Now that the Super Bowl LVII matchup is set between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, we can analyze the individual battles on the field. The 2023 Super Bowl matchup is the first since 2017 to pit two teams with the top seeds from their conference in the championship game, meaning we’re getting some of the very best the NFL has to offer.
We know the teams that are playing, and we know many of the players, but which are the best of the best? Comparing the best Chiefs players against the best Eagles players, who ranks No. 1?
Down below, we do just that, ranking the top ten players in the Super Bowl this year.
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10. Darius Slay, cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles
Known as ‘Big Play Slay’, this starting cornerback for the Eagles is a five-time Pro Bowl selection, and he’s the NFL’s current active leader in passes deflected with 133 in his career. But Slay didn’t just earn this spot due to his past accomplishments, he’s a big reason why the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl this season.
Slay is the top cornerback on a defense that allowed the fewest passing yards in football this season. Both he and James Bradberry formed a top tandem, where Slay ranked 11th among all cornerbacks this season by allowing an opposing QB rating of just 76.9 when targeted (min. 50% snaps). By the way, Bradberry ranked first with a 51.4 rating.
Having intercepted three passes during the regular season, the Chiefs may want to know where No. 2 lines up before the snap on Super Bowl Sunday.
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9. Creed Humphrey, center, Kansas City Chiefs
Offensive linemen don’t get a lot of love. It’s not like they typically are involved in touching the ball, gaining first downs, or scoring touchdowns. But without them, the stars we love wouldn’t be able to have any success at all.
Kansas City’s center Creed Humphrey may just be in his second season, but he’s already regarded as one of the best players at his position in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, Humphrey didn’t allow a single sack all season, which being that his job is to snap the ball, then protect Patrick Mahomes, he’s a very valuable member of the Chiefs.
But it’s not just that Humphrey is solid in pass protection. PFF actually regards him as a better run blocker, where he graded as the fourth-best offensive lineman in football and the best center. It doesn’t matter whether the Chiefs want to drop back and pass or ask Humphrey to open up lanes in the run game. He excels in all areas.
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8. Lane Johnson, right tackle, Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson isn’t like your typical offensive lineman. Sure, he may be 6-foot-6, 325 pounds, fitting the ideal mold for the position, but he actually began his college career as a quarterback. He didn’t become an offensive lineman until his junior season at Oklahoma, but wow, what a wise career move for the athletic people-mover.
Johnson became the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and he’s been a mainstay on one of the best offensive lines in football ever since. He’s made four Pro Bowl teams, been named an All-Pro twice, and already won one Super Bowl with the Eagles. His above-average athleticism is ideal for the Eagles’ RPO offense that thrives in space.
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7. A.J. Brown, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Looking for a way to land a WR1 for their new franchise quarterback, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman took a swing for the fences during the 2022 NFL Draft, trading the 18th pick and a late third-round selection for A.J. Brown. This was a move that paid immediate dividends, with Brown quickly establishing himself as the top target for Jalen Hurts.
- A.J. Brown stats with Eagles: 88 receptions, 1,496 receiving yards, 11 TD
Unlike other receivers who pose as a No. 1 option, Brown actually is one. His combination of size, speed, strength, and overall ability is a rare package, and the Eagles were happy to pay the price to bring him to Philly. By all appearances, Brown is thrilled to be somewhere that values his skillset, but most of all, he’s likely just proud to have a chance at winning a Super Bowl ring.
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6. Haason Reddick, edge rusher, Philadelphia Eagles
Pass rushers may not get to touch the ball either, but the impact they can have on the game is arguably just the same. That was never more clear than in the NFC Championship Game, where Reddick racked up two sacks, forced and recovered a fumble, and tallied three tackles. He played just 29 snaps (63%), but he completely wrecked the gameplan for the 49ers.
