Eagles / Chiefs preview
Huge game in the NFL tonight with the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Philadelphia Eagles, unfortunately it’s a huge Thursday night game for the wrong reasons. The NFL Network is broadcasting this game for one reason and one reason only, its Andy Reid’s return to Philly. A great storyline indeed but to be honest one I’m tired of already, it’s got to the point of nauseating. Thank god it’s a short week and not something we have to hear all the way up to primetime on Sunday night.
In my opinion, the game itself hasn’t gotten enough attention which isn’t surprising considering the circumstances. This has the potential to be a very good game. The Chiefs are 2-0, already matching their win total from 2012. While the Eagles are 1-1 and could easily have been 2-0 should a few things throughout the course of the game have gone differently. (Sorry Eagles fans more went wrong then Chip Kelly not eating more clock and using a timeout when Vick was hurt). This is a matchup of two cellar dwellers from last year that look like they could be playoff contenders if their hot starts continue.
The main football thing that everyone has focused on this week is whether or not Reid has come up with a scheme to shut down the Eagles up-tempo offense. Personally, I think that’s the wrong thing to focus on. There’s no team that is going to completely shut down that offense this early in the year, the entire league is still trying to figure it out. Every team is going to try something different and till there is enough film there will be holes in the defense for Chip Kelly to exploit.
That offense won’t be shutdown till there is more film for defensive coordinators to watch and dissect. I know there is a lot from college but that’s not NFL film. Once there is more film of NFL players with NFL speed playing against this type of offense teams won’t have a complete grasp about what works and what doesn’t. So till then what should the focus be on?
To me the main thing to focus on is the Eagles defense, can they stop the Chiefs?
The Eagles struggled mightily in shutting down the Chargers, giving up over 500 yards in offense. That is film that Andy Reid and his offensive staff can watch and come up with a very good scheme from. Now I will say don’t expect a Chargers type attack this week, the Chiefs don’t have the amount of weapons that they do. It will give Reid a nice base to go off of though.
What the Chiefs do have is a stud running back in Jamaal Charles, a very good receiver in Dwayne Bowe and a very smart, accurate and mobile quarterback in Alex Smith. That means the Chiefs can mix up their plays and keep the Eagles defense off balance as they can run and pass.
Eagles’ fans and players will also see a very different Reid offense too. He’s still not leaning on his star running back but he has been using the running game more than in past years and in different ways. The Chiefs leading rusher against the Cowboys wasn’t Charles, it was Smith and it wasn’t because of a pass rush. Reid has incorporated some run option into his offensive scheme. That’s helped in a major way as teams have been keying on Charles early. That alone is going to give a struggling Eagles defense even more to think about.
Many don’t think the Chiefs offense will be able to keep up with the Eagles offense in this game but I think they’ll do just fine. This isn’t Oregon where the Eagles are going to put up 50 points a game, so teams won’t have to necessarily keep up. All they’ve got to do is play their game and with how good the Chiefs defense is, currently ranked #1 by Football Outsiders, they’ll have a chance.
With that being said I still do think the Eagles win this game. It will be closer than people think and honestly I think lower scoring then they think. The short week won’t just effect the Chiefs defense, it will likely slow the Eagles offense down as well.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES 27, Chargers 23