Opinion: What you need to know about Super Bowl LVII - Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs

OPINION: On Monday (NZ time),  the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) will take on the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 

With the biggest day on the American sports calendar on the horizon, Newshub's Harry Bartle has examined the strengths and weaknesses of each side, and predicts who will lift the iconic Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Why Kansas City Chiefs will win the Super Bowl

Two words - Patrick Mahomes.

At just 27, the Chiefs' star quarterback has established himself as one of the greatest players of his generation. 

He is already a Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP, leading the Chiefs to victory in 2019, and has just captured his second league MVP crown, after throwing for more than 5000 yards and a league-leading 41 touchdowns. 

These sensational numbers helped Kansas City put up 29.2 points per game and become the league's No.1 scoring offence, even after losing All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason. 

Much of Mahomes' production can be credited to good friend Travis Kelce. Regarded by many as the best tightend in the game, Kelce has already added three postseason touchdowns to the 12 he scored in the regular season.

If the Chiefs are to get over the line in the big dance, the Mahomes-Kelce connection will need to once again be the focal point of their offence. 

Finally, the Chiefs as a whole, have far more big-game experience than their rivals. They just hosted a record fifth consecutive AFC title game at home, and this is their third Super Bowl in the last four years under Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid.

Patrick Mahomes.
Patrick Mahomes. Photo credit: Getty Images

Why Philadelphia Eagles will win the Super Bowl

Philadelphia Eagles have the best all-around roster in football. 

On the defensive side, their secondary allowed just 179.8 yards per game, which was a league-low, while their incredibly talented pass rushers tore down the opposing team's quarterbacks 70 times - the third-most sacks ever in the regular season. 

All-Pro linebacker Haason Reddick was responsible for 16 of those sacks and heads into the big dance in incredible form, adding 3.5 more during his side's two postseason games.

The Eagles offence is just as dangerous. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, 24, has come to life in his third season, proving to be one of the league's best dual-threat quarterbacks.

With the support of star wide receivers AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, and an incredible offensive line that includes former Australian rugby league player Jordan Mailata, Hurts threw for 22 touchdowns and rushed for a further 13 (most among QBs). 

However, the most vital Hurts-related statistic is Philadelphia only lost one game this season, when he took the field. Their other two losses occurred while he was injured. 

Running back Miles Sanders, who had career highs in games played, rushing yards and touchdowns, rounds out a roster that is extremely talented.

The Chiefs' reason for concern 

When Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain against Jacksonville Jaguars 23 days out from the Super Bowl, the season seemed over for the Chiefs. 

Somehow, the star quarterback managed to fight through the pain against Cincinnati Bengals a week later, but his lack of mobility showed he wasn't 100 percent. 

Haason Reddick.
Haason Reddick. Photo credit: Getty Images

On average, high ankle sprains take 6-8 weeks to heal. so Mahomes' movement will definitely be limited come gameday. 

The Eagles also offer a far greater challenge than Cincinnati, so if he isn’t able to push through the pain, it could be a swift downfall for Kansas City. 

The Eagles' reason for concern 

Philadelphia Eagles have yet to truly be tested this season. Based on projected win totals before week one, the Eagles had the second-easiest strength of schedule for the 2022 NFL season. 

They easily defeated New York Giants, whom they had already beaten twice during the year, in their first postseason game, before breezing past San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Championship, when 49ers wonderboy and quarterback Brock Purdy went down injured in the first quarter. 

The only recent example of when second-year head coach Nick Sirianni and Philadelphia have had to adapt was when Hurts missed two weeks with a sprained shoulder. They lost both of those games. 

Chiefs vs Eagles prediction

Super Bowl LVII is going to come down to whether or not the Kansas City offensive line can protect Mahomes for long enough from the Eagles' brutal pass rushers. 

Mahomes is nearly impossible to stop, when he is able to get the ball to Kelce and his other receivers, but with an injured ankle, he'll have to rely heavily on his offensive line to protect him for long enough to do so. 

I believe they will. The Chiefs only allowed 27 sacks in the regular season (third best) and just one against the Bengals in their previous game. 

Hurts and the Eagles will have their moments, but 'Showtime Mahomes' will put on an all-time performance and Kansas City Chiefs will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the third time in their history.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 27 Philadelphia Eagles 24  

Harry Bartle is a Newshub assignments editor. Join us for live updates for all the action from Super Bowl LVII from 12:30pm Monday