Rematch and next Super Bowl?
This NFL showdown electrifies the US
By Heiko Oldörp
November 19, 2023, 9:22 am
With the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, the best teams of the season will face each other in the Monday Night Game. It’s a rematch of the last final – and perhaps also a preview of the next final.
Many people eagerly awaited this duel. More than nine months. 280 days to be exact. Monday Night Football. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles. The champion welcomes the runner-up. A rematch of Super Bowl LVII. There is simply nothing else that can be done in the NFL right now. It is “the most anticipated Super Bowl rematch of all time”, according to the TV channel “CBS”. The online portal “The Athletic” writes about “Super Bowl 57 ½” and “sports.yahoo.com” simply calls the game “the best of the best”. For the second time, Monday’s prestigious game is the stage for the new edition of the latest final.
The reunion following the epic showdown on February 12 in Glendale is both a look in the rearview mirror and a preview of a possible repeat of the final showdown on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas. Because both are the two standout teams so far this season. Philadelphia leads the NFC with an 8-1 record, while Kansas City leads the AFC with a 7-2 record. “Two teams that always find a way to win. Monday Night Football, the world is watching, it’s going to be great,” says Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes – and adds, “I’m glad we’re playing at home.”
Can Philadelphia “Slay the Dragon”?
Although both teams made some personnel changes during the off-season, the key players are still the same. There is no favorite, but according to “sports.yahoo.com” an away win for the Eagles would be more important than a home win for the Chiefs. He says Philadelphia is a “well-coached and talented team that can defeat any opponent.” But after the Super Bowl defeat, Philadelphia now needs to show that it is capable of “slaying the dragon”.
The Eagles are flying high against the Chiefs. They are the fourth team to win eight of their first nine games in two consecutive seasons in the last 30 years. And, pay attention, Philly fans, the other three clubs (Dallas/1995, Denver/96 and Indianapolis/06) became champions in the second year. “You are what your history says about you. And that’s why we’re in a good position,” emphasizes Eagles coach Nick Sirianni.
Ailing Hurts trains without a knee brace
He was pleased to note Thursday that Jalen Hurts was able to practice without a knee brace. The quarterback complained again of pain in his left knee after the 28:23 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, on November 5th. He has been struggling with this problem for weeks. In that regard, Hurts said, it was ideal that the Eagles hadn’t played last weekend. The Chiefs know that success on Monday depends mostly on not allowing Hurts, who loves to run, to develop. “If we can limit his game no matter what, we’re doing something right,” defenseman Chris Jones said.
Of course, both teams’ press conferences over the past few days have focused heavily on the Super Bowl, although the follow-up questions brought back completely different memories for the Eagles and the Chiefs. And of course, in preparation for the new edition, the Eagles had to rewatch the records of the 35:38 defeat on February 12 to see what should definitely be avoided this time. For example, the scene in the 21st minute when Jalen Hurts tried to avoid Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton but tripped and lost the ball, so Bolton was able to easily equalize to make it 14:14. Otherwise, Hurts played an excellent final.
It hurts noticeably with one more crucial mistake
He was involved in 26 of the Eagles’ 35 scores, including taking the ball into the end zone three times for a touchdown and gaining 70 yards, which was more space than any quarterback has ever thrown in a Super Bowl. But that fumble and the resulting seven points for the Chiefs were too crucial a mistake in such an even game.
Everyone carries different wounds from the game, says Eagles offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. The question, however, is how to react to this. Defensive end Brandon Graham, for example, honestly says that “a lot of us are still hurting from the loss.” However, he doesn’t want to spend too much time thinking about the past, preferring to focus on the present – and the near future.
See you again in 84 days?
“If we do what we have to do, the pain will soon go away. Then we will have the championship trophy in our hands,” Graham said. There are still 84 days until the next Super Bowl. Right now, Kansas City versus Philadelphia would not only be a conceivable final, but it would also arguably be the best thing that could happen to the league.
But back to the current duel. Jason Kelce doesn’t buy the “Super Bowl revenge” talk. Because nothing that happens on Monday will “undo the final”, adds the 36-year-old Eagles centre-back. The fact that he and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce engaged in a brotherly duel for the first time in the Super Bowl was one of the big stories surrounding the finals. Even mother Donna has made several appearances on TV.
This time, however, the brothers’ reunion is a little in the background. Instead, it’s more about Taylor Swift. As we know, the singer has been Travis Kelce’s girlfriend since September. Whether Swift will be at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday is one of the big questions leading up to the game. Why: The 33-year-old is an Eagles fan who grew up nearly 60 miles west of Philadelphia.
But since she now maintains a relationship with the opponent’s most important professional, alongside Patrick Mahomes, a Philadelphia radio station has drawn conclusions – at least temporarily. Since Friday at 5pm, “Q102” has stopped playing Taylor Swift songs. “There is only one Kelce Swift duo in our city that we are interested in,” the station said. This refers to Jason Kelce and running back D’Andre Swift. “Q102” announced that the boycott of Swift would last until Tuesday.