PHOENIX -- Here we are at the end of the road of the 2022 NFL season. The only thing left is for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs to square off in Super Bowl LVII with the chance to live in football lure for the rest of time. No pressure, right? Both of these teams have enjoyed dominating seasons that saw them finish atop their respective conferences and have both of their quarterbacks sit as finalists for league MVP. But there's only one Super Bowl champion.
Who will it be? Which team gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and have its confetti drift down onto State Farm Stadium's field when the clock hits zero? I'll give you my best guess with my final pick of the year.
Locks of the Week ATS: 41-45-4
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles
I'll be honest, this has been a hard game for me to hammer down. I mean, it makes sense when you look at just how even these teams have been this season. Coming into Super Bowl LVII, they have the same record (16-3), scored the same amount of points and have six All-Pro players to their credit. They even both have a Kelce! From that standpoint, we're basically trying to decipher differences from the other guy in the mirror. While these clubs are similar, I do think Philadelphia has the edge.
Jalen Hurts could prove to be a nightmare for Kansas City as the quarterback's skill set matches up well against this defense. As we've pointed out throughout the postseason, Hurts has enjoyed particular success on deep balls, owning an NFL-best 123.4 on throws 25 yards or more down the field. The Chiefs allow the fourth-highest passer rating on those types of throws this season. Meanwhile, Philadelphia does run most of its offense in the shotgun. The club's 89% shotgun rate was the second highest in the league this year, and while playing against shotgun the Chiefs rank 29th in the league giving up a 94.4 passer rating. Even if they can bottle up Hurts through the air, he can be just as lethal with his legs, especially against a K.C. defense that has given up the third-most rushing yards to quarterbacks this season.
Defensively, the Eagles will, of course, have the tall task of trying to neutralize Patrick Mahomes, but this unit, led by defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, has the talent to be up for the challenge. Philly has allowed the fewest passing yards per game and lowest passer rating this season and can apply tremendous pressure on the quarterback. This postseason, the Eagles' defense is applying pressure 54% of the time and currently has 78 sacks on the year, which is the third-most all time. The Eagles' lone weakness may be their run defense, but that has also seen a bit of an uptick these playoffs. Knowing what the Eagles do best, it feels like they can exploit a couple of weaknesses that K.C. has, especially if Mahomes is playing at less than 100% due to that ankle injury that still looked to bother him in the AFC Championship. He also may have limited options in the passing game with a number of Chiefs receivers banged up.
There's also a bit of history of Philadelphia's side. There have only been seven Super Bowls with a line of 2.5 or less. The favorites in those games have gone 6-1 SU and ATS.
Projected score: Eagles 27, Chiefs 23
The pick: Eagles -1.5