 catches for 354 yards and three touchdowns in 2022. And during the postseason? Nothing. Not a single catch.


JuJu Smith-Schuster: The former Pittsburgh Steelers player is not an elite No. 1 wide receiver — but when the team has needed him, he’s been there. He caught 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns during the Chiefs’ regular season — even though he had only had two 100-yard games. That’s not exactly ideal for a leading receiver.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: The speedy 28-year-old has been a serviceable second wideout; while he hasn’t been a standout player, he’s sometimes shown up in big ways. As Kansas City’s deep threat, he’s averaged 16.4 yards per catch. And as we saw in the AFC Championship, he can step up in big moments. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, he had six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.

Kadarius Toney: the former first-round pick from Florida is exactly who every New York Giants fan thought he was: a gadget player who gets hurt way too often. When he catches the ball, he’s a major asset. But to do that, he needs to be on the field.

Even though the Chiefs have more wide receiver depth than the Eagles, I have to hand this one to Philadelphia. Brown and Smith are just that much better than anyone Kansas City can field.

The verdict

The Eagles are a top-heavy team. Just four skill-position players account for 4,667 offensive yards: Sanders, Goedert, Brown and Smith.

Kansas City, however, fields a much more balanced team. The Chiefs are deep at their skill positions — and for this reason, just one Kansas City player has over 1,000 yards. So I have to conclude the Chiefs have the better skill-position players.


Which team has the better offensive skill-position players?

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