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The Hilltop’s Super Bowl Picks: Who Is Going To Disney World?

The Philadelphia Eagles play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII on Feb.12. Graphic by ESPN.

Super Bowl LVII features Jalen Hurts’ Eagles squaring off against the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 

After this game, a quarterback will peer into a broadcast camera. With rampant emotions and confetti showering upon him, Hurts or Mahomes will scream the three-decade traditional phrase, “I’m going to Disney world!”

In joy for Super Bowl LVII, the masses will gather and discuss who they believe will take the trip from Arizona to Florida with a Vince Lombardi Trophy in first class. 

The Hilltop sports staff gathered to share their thoughts and predictions on this year’s Super Bowl matchup.

Branson Brooks, junior journalism major, sports administration minor from Jacksonville, Florida.

When looking at Super Bowl LVII this year many think it’s the same old storyline; “Patrick Mahomes faces foe in search of another Super Bowl ring.” However when taking a closer look, there is much more to this year’s game. For the first time in Super Bowl history, there will be two Black quarterbacks taking the field: Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. Not only is this a monumental step in the football world, but it also serves as a testament to what kind of  quarterback is usually successful in today’s league. 

To win today, teams need a quarterback who not only has great passing ability, but also has the ability to move out of the pocket to improvise and extend plays. These skills are in both Hurts and Mahomes’ arsenal, so to be able to show their talents on the biggest stage while also being able to represent their people during Black History Month, must be a surreal moment for both of them. When it comes down to the actual outcome of the game; due to the Eagles’ momentum, a more complete team, and just having more players available to suit up, they will have the upper hand.

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Brooks’ Prediction: Eagles 30 v. Chiefs 21

Jayden Armant, junior journalism major, business administration minor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Super Bowl LVII is set. Rihanna is performing at the halftime show, Sheryl Lee Ralph will be singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and two Black quarterbacks are facing off for the first time in Super Bowl history. Which MVP candidate will come out on top?

This game is about matchups. Patrick Mahomes once again made average receivers look like Pro Bowlers and displayed ridiculous moves to make defenses look silly. However, the Eagles defense isn’t an easy unit to play against. Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat lead the pass rush while Darius Slay and C.J. Gardner-Johnson hold it down in the secondary. On the other side, the Eagles are led by Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and DeVonta Smith. Pair that with Dallas Goedert and a solid running core against a subpar Chiefs secondary, the Eagles ultimately have the advantage on both ends of the field. 

Armant’s Prediction: Eagles 27 vs. Chiefs 20 

Badi Cross, junior journalism major, Spanish minor from Portland, Oregon.

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This year’s Super Bowl is bound to be a classic, with the first two Black quarterbacks to ever face each other in the championship going head-to-head. For me, the Eagles and the Chiefs have been two of the most exciting teams throughout the season, and those two men are a majority of the reason why. The sportsbooks and Vegas mostly have the Eagles as the favorites, but I think counting out the Super Bowl winners from two seasons ago isn’t smart. The offensive weapons that they have in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Isaiah Pacheco, Kadarius Toney, and obviously Travis Kelce make them a threat in any game. That doesn’t mean the Eagles are a pushover, especially since their defense is arguably better than the Chiefs’. They’ve been this successful and made it here for a reason. In the end, it should be a high scoring, close game, but the Chiefs will get the victory. 

Cross’ Prediction: Chiefs 42 vs. Eagles 38

Cindy Jean, senior political science major, sports management minor from Broward County, Florida.

Super Bowl LVII will be historic in more ways than one. The Philadelphia Eagles are returning for the fourth time in franchise history, while the Kansas City Chiefs are returning for the third time in the last four years. Four players from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) will be participating. Most notably, we will see two Black starting quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes, potentially lead their teams to victory. And with the recent announcement of Tom Brady’s retirement, it is time that the ball is handed to a new generation of stars. 

Both teams have showcased their strengths throughout the regular and postseason. The Chiefs are dominant offensively, attempting 28 field goals and scoring 61 touchdowns during the year. Yet, the defense of the Eagles is noteworthy, leading the league in total sacks. Only a few teams have been able to score more than 22 points against the Eagles, which foreshadows the outcome of this year’s Super Bowl game. 

Jean’s Prediction: Eagles 31 vs. Chiefs 20

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Joshua Heron, senior journalism major, criminology minor from Yonkers, New York.

An earth-shattering and undoubtedly historic matchup awaits the millions that will be glued to the television on Feb. 12. Millions will realize the Chiefs are facing a different animal. 

Defensive Player of the Year candidate and Chiefs defensive tackle, Chris Jones, sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow twice in the AFC conference championship game. His 20 tackles for loss is the third most in the 2022 regular season. However, the Eagles have the best offensive line this season, led by Lane Johnson, who hasn’t allowed a sack or hit all season. As a result, Jalen Hurts possesses ample time to find his excellent core of receivers, and the versatile Eagles running backs can run in space. 

Not to mention, the Eagles have the second-best defense in the NFL and will be playing an injured Mahomes. 

Then again, Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes. The NFL community has learned that nothing can go past him. Except… birds that fly really fast. 

Heron’s Prediction: Eagles 34 vs. Chiefs 24

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Kyle Fisher, sophomore journalism major from Atlanta, Georgia.

In this Eagles vs. Chiefs matchup where one team has Patrick Mahomes and the other team doesn’t have Patrick Mahomes, history says to go with the Mahomes led Chiefs. As a starter in the NFL, Mahomes is an incredible 64-16. 

Mahomes’ sustained success coupled with the fact that the Eagles have gotten by all season and especially in the playoffs without facing an elite quarterback seems to point to an ensuing Chiefs victory. So far in this playoff run, the Eagles have gotten a bye week, played the New York Giants who miraculously backed into a playoff spot, and beaten the 49ers who were physically incapable of throwing the football. Now they’ll face the league’s absolute best in the most high-stakes game that much of their young roster has ever played in.

The quarterback play and the moment will prove to be too much for the Eagles, and Mahomes will erase any doubt regarding the league’s most valuable player.

Fisher’s Prediction: Chiefs 34 vs. Eagles 24

Skylar Nelson, sophomore journalism major, sports and business administration double minor from Baltimore, Maryland. 

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Super Bowl LVII will be a historic game indeed. Two Black quarterbacks will be facing off for the first time in Super Bowl history, four players from historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) will take part in this matchup, Rihanna is set to make her comeback performing at the halftime show, and Sheryl Lee Ralph will be singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This is definitely an event no one will want to miss. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs are set to face off at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The real question is will the Eagles spread their wings, soaring to Disney World or will the Chiefs be hoisting another Super Bowl trophy? 

Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes are highlighting today’s NFL MVP conversation, leading both of their teams to conference championships. Patrick Mahomes is considered to be a fan favorite, however, Jalen Hurts in many ways has surpassed the expectations people had of him at quarterback. The Eagles have a dominant offense starting with their running backs Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Miles Sanders as well as wide receivers DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown. The Chiefs have great attributes such as Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones, and Travis Kelce. However, the Chiefs have experienced numerous injuries after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, leaving the Eagles as the healthier team. The Eagles have plenty of opportunities to dominate in this game. 

Nelson’s Predictions: Eagles 31 vs. Chiefs 20

Copy edited by Chanice McClover-Lee

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