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Thursday Night Football: Chiefs at Eagles

Cheifs at Eagles

For the first time in a long time the NFL network seems to have lucked out with an excellent matchup. The 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a rematch with a lot of familiar faces.

Chiefs at Eagles

Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles -(3.5)

For the first time in a long time the NFL network seems to have lucked out with an excellent matchup. The 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a rematch with a lot of familiar faces. Andy Reid’s return to Philadelphia along with Donovan McNabb’s halftime retirement presentation is going to create a very interesting evening as the newly installed Chip Kelly high-powered offense takes on a revamped Chiefs team led by Alex Smith and Andy “Big Red” Reid.

Two Week Recap

In just two games, the Kansas City Chiefs have already matched their 2012 win total. Fans are excited about the new passing game and are pleasantly surprised with how quickly the Chiefs defense has become a strong suit. Last week’s victory over the Dallas Cowboys has created a strong buzz as the Chiefs’ defense has only allowed 28 points in two games and is tied for first place in defensive sacks with 9. Although, the one statistic that stands out the most to me, is keeping opponents to only 54 rushing yards a game. Going against one of this season’s more electrifying offenses on a short week will no doubt be the Chiefs’ first true test of the season.

The honeymoon is over for the Philadelphia Eagles. After many costly mental errors, including Chip Kelly’s clock management at the end of week two loss to the San Diego Chargers, critics are singing a different tune. After a very impressive week one Monday Night Football performance against the Redskins, the Eagles flopped their season opener in heartbreaking fashion. Quarterback Philip Rivers was extremely patient on the road last week as he simply kept his offense in check and waited till the last possible second for the Eagles defense show their hand before making adjustments. The newly installed defensive group crumbled at key moments and gave up more yards in one game than some NFL teams after two weeks. With only days to regroup before getting back out on the field, rookie coach Chip Kelly and his defensive unit have a lot of quick adjustments to make before taking on a confident Chiefs squad.

The Connection

Clearly ex-coach Andy Reid and his knowledge of the Philadelphia Eagles tendencies may give him some kind of edge. He drafted many of the team’s players including DeSean Jackson (the NFL’s leading wide receiver). While many will read too much into the past relationship with Andy Reid and many of the Eagles players, it’s the new offensive scheme that should cause the most confusion for the Chiefs in week three. The advantage may not be so much that Reid knows the Eagles on a personal level, but the Eagles offensive players may have insider info on Reid’s playcalling for the Chiefs. DeSean Jackson knows Reid’s system better than anyone and may be able to offer some insight to a struggling Eagles defensive group that was torched by Philip Rivers’s only days ago.

My Thoughts

I don’t want to take anything away from the Chiefs impressive 2-0 start this season. They have looked incredibly strong early on. Andy Reid is a very smart coach and the change of location seems to have not only been good, but has helped his new team out drastically.

That being said, the Kansas City Chiefs did play the Jacksonville Jaguars week one. It was a dominating victory as the Chiefs walked all over the Jaguars and earned Andy Reid his first victory of the season. While a win is a win, it was against arguably the worst team in the league. The Eagles in week 2 however, faced off against what I believe is a much underrated Chargers team. The Chargers almost stole a win from the Houston Texans in week one on Monday Night Football. The Chargers put up 28 points against one of last year’s best defenses and kept J.J. Watt at bay. This makes the Eagles loss not as utterly pathetic as many boo-bird fans are making it out to be.

Prediction

Chip Kelly knows that to win this league you need to be able to lean on home turf. Losing their home opener did not sit well with the fan base, nor any of the Eagles’ personal. To lose two games at home within five days would be a nightmarish start for Chip. I am confident that he focused solely on defense this week and will rebound in a primetime environment. As much as I believe that the Chiefs are destined to have an excellent season, I don’t see them keeping up with the Eagles’ fast paced offense. The Eagles are scoring so quickly that there really isn’t a ton of game film to study. If the Eagles defensive unit can gain a little confidence early on, the offense can carry them the rest of the way.

Eagles 27-23

Eagles Cover, Under 51

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