But it wasn’t just some fluke performance for the first-time Pro Bowl edge rusher. He amassed 16 sacks during the regular season, forcing an NFL-high five fumbles in the process while being named as a second-team All-Pro member. It’s Reddick’s third consecutive season reaching double-digit sacks, doing so with three different teams. But it’s hard to ignore his consistent success, especially if he continues his strong postseason play.
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5. Jason Kelce, center, Philadelphia Eagles
Can you believe it? A third offensive lineman on this list? Yeah, these two teams have a lot of talent in the trenches. The Super Bowl features two of the very best centers in the league taking the stage, and Jason Kelce is as reliable as they come.
The older brother of Chiefs superstar and future Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce, Jason is 35 and has spent his entire 12-year career with the Eagles. What’s crazy is, despite being a sixth-round pick in 2011, Kelce started all 16 games as a rookie. He’s played in 176 NFL games in the regular season, and he’s started every single one.
While he may be getting up there in age, Kelce is still playing at an elite level, grading as the second-best run-blocking center in 2022. He also didn’t allow a sack across 671 pass-block snaps. Kelce’s advanced knowledge of the game is a big weapon when reading defenses before the snap and adjusting the team’s protection scheme accordingly. Expect a fun battle in the trenches on Super Bowl Sunday.
Related: 5 best Philadelphia Eagles teams of all-time
4. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
Just like Haason Reddick did his best to wreck the game for the 49ers, Chris Jones did the same against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship. The four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman managed to sack Burrow twice, while getting tallying five QB hits and a total of four tackles as he lived in Cincinnati’s backfield at ‘Burrowhead Stadium’.
Jones has racked up 65 sacks in his seven-year career with the Chiefs, including two seasons with 15.5, the most recent coming in 2022-23. With a chance to win his second Super Bowl ring, Jones is playing some of the best football of his life.
Related: 2023 NFL defense rankings: Super Bowl preview, offseason outlook for 32 teams
3. Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
Prior to the season’s kickoff, Jalen Hurts wasn’t even viewed as a proven starting NFL quarterback. My how quickly things can change. Hurts continued to defy expectations over the course of the season, helping the Eagles remain as the last undefeated team while securing the best record in the NFC.
Who knows? If Hurts hadn’t been forced to miss three starts due to injury, we could be talking about him as the top MVP choice, and when he got hurt, he had been the frontrunner. While he may not compare to Mahomes’ level as a pure passer, what Hurts brings as a runner cannot go unnoticed.
He accounted for 4,461 total yards combined, passing and rushing, and also scored a total of 35 touchdowns while turning the ball over just eight times during the regular season while helping the Eagles score 20 or more points in all but one of their games.
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2. Travis Kelce, tight end, Kansas City Chiefs
Already on track for the Hall of Fame, the NFL has never seen a tight end like Travis Kelce. He’s the best receiving tight end the game has ever seen, hands down. We can act like this is all Mahomes, but it’s really not. Kelce was posting 1,000-yard seasons with Alex Smith two years before Mahomes got on the scene.
Yet, working with Mahomes has helped take Kelce’s game to the next level, and has since posted seven consecutive seasons of over 1,000 yards. Kelce is currently fifth all-time among active players in receiving touchdowns and sixth in yards, but he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down at the age of 33. We don’t expect anything less than another strong performance in Super Bowl LVII.
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1. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Your 2022-23 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes has a chance to become the first player to win both regular season and Super Bowl MVP trophies in the same season since 1999. Not only is he the favorite to win both awards and the top player set to play in the Super Bowl, he’s likely the best player in the entire NFL.
Mahomes has taken over the league since getting his chance in the starting lineup back in 2018 and has only since been to the Super Bowl three times now, winning one and reaching the AFC Conference Championship all five seasons as a starter.
The start Mahomes has had to his career is unprecedented, and if he can come away with his second Super Bowl ring already by the age of 27, his case to be considered among the all-time great QBs only strengthens. But first, he would actually have to win.
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