Super Bowl LVII Comparisons: Quarterbacks

Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports

Leading up to the Philadelphia Eagles match-up with the Kansas City Chiefs in Arizona, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will compare the personnel of the two teams each day until gameday is here.

In this edition of our week-long comparison, we will look at the quarterbacks that the Eagles and Chiefs will field for the big game.

Philadelphia QBs | Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, Ian Book

Jalen Hurts was on the way to an MVP-type season before getting injured in the third quarter of their Chicago Bears matchup. He went from an 8-7 record to a 14-1 record as a starter accruing 22 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns, going 306-for-460 on the season. He also threw six interceptions this season. Hurts had back-to-back NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards in addition to an NFC Offensive Player of the Month award. In the Divisional round, he showed a return to his midseason form that had him as a top MVP candidate.

Gardner Minshew stepped in where needed, even if he didn’t have the season Eagles fans were hoping for in order to continue their win streaks, going 0-2 on the season. He went 44-for-76 for three passing touchdowns and a share of rushing touchdowns as well.

We haven’t seen any of Ian Book this season, but last season he had a 60% completion percentage and threw two interceptions with the New Orleans Saints.

Kansas City QBs | Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne, Shane Buechele

Mahomes is, of course, a fellow MVP finalist after putting up another big season with 5250 passing yards and 41 touchdowns compared to only 12 interceptions. He’s also added four rushing touchdowns. Across the two playoff games for the Chiefs, he’s thrown for 521 yards and four touchdowns. Perhaps more importantly, he’s limited himself to just one turnover (a fumble) over those two games.

Of course, one of the biggest storylines for the Chiefs will be the health of Patrick Mahomes, who has a high-ankle sprain. It’s quite possible that the QB is back to full strength for the Super Bowl, given that there is an additional week of rest between now and then. In the AFC Championship game, the ankle was an obvious injury. Although it didn’t appear to affect the throws themselves, Mahomes clearly dealt with pain after deep throws. He also lacked much maneuverability, taking away some of his ability to scramble and keep plays alive.

This may be Henne’s 13’s season in the league, but he has just three seasons where he was looked at as anything more than a backup (the last in 2013). Henne is not a player that the Chiefs would really want to see the field as he dos have a tendancy to turn the ball over, having registered 22 fumbles and 63 interceptions compared to just 60 touchdown passes. He saw time in the spotlight this season as the national media heaped praise on his performance going 5/7 against the Jaguars for 23 yards and a touchdown, but that would not matchup with his previous history.

Buechele was a two-year starter at Texas and then transferred to be a two-year starter at SMU. He went undrafted and has yet to appear in a game for the Chiefs this season.


If it’s a straight-up contest, I think the edge has to go Mahomes and the Chiefs, but the health of both quarterbacks is in question at this point. If the two QBs come out at the same level as they did in their respective championship games, then the advantage would shift to the Eagles; Hurts had some hard runs and appeared to be just as effective as any other week while Mahomes lacked some of his ability to extend plays that makes him particularly dangerous under pressure. Since there’s no way to know what the health of either quarterback will be on February 12, this comes out in a draw dependent upon that day.