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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Doug Farrar and Luke Easterling

VIDEO: How will Patrick Mahomes deal with the Eagles’ historic pass rush in Super Bowl LVII?

In this week’s episode of “4-Down Territory,” powered by KIA, Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar and Luke Easterling of Bucs Wire and Draft Wire discuss how the Kansas City Chiefs’ top-tier offense will deal in Super Bowl LVII with the Philadelphia Eagles’ historically great pass rush, and the rest of that great defense.

This Super Bowl marks the third time in NFL history that the passing yards leader will take on the NFL’s No. 1 pass defense, at least by conventional metrics. The last two times did not go well at all for the prolific quarterbacks – the Seahawks beat the brakes off Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Super Bowl 48, and the Buccaneers vivisected Rich Gannon and the Raiders in Super Bowl 37. Now, we have Mahomes against the Eagles’ defense. How does Mahomes overcome this historical deficit when he takes the field against the Eagles? 

Doug: The matchup I’m most concerned about for the Chiefs is Philly’s ridiculous pass rush (especially Haason Reddick, who basically stole the deed to San Francisco in the NFC Championship game) against Kansas City offensive tackles Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie, who have been vulnerable all season to pressure off the edge. That vulnerability has shown up especially against guys like Reddick, who can win on the back half of the arc to the pocket,and that is Brown’s Kryptonite in particular. If Mahomes can overcome that with pocket movement and second-reaction plays with however much he’s able to recover from the high ankle sprain over the next two weeks, things might be okay. Otherwise, we could be looking at a replay of Super Bowl 55, when the Buccaneers’ pass rush gave Kansas City’s explosive offense no chance to explode.

And speaking of bad blocking plans, the Chiefs should not try to block Reddick with tight ends and receivers, as the 49ers did. That was suboptimal for them.

Luke: I think Isiah Pacheco is going to be the key here. The Chiefs have GOT to run the ball consistently and effectively if they want to win this game. It’ll take pressure off Mahomes, set up some big plays down the field by luring the Eagles defense down into the box, and he can make big plays in the screen game to punish that aggressive pass rush, as well. Keeping Jalen Hurts and the Eagles off the field as much as possible, and not allowing them to dominate time of possession, will be critical. That’ll come down to the running game for KC.

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