Expert Analysis on THE BIG GAME!
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The final game of the 2022 season is finally upon us. While many around the league wondered if losing Tyreek Hill ($10.72) would affect the Chiefs this season it doesn't appear as though that was the case. In some ways, these teams are the anthesis of each other. The Eagles were buyers throughout much of the off-season acquiring AJ Brown ($2.04) and several playmakers on defense. Whereas the Chiefs were about addition by subtraction with Tyreek Hill. In either case, both teams have reached the end, and now we're down to one game for the rest of the 2022 season until our hibernation.
As far as the game is concerned, I have to think this game will come down to some simple keys to the game as they would say. Patrick Mahomes ($20.49) enters this contest with a bum ankle. Throughout his availability, we have maintained the ankle better than it was just 2 weeks which we would expect. However, things always feel better when you're not being chased by a 300-pound lineman. The Chiefs are going to have to protect Mahomes at all costs to ensure this Superbowl doesn't end as it did in Tampa a few years ago.
If Mahomes gets the protection he needs, it's likely that Travis Kelce ($9.89) will again be the main target, as he has all season. With Juju Smith-Schuster ($1.02) not on the books next season his role in this offense seems to have gone down in recent weeks. It will interesting to see if his role improves with Mecole Hardman ($0.86) being sent to injured reserve.
Along with the move to injured reserve, the Chiefs activated Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($1.17) from IR as well. What's ironic about that is that when the Chiefs draft Helaire we thought he would be the missing piece to this Chiefs team. Now, he appears to be an after-thought in the committee sharing reps with Jerrick Mckinnon ($3.65), and Isiah Pacheco ($3.97). I don't believe that the Chiefs will focus too much on the run in this contest, with the Eagles boasting one of the better defensive lines in the NFL. I expect the Chiefs to throw early and often in this one.
As for the Eagles, Jalen Hurts ($2.72) is going to have to look like he did during the regular season. It's obvious he isn't 100% entering this game and will likely require some sort of surgery in the coming month. However, he still has one of the best groups of receivers in the NFL with AJ Brown, Dallas Goedert ($5.54), and Devonta Smith ($4.07). The Chiefs' defense is good, but not great. This will be a good test of just how good the team's defense will be as they square off against these pass catchers. While Philadelphia boasts several options in the passing game, they also have a stable of running backs in Miles Sanders ($0.53), Boston Scott ($4.07), and Kenneth Gainwell ($4.81). I don't expect either rushing attack to be potent on Sunday and think we will see both teams go through the air along with some additional yardage on the ground from Hurts.
In all, The Chiefs strike me as the team to get the job done. Andy Reid is getting up there in age, and with the rumors of him possibly calling it quits after a win, I think they will be motivated. Lest we forget Andy Reid is 27-4 after a bye week. I think the Chiefs win this game handily as Hurts doesn't seem like he has been himself since re-entering the lineup in week 17.
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