Pro Picks: Eagles’ talent over Chiefs’ experience

CBS Sports

Rob Maaddi, Associated press

Back in the Super Bowl five years after winning the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, the Eagles took a different path to reach this one. They’re 1 1/2-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs, per FanDuel Sportsbook, after outscoring the Giants and 49ers 69-14 in the playoffs.

In their previous appearance, the Eagles became the first No. 1 seed to enter the playoffs as a home underdog. After sneaking past Atlanta in the divisional round, they were underdogs against Minnesota in the NFC championship game. They routed the Vikings and went on to beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the favored New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

During that run, players embraced their underdog status, brought dog masks to the games and wore them around Minnesota for Super Bowl week. No need for any extra motivation this time around.

With Jalen Hurts leading a high-powered offense and Haason Reddick headlining a stingy defense, the Eagles have been dominant throughout much of the season.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs had a tougher path to this point. They beat the Jaguars 27-20 in the divisional round and edged the Bengals 23-20 on a field goal in the final seconds. Mahomes played with a badly sprained ankle against Cincinnati. An extra week off has helped but he’ll face a ferocious, relentless pass rush.

They’re one of the top defenses in the league for a reason,” Mahomes said. “They get after the quarterback, so it’ll be a great challenge for us to go out there and try to have some success.”

“Mahomes is a tremendous talent,” Reddick said. “I don’t know if you can contain him. He’s that good.”

Pro Picks likes talent over experience. The Eagles are stacked, they’re healthy and they’ve been the more impressive team since Week 1.