The official run up to Super Bowl LVII has begun, as the media day at the Super Bowl Opening Night gave fans and media alike a chance to interact with top players from the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the big game.
While players from both teams have a busy week ahead with practices and media scrums, perhaps no one will have a busier week than Donna Kelce, mother of Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce and his older brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce.
Brother Against Brother
Her sons have already won one championship apiece, and by playing on different teams, they’re guaranteed another ring in the family collection this weekend.
Mrs. Kelce became a media star during the playoffs this season as stories circulated of the lengths the devoted mother has gone to support her sons, once flying from Tampa Bay to Kansas City to see both of them play in playoff games scheduled for the same day.
Fans started an online petition for Donna Kelce to perform the opening coin toss in the game this weekend, one that as of Wednesday morning has more than 180,000 signatures. At the media day, Mrs. Kelce found herself under the bright lights once again and responded by surprising her sons with homemade cookies as they were interviewed by Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin.
Vegas favors the elder Kelce brother, with Kansas’ BetMGM sportsbook listing Philadelphia as a 1.5 point favorite at -125. Jason’s younger brother gets the last laugh, however, as Travis is listed as the third-most likely player to win Super Bowl MVP (+1100) after the starting quarterbacks. Jason isn’t even listed to win the award: no offensive lineman ever has in the game’s 56-year history.
While the Kelce brothers are the first set of siblings to play in the big game, they aren’t the first set of brothers to face off in a Super Bowl: that distinction goes to Jim and John Harbaugh, head coaches for the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
It’s likely that this game will be decided by which team has a better performance in the trenches. Philadelphia’s offensive line has been one of the best in the league this season, putting on a dominating performance in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers as quarterback Jalen Hurts had what felt like an unlimited amount of time to pick his targets.
On the other side of the field, the Eagles’ crashing defensive line made life miserable for the 49ers’ quarterbacks, knocking both starter Brock Purdy and backup Josh Johnson out of the game with injuries.
The Chiefs’ offensive linemen are an underrated unit. After their lack of depth was exposed in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach made it his mission to revamp the unit, trading the Chiefs’ first-round pick to the Ravens for tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and drafting center Creed Humphrey in the second round. The group is much improved, but they’ll have their hands full against the Eagles’ defensive line rotation, filled with big names like Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis and Javon Hargrave—especially as quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the presumptive league MVP this season, continues to nurse a high ankle sprain he suffered in the divisional round.
Kansas City’s defensive line is another strong group, led by First-Team All-Pro Chris Jones, standout rookie George Karlaftis, and seasoned veteran Carlos Dunlap. Whether they can get pressure against the Eagles’ o-line remains to be seen.
While Philadelphia has a slight advantage, the game feels like a toss-up right now. It’ll all come down to who’s the better team on Super Bowl Sunday.
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