Chris Berman picks the winner
Feb 10, 2023
Chris BermanNFL Studio Host, SportsCenter Anchor, Baseball Commentator
- Since October 1979, ESPN’s Chris Berman has become one of America’s most respected, popular and beloved sportscasters of his era. A six-time National Sportscaster of the Year, Berman’s shows have won eight Emmy Awards and 12 CableACEs.
Chris Berman is back for his NFL pick for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, 51)
Sunday, 6: 30 p.m. ET, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Super Bowl LVII should be great. We say that a lot, but a pair of 16-3 records are never to be sneezed at. Nor is a pair of No. 1 seeds meeting in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2017 season, when No. 1 Philadelphia beat No. 1 New England in Minnesota. The last time the Super Bowl was here in Arizona, at Super Bowl XLIX, it was the Patriots and Seahawks, where two No. 1s also squared off in one of the most memorable Super Bowls. Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson at the 1-yard line and the Patriots rallied to beat the Seahawks for their fourth Super Bowl win. That game changed the narrative of both franchises. New England, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, after starting out 3-0 in Super Bowls, were about to lose its third straight down-to-the wire Super Bowl game. Instead, they became 4-2, no one questioned their ability to win the big one and rest is history. It would’ve been two straight for Seattle with a good chance to be the first to win three straight Super Bowls, making them the team of the 2010s. As good as Pete Carroll and the Seahawks were that decade, they have not been back to NFC title game since that loss.
Needless to say, the other Super Bowl in this building was perhaps an even bigger one for the history books, as the Patriots were going for the 19-0 perfect season. Eli Manning, David Tyree and Plaxico Burress had other ideas in the monumental upset by the G-Men. So, this is the third Super Bowl in the “Big Toaster” … yep, it looks like one. I like the stadium. Let’s put two English muffins in and have breakfast. We are calling this game the “Roaster in the Toaster.”
For Kansas City coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, this is their third Super Bowl together in four years, which puts them on a short list. The fact that they are perennials speaks volumes. What both do on a weekly basis is legendary. Reid’s game planning and adjustments were on full display once Mahomes hurt his ankle vs. Jacksonville and was compromised vs. Cincinnati. Mahomes’ run for the first down vs. the Bengals — without the late hit call — will go down as one of his finest moments ever. He has had countless moments, with more to come. It helps Reid and Mahomes to have Travis Kelce there for the Super Bowl run. He has never been better.
The Philly we saw in the postseason looked like the 13-1 Eagles we saw before quarterback Jalen Hurts was injured. Yes, San Francisco was reduced to running a single wing offense in the NFC title game, but the combined playoff scores were 69-14. Teams that have won both the divisional round and conference championship games by 21 or more make up one of the most impressive lists you’ll ever read. ’89 San Francisco, ’88 San Francisco, ’85 Bears and ’78 Steelers. Yes, they all won the Super Bowl. Hurts is part of a lethal running game, but Eagles wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are problems. Can Kansas City’s young secondary come up big like it did vs. the Bengals’ outstanding wideouts? Brown’s addition was made by GM Howie Roseman, who deserves much credit for how he built up this Philadelphia powerhouse. Among others, he brought in linebacker Haason Reddick and others on the D-line, which plays seven deep and has an incredible 78 sacks. Can Mahomes escape them? Roseman came to Philly when Reid was the coach in Philadelphia. Reid’s last year there was 2012, but three of his draft picks are still big contributors: Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox on that defense and center Jason Kelce.
Will Kansas City’s front wall of Chris Jones and Frank Clark decide they want the headlines instead of the Eagles’ front? Both teams have three offensive lineman who were named to the Pro Bowl. Mahomes and Hurts, who finished 1-2 in the MVP race, are front and center, though neither is 100 percent healthy. They are more like 85 percent, but you would take that for your team in a heartbeat. When Philly beat the Niners in the championship game, the Eagles were the first to beat San Francisco since the Chiefs did way back in October. Yep, we indeed have the Roaster in the Toaster. I see a game decided by a field goal. The Chiefs have had much more experience than the Eagles in such games this year, which may ultimately play a big role in the outcome. As will Reid and Mahomes.
K.C. 29, Philly 26
Editor’s note: Last year Berman picked the Rams by 3. The final score of the game was Rams 23, Bengals 20.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.