Super Bowl Pass-Catchers: Dangerous Eagles’ Duo To Shine
The Super Bowl is a little over a week away, which means we’ll spend the next ten days comparing the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs inside and out. Today we’ll look at the wideouts and tight ends on both squads, ranking the top five pass catchers set to take the field on Sunday, Feb. 12, at State Farm Stadium.
1. Travis Kelce
Regular Season Stats: 17 GP, 110 Receptions, 1338 Yards, 12 Touchdowns
I don’t think anyone anticipated anything less with the top spot. Travis will be one of the best players on the field two Sundays from now, and it is safe to say he’s a matchup nightmare. The future Hall-of-Famer combined for 21 receptions through two playoff games after ranking third in the regular season in receptions with 110. Expect the Eagles’ defense to give a ton of different looks with guys like Kyzir White or T.J. Edwards, along with Avonte Maddox or C.J. Gardner-Johnson out of the secondary.
2. A.J. Brown
Regular Season Stats: 17 GP, 88 Receptions, 1496 Yards, 11 Touchdowns
AJ Brown hasn’t had the greatest postseason, but it’s more because they haven’t needed him to. He’s only caught seven balls for 50 yards through two games, yet his presence is enough to send defensive coaches into a tailspin. Finishing fourth in the league in reception yards with just under 1,500 to go with eleven touchdowns, Brown can do anything on the outside. These past two playoff games, he and DeVonta Smith have been invaluable as blockers for their runners, something you don’t often see with today’s wide receivers.
3. DeVonta Smith
Regular Season Stats: 17 GP, 95 Receptions, 1196 Yards, 7 Touchdowns
The NFL community strongly underrates how exceptional DeVonta Smith is, given that Brown plays opposite him. There is a strong argument that DeVonta is a borderline top-ten receiver. He ranked ninth in yards and eleventh in receptions. He has a case as one of the league’s best route runners, and I’d argue that no receiver in the league possesses better body control than him. Review the tape of the Eagles-Cowboys Christmas Eve game to see my point. Only in a 6-foot, 170-pound frame, DeVonta is a special player that will have an impact against the Chiefs.
4. Dallas Goedert
Regular Season Stats: 12 GP, 55 Receptions, 702 Yards, 3 Touchdowns
Like Smith, Dallas Goedert’s national image takes a back seat since he isn’t the focal point. Don’t misunderstand; Goedert is exceptional. At 6’5″ and 255 pounds, Goedert is too fast to be covered by most linebackers and too big to be covered by defensive backs. His blocking is excellent by tight-end standards, and he is up there with Kelce regarding yards after the catch for a tight end. He’ll make his impact known in Arizona.
5. JuJu Smith-Schuster
Regular Season Stats: 16 GP, 78 Receptions, 933 Yards, 3 Touchdowns
JuJu Smith-Schuster is an excellent player, don’t get me wrong. He put together a good season in KC and benefited from having Patrick Mahomes sling him the ball. Who wouldn’t? Still, Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will not be heading to bed every night worrying about how to stop JuJu in the Super Bowl. He has two All-Pro caliber cornerbacks on the outside, Darius Slay and James Bradberry, and more than enough confidence that they’ll do their jobs.
Others to Watch: Quez Watkins, Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Quez Watkins hasn’t done much all season, primarily serving as the Eagles’ WR3, but he’ll need to be accounted for. With 4.30 speed, his presence on the field will always have the backend of the secondary wary of his ability to burn them over the top. Keep an eye on Jalen Hurts chucking up one deep, and he’ll make for a fun, longshot first TD bet.
MVS had his best game against the Bengals last week, making six receptions for 116 yards and a score. Like Smith-Schuster, the Eagles’ secondary will hold the matchup advantage on the outside. Still, he can’t be ignored after last week, despite only averaging about 2.5 catches per game in the regular season.