Super Bowl Fun-day approaching fast

Eagles-Chiefs matchup should be great, then we can turn our attention back to the Bears.

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Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has made a major leap in his progress this season and is a finalist for NFL MVP.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has made a major leap in his progress this season and is a finalist for NFL MVP.

Matt York/AP

Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to Super Bowl Sunday. It is America’s holiday.

Who doesn’t love a day when your pregame can start as early or as late as you want?

Count me among the fans who think we should move our holiday to Saturday. That way, people can have as much fun as they want before returning to work Monday without a hangover or lethargy.

While I used to think that was a fantasy, the NFL already is considering neutral-site conference championship games, so I don’t think it will be too long before there’s serious consideration for a Saturday Super Bowl. But I digress.

As for the game, it’s fitting that this is the matchup. The Eagles have been the best team in the NFC all season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has made a major leap in his progress and is a finalist for league MVP.

Before the season started, I looked at Philly as a model for what the Bears should do with Justin Fields. After a successful season that caps with a Super Bowl, I feel more emboldened than ever that the Bears have discovered a template. But it won’t be easy, and general manager Ryan Poles must hit on several of his offseason moves.

Some of what makes the Eagles so good will be difficult to duplicate. Jason Kelce is a bit of a unicorn at center. He’s smart, tough and super-athletic. He’s the perfect person to help a young quarterback along. There are definitely options in the draft, with former Homewood-Flossmoor standout John Michael Schmitz looking like a first-round pick from Minnesota. If the Bears were to trade the No. 1 pick and gather a later first-round selection, this could be a course of action, but I think it’s wiser to look for a veteran in free agency who isn’t learning on the job while Fields still is developing.

One of the best weapons Poles can provide a young quarterback is a strong defense. The Eagles have playmakers on every level of their defense and will present a real challenge for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes is the best QB in the game, and though plenty of people will try to tell you that there is a group led by Joe Burrow and Hurts nipping at his heels, it’s not really true. It was silly that so many experts were concerned that the Chiefs would have to win from the pocket after Mahomes’ high ankle sprain in the playoffs. It’s as though they forgot Mahomes has the highest QBR of any quarterback in the league from the pocket. He also threw the most touchdown passes from the pocket.

While Mahomes hasn’t won as much as Tom Brady, he is drifting into that space where it becomes folly to count him out. The games last year against Buffalo and this year against Cincinnati serve as evidence. Even in the Super Bowl he lost, he was amazing.

While I’m fantasizing about helping the Bears, can we just clone the Kelce brothers? I made my case for Jason. The case for Travis is obvious. As good as Mahomes is (and he is legendary), Travis Kelce makes things so much easier because of the matchups he can create. He’s a real problem. The best way to neutralize Kelce is by applying a sustained pass rush against Mahomes. And even then, we could see some magical throws that negate it.

I can’t wait for this game. It smacks of irresistible force vs. immovable object. As for a pick, give me the Chiefs 24-20 because I’m not going to fall for the banana in the tailpipe and pick against Mahomes.

There’s another reason I’m looking forward to Sunday. Once the dust settles and we have a champion, things reset.

For the last month, the Bears have faded into the background, like a team with the worst record should. After the game ends and the confetti drops, however, the work begins. Fans can start planning for a future where the Bears aren’t left out of the postseason party. The 2022 season officially will be over, and the Bears will be on the clock.

Bring on Sunday!

You can hear Laurence Holmes talk Chicago sports Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to
2 p.m. on 670 The Score with Dan Bernstein.

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