The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are less than two weeks away from battling in Super Bowl LVII, one of the highly anticipated Super Bowl matchups in recent memory. Jalen Hurts will be facing off against Patrick Mahomes in the showdown, the first matchup between Black quarterbacks in Super Bowl history and the youngest quarterback matchup in Super Bowl history.
Not only is the Super Bowl matchup between the top scoring offenses in each conference, but Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will be facing his former team in the Super Bowl. Reid has taken both Kansas City and Philadelphia to the Super Bowl, and is the only head coach to win 100 games with two different franchises and the only head coach to win 10 postseason games with two different franchises.
CBS Sports lead NFL analyst Tony Romo is already salivating over the matchup, especially with two of the top five quarterbacks in the league squaring off in Mahomes and Hurts. Romo previews Super Bowl LVII for CBS Sports on behalf of Michelob ULTRA and his role in the company's Super Bowl campaign for "New Member's Day." Michelob ULTRA will air two ads (including one that highlights the new PGA Tour Netflix documentary "Full Swing") during the Super Bowl as part of the company's $100 million commitment to gender equality in sports.
CBS Sports: What's the biggest change in Jalen Hurts' game you noticed this year?
Tony Romo: I think he's improved a lot from last year, but I think the team did a great job of understanding from a front office to the coaching staff -- the synergy there. What they did was they went on to hire multiple coaches to start to run this RPO, play-action system that really fits what Jalen does -- and then through his improvement and commitment to being a great quarterback.
They went through his skill set and started to run and make things very difficult on opposing teams. A multi-faceted offensive scheme that has given teams far more trouble than people realize -- just from a schematic standpoint. This happens once every 15-20 years, but a team comes in and they come up with a scheme that there's not a ton of data on.
If you haven't played against this scheme a million times, they come in and its like "Whoa what are the rules? How do we stop this?" Jalen Hurts has like four options on his plate, but they're not just routes. It's a handoff, it's a quarterback keep into a play-action bomb, into fake a handoff and its a RPO right over the ball. It just puts teams into a bind.
When I saw them earlier this year, I don't care who you are. To defend that scheme, it's going to take an entire offseason. You're going to find teams are going to have to play them multiple times before they can really figure out them.
What do you think is Jalen Hurts' ceiling?
Romo: Well it's high. You saw it this year with him being in the MVP discussion. What [Eagles executive vice president and GM] Howie Roseman did going to get A.J. Brown was genius. What happens when you get a quarterback who can run, it adds numbers in the running game -- so defenses have to get that extra number to fill that extra gap. You're bringing a safety in -- so it's not just eight in the box, it's nine in the box and all of a sudden that free safety has to help in the run game. When you do that, you're not able to double team these receivers.
You might have a cool way to get one of them, but now you have DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown there. They're getting 1-on-1 far more than these players should because of the overall scheme of the team. Jalen Hurts is gonna play great football for a long time.
Do you think this has been Patrick Mahomes' most impressive season?
Romo: Well he definitely took a leap. With Tyreek Hill, you had the rare guy all teams have to defend on every play. Just talking to coordinators and everything throughout the year, every time you went into a meeting with them they're focused on "OK that's a great design of a play. That's awesome." The coaches get together and say "'We're going to blitz them and do this." But there's still Tyreek Hill standing right there and we're just going to leave him 1-on-1, so you almost have to eliminate a lot of your defensive plan because he's on the field.
Going into this season, how was that going to affect this team since they got rid of him? Was it the right decision? Obviously, it's played out where it was a seamless transition in a lot of ways. Really it's Patrick Mahomes' development that has just gone more and more.
What he did this year -- the knowledge of the game went up. He started to find the leverage of the opponent. he started to understand defenses better. When you have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, you can kind of just wait on them and they will eventually just make it work. And teams did a great job of defending both those guys and when you're hanging you're like "Well that guy's 1-on-1 over there and he's got good leverage. We probably should have gone over there." Do you want to do that when you're throwing to this generation's Randy Moss and Wes Welker? You can hang on them because they always make it work. Patrick's mobility also corrected it as well.
He was systematic in his approach. He got things out quickly. I just think he's evolved and adapted like all great quarterbacks do.
Say Patrick Mahomes wins the Super Bowl. He's got two Super Bowl titles and two MVPs now. He says 'You know what? I'm done.' Where would he rank among the greatest quarterbacks ever?
Romo: Well, longevity always matters. But ever since they [the Kansas City Chiefs] decided to start him, every season Patrick Mahomes plays, they've been in the AFC Championship Game. That's never happened before. I don't care who you are. You don't go five straight seasons and you're like "Oh Patrick Mahomes is here. We're just gonna show up in the AFC Championship Game." That's Tom Brady-Bill Belichick stuff.
This is at an even faster pace than that was. When you combine a great, legendary coach in Andy Reid -- he's up there now as one of the top five coaches ever and he's gaining quickly. You put that high-level schematic designer of a coach with a guy of Mahomes' talent, you're going to see them be there for a long time.
Here's how I describe the best. We have a draft, me and you, and we find eight of our other buddies to have 10 picks for the best quarterbacks. Who are you drafting No. 1 overall? You're not necessarily taking longevity into play there. If this guy was great, but if he's great for all five or six of those years -- maybe as great as anybody. I know if I draft him -- we're gonna be in the discussion to win the championship every year.
If Patrick Mahomes retired right now, he's not beating Tom Brady but he's in the discussion right after that -- even right now. He's in the 2-6 range already, He's not quite two in my opinion yet, but give him a few more years and he'll be knocking on the door.
This is a rare talent.
Andy Reid had a decade-plus success with the Eagles. He's coming on a decade-plus success with the Chiefs. What's the one aspect that keeps Reid successful?
Romo: The No. 1 trait in all great coaches and players is their ability to adapt and learn. He's done that. He now has an encyclopedia to go to. If this trend is changing in the NFL, you're going to have to be able to defend their stuff. When he debuted Mahomes as the starter in 2018, they were doing stuff no one has ever seen in the NFL. You found that teams in the offseason started to adjust and over the next year and a half they were able to defend these new schemes.
Well, Andy Reid said "OK." Then he decides to adjust that scheme and add some more to it. He's always been one step ahead. There's that one trait with Andy. He always has that (instinctive) ability to recognize what the opponent is trying to do. If the defensive coordinator is trying to do this, Andy goes to that encyclopedia. He's either played against this guy or this system or he knows those trends.
He's just a really tough guy to go against because he thinks at a very high level -- and very quickly.
Who do you think is gonna win the Super Bowl?
Romo: I won't make a prediction, but I do think it's gonna be a great game. I think these are the two best teams all year -- and they're playing in this game. Going into Week 8 of this year, I thought the two teams that ended up getting home-field advantage would come out of both conferences. It happened to play out that way.
Those two teams having home field, that adds that little bit that a great team can overcome things if the ball doesn't bounce their way. I think you saw that.
Philly has just been so dominant all year. They probably have to be the favorite.