Super Bowl LVII preview: Chiefs vs Eagles
Super Bowl LVII preview: Chiefs vs Eagles

Super Bowl LVII preview: Chiefs vs Eagles

With the Conference Championship games now completed, the 2022 NFL season will conclude when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on February 12.

We’ve analysed every game since the current format was established in 2002 to predict how this year’s showpiece will unfold in our Super Bowl LVII preview.

Travel sickness is real

In a nation as vast as the United States, travelling takes a visible toll on teams who have to traverse it. The effect on the NFL is notable, with 14 of the last 17 Super Bowls won by the team who had the shorter distance to travel as the crow flies.

The Chiefs have a much shorter trip to this year’s venue: the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona is just over 1,000 miles from their home. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ home field is around twice as far away, which puts them at a disadvantage.

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Don’t be swayed by strong play-off performances

Strangely, it seems that recent play-off success does not bode well. Collectively, the last 10 Super Bowl winners had reached at least the Divisional play-offs stage six times over the preceding three seasons, compared to 13 appearances for the runners-up.

The Chiefs have reached two Super Bowls and a Conference Championship game in the last three seasons, but the data suggests that the Eagles – who haven’t even reached a Divisional Play-off since 2018 – could be worth support.

However, a statistic that benefits the Chiefs is that only four of the last 11 Super Bowls were won by the team who had the superior points difference across that season’s Divisional play-offs and Conference Championships combined.

This year, the Eagles have looked the more impressive on paper, racking up a convincing combined score in the play-offs of 69-14 to the Chiefs’ more modest 50-40. Could this end up counting against them?

The regular season doesn’t matter

It’s not just the play-offs which can obfuscate a team’s Super Bowl prospects. In the last 17 years, 13 of the winners ended the regular season with a worse record than their opponents.

While the Los Angeles Rams won last year with a superior regular-season performance, the four Super Bowl champions prior to them had all fared worse than their opponents.

This year, the Chiefs and Eagles both went 13-3 in the regular season, but the Eagles registered a marginally better points difference.

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