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Super Bowl LVII Defensive Coverage Breakdown for Chiefs vs. Eagles

Super Bowl LVII

Coverage analysis has been the biggest beneficiary of how I find the best DFS plays and props to take. Many defensive coordinators have a specific scheme they will utilize no matter their opponent. Others will take note of the opponents' strengths and weaknesses.

For example, the Los Angeles Rams ran zone coverage at a more than 75 percent rate this season, and it did not matter if they were playing Josh Allen or Marcus Mariota; they were going to be in zone coverage. Coverage numbers can swing depending on the game script. If a team is losing early on, they will likely play more Cover 1 to defend the run better. 

Every coverage has its counter, and it’s up to the play-caller and quarterback to identify what’s about to be played and how to exploit that coverage. 

>> READ: Breaking Down Coverage Schemes

All of the Data is provided by Sports Info Solutions, and the percentages are proportionally taken to be out of 100 percent. The coverage is from the full season, including the playoffs.

Chiefs vs. Eagles Overall Data

Team Man YPA TD Rate Zone YPA TD Rate
Chiefs 38.1% 7.10 8.80% 61.9% 6.79 1.42%
Eagles 35.4% 6.53 5.14% 64.6% 6.88 2.19%


Chiefs Offense vs. Eagles Defense

  • Patrick Mahomes will have to be special on Super Bowl Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles' defense is top 10 in the NFL, and it has only given up 14 points these playoffs
  • Including the playoffs, Mahomes averages 8 or more yards per attempt against man or zone coverage
  • The only QB to throw for more than 215 yards against the Eagles was Dak Prescott when Jalen Hurts was out
  • The Eagles have a 54.5% pressure rate this postseason, so the Kansas City Chiefs will need to protect Mahomes
  • Travis Kelce and Kadarius Toney are the only two players averaging more than two yards per route run
  • Kelce is the clear main option, has a 25.9% target share and gets targeted on 28.8% of his routes run. In the playoffs, Kelce has a 34.2% target share
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling has stepped up for the Chiefs this postseason, averaging 2.07 yards per route run and has an average depth of target (aDOT) of 14.3
  • Juju Smith-Schuster hasn’t found his footing in the playoffs. He's only been targeted on 6.1% of his routes and averages 0.73 yards per route run
  • Skyy Moore has a 20.6% target per route this postseason but averages 0.38 yards per route

Eagles Offense vs. Chiefs Defense

  • Hurts averages more than eight yards per attempt against man coverage and zone coverage this season. This Chiefs' defense will have to be special because it has allowed 33 passing touchdowns this year
  • The Chiefs sacked Joe Burrow five times; however, their pressure rate is 32.6% this postseason
  • The Eagles rely heavily on A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert as pass catchers
  • Brown has a 28.8% target share, gets targeted on 28.3% of routes and averages 2.76 yards per route
  • In the playoffs, Brown only averages 1.14 yards per route on the highest target share
  • Smith has a 26.9% target share, gets targeted on 25.3% of routes and averages 2.20 yards per route
  • Smith has been the leader in the playoffs with 2.11 yards per route and the second-highest target share
  • Goedert has a 19.8% target share, gets targeted on 21.1% of routes and averages 2.09 yards per route
  • Goedert played well against the Giants but was used mostly has an extra blocker for the run game against the 49ers


Chiefs vs. Eagles Man Data

Team Cover 0 YPA Cover 1 YPA Cover 2 Man YPA
Chiefs 4.06% 8.57 23.28% 7.31 10.76% 6.10
Eagles 2.43% 1.50 27.73% 7.04 5.26% 6.12

Chiefs Offense vs. Eagles Man Defense

  • When the Eagles run man coverage, it’s clear they are running a Cover 1 style of scheme
  • Mahomes hasn’t been that strong against Cover 1, averaging 7.4 yards per attempt with a 9:4 touchdown-interception ratio
  • In the postseason, he has seen this coverage on 17 dropbacks and averages 5.3 yards per attempt
  • With Darius Slay and James Bradberry on the outside, we could see them run more Cover 1
  • On the year, Kelce has a 30.4% target share and averages 2.59 yards per route
  • A surprise player against this coverage is Moore, who gets targeted on 25% of his routes and averages 1.85 yards per route
  • In the postseason, the only players with a catch against Cover 1 are Valdes-Scantling and Kelce

