This week’s Thursday night game has the potential to be a very good one as Andy Reid goes back to Philadelphia for the first time as the opposing coach when his Chiefs take on the Eagles. Both teams have received plenty of attention due to their performances so far and with contrasting styles, it will be interesting to see how they matchup.
The Chiefs haven’t exactly lit up the scoreboards with points so far, but that has the potential to change this week matched up against a struggling Eagles defense. Alex Smith through two games has been doing what he does best. That is taking care of the football by not taking too many chances and doing enough to win games. If there is a game for Smith to take chances, this is the one as the opportunities will be there. Look for Jamaal Charles to be featured heavily in this one. Along with the rushing ability he has shown throughout his career, Charles is also a very efficient receiver out of the backfield. A game with around 25 total touches wouldn’t be surprising. Through two games, Dwayne Bowe has just 86 yards but this is the game where he can show everyone the player he really is. The Eagles secondary has really struggled and Bowe can make plays in various different ways whether it’s going over the middle, creating after the catch or beating his defender deep.
Chip Kelly’s offense that he has installed with the Eagles has been the talk of the first two weeks. Now they face their toughest defensive task to date. The Chiefs have two very good pass rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston that should be in Michael Vick’s face early and often. Another player to really watch on the Chiefs defense is Dontari Poe. The second year nose tackle has been unblockable the first two weeks and he could really disrupt LeSean McCoy and the Eagles run heavy attack. McCoy has been fantastic through two games both running and in the passing game. Just off the guaranteed volume alone he should be in for another nice performance. Another Eagles player that is in line for another big game is DeSean Jackson. Through two weeks, Jackson has led the league in receiving yards and looks to have fully bought into Kelly’s system. He should lineup against Brandon Flowers who is normally one of the league’s top cover corners but is questionable with a knee injury. Look for Jackson to exploit this as he and Vick should be able to hookup for at least one deep ball tonight.
Overall this game has the potential to be one of the best this week as these are two teams that so far have shown indicators they are on the rise. While the Eagles offense has been must see TV through two weeks, the tempo makes an already vulnerable Eagles defense stay on the field for the majority of the game. Against a team like the Chiefs that usually builds long drives, this could be trouble as there will be chances for them to break things open with a big play or two. My prediction is Chiefs 26 Eagles (-3.5) 24.