Super Bowl LVII Comparisons: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

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 pass catchers that the Eagles and Chiefs will field for the big game.

Philadelphia WRs & TEs | Devonta Smith, AJ Brown, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Britain Covey, Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra

The Eagles have new record holders here – two of them. While AJ Brown set a record with 1496 yards on the season (88 receptions and 11 touchdowns), DeVonta Smith set a receptions record with 95 on the season (1196 yards and seven touchdowns).

Beyond that, the Eagles receiving corps has not been stellar with Quez Watkins, a player arguably responsible for four interceptions and a lost fumble over the last several weeks, posted just 33 receptions and 354 yards with three touchdowns on the year. In far fewer snaps, Zach Pascal added 15 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown as the fourth option.

At tight end, Dallas Goedert is the unquestioned star. In just 12 games, he posted 702 yards and three touchdowns on 55 receptions, putting him on pace for 994.5 yards had he not missed five games as a result of an uncalled facemask penalty by Washington. The Birds second tight end, Jack Stoll, does not have eye-popping stats (11 receptions, 123 yards) but is one of the leagues best blockers at the position, helping more in the running and screen game than he does in the passing game.

Britain Covey serves mainly on punt returns while Grant Calacatera is typically only found if there is an injury at tight end.

Kansas City WRs & TEs | JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Mecole Hardman, Justin Watson, Travis Kelce, Noah Gray, Jody Fortson, Blake Bell

The NFL world waited to see what the Chiefs would look like without Tyreek Hill on the roster. The Chiefs, for their part, went out and signed JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson, traded for Kadarius Toney, and drafted Skyy Moore. Free agency has given the team a much more spread offense while their other moves were not so successful.

At the top of the list for the Chiefs is JuJu Smith-Shuster. He has 933 yards and three touchdowns on 78 receptions during the regular season. He did not have a big game in the divisional round and left with a potentially serious knee injury in the Championship game, leaving his availability in doubt.

Banged up entering the game, Mecole Hardman (297 yards, four touchdowns) exited that game with a pelvis injury and also may not be available. Kadarius Toney was about as effective as he was for the Giants last season and put up only 171 yards and two touchdowns on the season. He also exited with an ankle injury and is questionable for the big game.

The top receiver that is a go for this game is Marquez Valdes-Scantling. On just 42 catches, MVS racked up 687 yards during the regular season. Not only that, but he has a touchdown in each playoff game this season and put up a 116-yard performance in the AFC Championship, frequently being the one to bail out the Chiefs and keep the chains moving.

Justin Watson (315 yards, two touchdowns) and Skyy Moore (250 yards, no touchdowns) provide the depth that can help Kansas City win despite injuries piling up at the position.

Travis Kelce is Travis Kelce. He had another incredible season with 1338 yards on the season to go along with 12 touchdowns. He’s also added 176 yards and three touchdowns in the Chiefs two playoff games. If the Chiefs need to get the ball to someone who’s covered or force a quick out, the Eagles will need to be watching Kelce who has been a safety blanket for Kansas City for nine seasons now. He’ll certainly be more than a handful for Maddox and some combination of the linebackers and safeties to cover.

Noah Gray and Jody Forston have combined for 407 yards and three touchdowns in the second and third tight-end roles. Gray is the primary option, seeing the field on over half of offensive snaps.

Blake Bell plays mostly special teams.


The obvious advantage to pick out here is Travis Kelce over Dallas Goedert. There simply is not a better tight end in the league than Kelce. Look at the receivers, however, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’d take any Chiefs receiver over either AJ Brown or DeVonta Smith. That make the top of the receiver chart clearly in the Eagles favor. Despite that, the Chiefs have four options that are probably better than the Eagles third option so they would have an advantage with depth – if they were/are healthy. Unfortunately, the depth is rendered a moot point and actively tested with three of the group banged up and potentially unable to play (or likely to leave as occurred with Hardman in the AFC Championship game). Due to the injuries the Chiefs are dealing with, the teams split this matchup.