Eagles Offense vs. Chiefs Man Defense

  • The Chiefs have played plenty of man coverage this season, but it’s been more frequent with two safeties back. The problem against the Eagles becomes leaving a lighter box against an elite offensive line and rushing attack
  • Against Cover 1, Hurts averages 9.1 yards per attempt with an 8-2 TD-INT ratio
  • When Hurts sees Cover 2 man coverage, he runs on 12% dropbacks. He has four rushes for 25 yards against Cover 2 man. That coverage makes it difficult to contain running quarterbacks 
  • Against Cover 1, Brown has a 40.1% target share and averages 4.10 yards per route. Smith holds a 27% target share and averages 2.84 yards per route. That’s two players with 67% of the targets against one specific coverage
  • Throwing against Cover 2 man will be something the Eagles hope to avoid
  • Goedert has been the best player against Cover 2 man with a 23.1% target share and averaging 3.14 yards per route

Chiefs vs. Eagles Zone Data

Team Cov. 2 YPA C3 YPA C4 YPA C6 YPA
Chiefs 22.9% 6.6 15.7 7.0 19.6 6.7 3.7 7.3
Eagles 8.1% 7.8 25.3 6.5 26.5 7.3 4.7 5.0

Chiefs Offense vs. Eagles Zone Defense

  • Mahomes has been one of the top quarterbacks against zone coverage, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt with a 15:7 TD-INT ratio
  • The Eagles primarily run Cover 3 or Cover 4 when playing zone
  • Mahomes has no problems with Cover 3, averaging 8.9 yards per attempt, and no problems against Cover 4 averaging 7.9 yards per attempt
  • Four Chiefs' players have a more than 10% target share against Cover 3
  • Kelce leads the way with a 22.1% target share and averages 2.77 yards per route run
  • In the playoffs, Kelce has a 40% target share against this coverage
  • Smith-Schuster holds an 18.1% target share against this coverage and is pretty effective, averaging 1.92 yards per route run
  • Toney gets targeted on 27.8% of his routes and averages 3.50 yards per route against it
  • Against Cover 4, Kelce leads the way at a 29% target share and averaging 2.43 yards per route run
  • The running backs have been targeted frequently against this coverage, as they combine for a more than 20% target share, and that’s Mahomes taking what the defense gives him

Eagles Offense vs. Chiefs Zone Defense

  • Cover 2 is the Chiefs' primary zone scheme
  • Hurts hasn’t thrown a touchdown against it but averages 9.3 yards on 47 passing attempts
  • Like Mahomes, Hurts spreads the ball around against Cover 2 looks, and five players have a more than 10% target share
  • Smith gets targeted the most frequently at a 22.5% rate, but the running backs are the surprise, with Kenneth Gainwell and Miles Sanders more than 23% 
  • Cover 4 is the Chiefs' next most-used zone coverage
  • Smith, Goedert and Brown combine for a 78% target share against this coverage
  • Smith and Goedert average more than 2 yards per route against it, while Brown is at 1.36
  • Against Cover 3, Brown is the dominant player averaging 3.16 yards per route and having a 31% target share
  • Goedert averages 2.72 yards per route, and Smith averages 1.62 yards per route
  • All three players combine for a 76% target share against Cover 3



The game script will play a big part in what coverages we see from these teams, and the offensive lines need to protect their quarterbacks from the pass rush. In a negative game script, I anticipate both teams playing a heavy amount of Cover 1, which opens the door for big plays from the leading teams.

The Chiefs should play more Cover 1, try to take away the run game and hope the corners can disrupt the rhythm of Philadelphia's passing offense. Moore is the Chiefs' player I think could have the big game to free up Kelce. For the Eagles, their trio of Brown, Smith and Geodert will lead the way. However, Brown is a mismatch with whoever the Chiefs put on him.