Thursday night the Eagles will look to rebound from losing to the Chargers. This game will also feature the return of former Eagles great coach Andy Reid and his franchise quarterback being retired at half, Donovan McNabb. With that being said there is certainly a lot of hype surrounding this game from not only the Philadelphia and KC perspective but from the national media too.
Getting to the game itself. The Chiefs come in winning their first two games and looking to make it 3-0. The Chiefs are the favorites in my eyes because if you look at overall talent they have more and they are also a more balanced team taking the field in terms of talent on both sides of the ball. Andy Reid likes to pass the ball but he has shown a more balanced attack this year with an 8th ranked running game and a 27 ranked passing game but that is with a 60/40 pass run ratio. However they only average 5.3 yards per pass attempt! That should tell you that Alex Smith dink and dunks the ball down the field when passing. They also average giving up 2.5 sacks per game but these numbers are all through 2 games and don’t forget they played the Jaguars first so they most likely didn’t show everything against them.
What Eagles fans should be most interested in is the Eagles offense up against the Chiefs defense. 31.5 points per game is what the offense averages and are ranked 2nd in the league in total yards. While that is all fine and dandy they will be matched up against 4 pro-bowlers and a 3rd ranked total defense, 2nd in rushing D and 7th in passing D. Not giving up yards is nice and all but what really matters is the points you allow. Grant it that the first game was against the Jaguars this stat is a bit skewed but they did only allow 16 points against the Cowboys, Chiefs are ranked 2nd in scoring defense. Andy Reid knows Vicks woes against the blitz and probably knows where to blitz Vick from to force mistakes. I see the Chiefs bltzing early and often to disrupt Vick and the tempo of the offense.
The Eagles hands should be full on Thursday night but they also can win this game. They have an offensive scheme that hasn’t been seen in the NFL before and all the weapons at the skills positions to go with it including a good offensive line. If Brandon Flowers doesn’t play, the Chiefs best cover corner, then expect Jackson to have another good day receiving.
At this point the defense is living on a prayer so any success will be appreciated. I look for the Eagles to play more zone D and to force Smith to beat them deep. One player to look out for is Donnie Avery. Fast and quick slot receivers have given the Eagles problems but that’s also when Boykin isn’t covering them.
Like I said before and it will be a consistent theme throughout the year is that if an opposing team wants to stop this offense they will have to force turnovers or win the battle at the line of scrimmage. The defensive line has to create penetration into the backfield.