Are the Chiefs and the Eagles the Two Best Teams in the NFL?

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Haason Reddick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles points to Josh Sweat #94 against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

The Super Bowl is set and the two teams left standing, the Chiefs and Eagles, will battle in the desert on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. But are these the best two teams and do they deserve to be here? Let’s review the latest NFL odds and discuss these teams to get an insight into our NFL picks

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles 

Sunday, February 12, 2023 – 06:30 PM EST at State Farm Stadium 

Chief Among the Rest 

Perhaps the biggest knock on the Chiefs this season comes from those who bet on them. Despite Kansas City’s impressive 14-3 record, they were a money-burning 5-11-1 against the spread and at least some of that had to do with Patrick Mahomes losing his best deep threat, Tyreek Hill.  

The Chiefs didn’t often blow teams out and had their fair share of defensive lapses but Mahomes is good enough to overcome the deficiencies on this team and has an uncanny ability to find ways to win, even when adversity strikes.

And we all know Mahomes isn’t a one-hit-wonder. He has taken the Chiefs to the Super Bowl in 3 of the last 4 years and has the luxury of the best tight end in the business, and one who is arguably among the top three of all time, Travis Kelce. 

But the question remains, are they one of the two best teams in the league and the preeminent power in the AFC? Well, that’s where it gets dicey because I would contend a valid argument could be made for the team they just beat, the Cincinnati Bengals.  

Should've Been the Bengals

If we check off the talent on both sides of the roster we can certainly make a case for the Cats. The quarterback position is a jump ball, as Joe Burrow is as elite as Patrick Mahomes. Both quarterbacks can drop dimes where few would dare to throw and have the mobility to move the sticks when targets disappear.  

As for the wide receivers, the checkmark has to go to the Bengals with Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd a better triumvirate than Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, and JuJu Smith-Schuster by a wide margin. The tight end position is a slam dunk with KC’s Travis Kelce a clear-cut winner over the talented, albeit not elite, Hayden Hurst. 

When we analyze the running backs, the Chiefs found a hidden gem in the seventh round with Isiah Pacheco while tailback Jerick McKinnon was second on the team with 9 receiving touchdowns. But wouldn’t you rather have Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine in your backfield?  

Let’s switch to the defense. The Bengals were ranked 5th against the run, 26th against the pass, 18th in total yards, and 17th in points allowed. The Chiefs were ranked 21st against the run, 27th against the pass, 27th in total yards, and 8th in points allowed. That tells us the Bengals' defense, although far from stellar, was better than the Chiefs in all of the major categories except the one that counts the most, points allowed.  

But you should know that Kansas City surrendered 21.4 points per game while Cincinnati allowed 22.1. Only a narrow difference separated No. 8 from No. 17. If we add it all up, and factor in that Burrow had been playing behind a decimated offensive line throughout much of the season, my vote goes to the Bengals.  

Who Else but the Eagles? 

If not the Eagles in the NFC, then who? Well, let’s check down the list of possible contenders for Philadelphia’s spot in the Super Bowl. That list would begin with a team that couldn’t muster even two touchdowns against the 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott and the Boyz were immobilized in their 19-12 loss to San Francisco in their divisional round battle. 

Next up, the Minnesota Vikings. When the rubber hits the road, the Vikings become road kill. It’s been that way for many years now and it happened again when the Giants put them to sleep via a 31-24 win in the wild-card round. 

The 49ers are really the only other possible contender to the NFC throne but their offense was always overshadowed by their tremendous defense with all due respect to the Cinderella story that was Brock Purdy. Yes, the 7th-round pick was impressive and displayed the poise of a seasoned veteran but he’s no Jalen Hurts.  

In my estimation, there is no debate here as the Eagles soared throughout the regular and postseason but, granted, got an enormous break when Purdy went down in their conference title tilt. Would a healthy Purdy have made a difference in Philly’s 31-7 victory? Highly unlikely but had the 49ers not committed a whopping 11 penalties for 81 yards then things might have been a bit more interesting.  

The way we see it, the Eagles are the best in the NFC and will likely be crowned Super Bowl champs when it’s all said and done.