NFL

Chiefs, Eagles Fast Starts Raise Possibility Of A Rare Super Bowl Rematch

Oct 25, 2023, 9:25 AM

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Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

ASSOCIATED PRESS – Kansas City and Philadelphia are setting the stage for the possibility of a rare Super Bowl rematch.

The Chiefs and Eagles both have won six of their first seven games and are tied for the best record in the NFL.

This is just the sixth time that the two teams that played in the Super Bowl the previous season are tied for the league’s best record entering Week 8 or later.

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The last time it happened was going into Week 12 of the 2000 season when the Titans and Rams were both 8-2. Neither team ended up making the Super Bowl, with Tennessee losing in the divisional round and St. Louis in the wild-card round.

It also happened in 1993 when Buffalo and Dallas finished the season tied for the best record at 12-4 a year after playing in the Super Bowl. They met again in the Super Bowl that season, with the Cowboys repeating as champions in the only time the same two teams met in the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons.

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The win over the Chargers gave the Chiefs a three-game lead in the AFC West — just the fourth time in the past 10 seasons that has happened after seven weeks.

Kansas City already has won division games against Denver and the Chargers to improve to 29-3 against division opponents with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. Mahomes’ .906 winning percentage in the division is the best of any QB since the merger with at least 20 starts, far outdistancing Dak Prescott’s .800 mark for Dallas against the NFC East.

The 28-year-old Mahomes had his sixth career game in the regular season or playoffs with at least 400 yards passing and four TDs. The only players with more in NFL history are Peyton Manning (nine) and Dan Marino (eight).

The Eagles got to 6-1 by beating Miami 31-17. Receiver A.J. Brown had his fifth straight game with at least 125 yards receiving, tying Calvin Johnson (2012) and Pat Studstill (1966) for the longest streaks ever.

SACK DANCE

Washington’s Sam Howell keeps taking sacks at a record-setting pace.

Howell was sacked six times in a loss to the Giants on Sunday. Howell has been sacked at least four times in every game this season. That’s one shy of the longest streak since the merger held by Deshaun Watson (2018-19), Jeff George (1997-98) and Blake Bortles (2014-15).

Howell’s 40 sacks are the second most through seven games since the merger, trailing only David Carr’s 43 for the expansion Houston Texans in 2002. Carr set the NFL record for sacks that season with 76.

IRON MAN

Maxx Crosby’s impressive iron-man streak came to an end for the Raiders.

Crosby had played 267 consecutive defensive snaps for Las Vegas before coming off the field for two kneel downs at the end of a loss to the Bears.

Crosby hadn’t missed a snap since Week 3 against the Chargers, with his three-game streak the longest for a defensive lineman since Chandler Jones did it five straight games for Arizona in 2017, according to Sportradar.

Since the start of the 2022 season, there have been nine games when a defensive lineman played every defensive snap, with Crosby having seven of those games. Aaron Donald and Greg Gaines each have one.

RECORD CHASER

New England coach Bill Belichick joined some elite company when he won his 300th regular-season game, joining Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318) as the only coaches ever to hit that milestone.

The NFL record for coaching wins including the postseason has Belichick currently trailing Shula 347-331. He also has lost 170 games — eight fewer than Tom Landry for the most ever.

UNDRAFTED MATCHUP

The Bears and Raiders had a rare game with two undrafted quarterbacks.

Rookie Tyson Bagent came out on top for Chicago, besting Brian Hoyer in the first game featuring two undrafted starting quarterbacks since Nick Mullens and San Francisco beat Case Keenum and Denver 20-14 on Dec. 9, 2018.

Bagent, who played at Division II Shepherd University, became just the third undrafted rookie quarterback to win his first start in the past 10 seasons, joining Devlin Hodges in 2019 and Kyle Allen in 2018.

The 38-year-old Hoyer extended his losing streak as a starter to 13 games — tied for the eighth longest since the merger. Hoyer hasn’t won a start since Oct. 2, 2016, for the Bears. Bagent became the 106th quarterback to win a start more recently than Hoyer.

The game also put Hoyer into sole possession of second place by starting with his eighth franchise — one behind Ryan Fitzpatrick’s record.

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Chiefs, Eagles Fast Starts Raise Possibility Of A Rare Super Bowl Rematch