Let me start by saying I have no interest in the “Andy Reid Returns to Philadelphia” aspect of this game. Do people really care about that type of story still? One of the most interesting games of the week will be played on Thursday night, and to talk about the overdone, uninteresting storyline of “whoever returns to wherever” puts me off when there are so many aspects of this game that are actually worth discussing.
How about the super uptempo Philadelphia Eagles offense? Is it a sustainable way to win in the NFL? I definitely don’t think so. Whatever pressure they think they’re putting on opposing defenses, they are putting on their own defense as well. The only difference is the Eagles are wearing down their own guys every week.
Last Sunday, the San Diego Chargers offense torched the Philly D for 539 total yards and 33 points — and it could have been more if the Bolts didn’t fumble inside the Eagles’ 10-yard line twice. Chip Kelly’s style may put some points on the board, but it doesn’t come without its costs.
On Thursday night, the Kansas City Chiefs will get to take on a defense that spent over 40 minutes on the field against San Diego with a short week to recover. KC did a lot of work out of the no-huddle offense in the preseason, and are very capable of applying the same pressure that Phillip Rivers and the Chargers did in Week 2.
I think the Chiefs will come away with a win in their first real test on the road. In both of Kansas City’s games this season, they have played smart, controlled football and have yet to give the ball away. On top of that, the Chiefs have given up a total of 65 penalty yards compared to 142 for the Eagles.
KC gets the edge not only because they control the little things better, but also because they have the best defense that Philly has seen this year. As they have in their first two contests, I expect KC to protect the ball and win the field position battle. Just as it was against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, those aspects will be instrumental for a Chiefs victory.
But you never know with Kelly calling the shots, as there should be a lot of wild cards in this game. Regardless of that and the fact that Philly is a three-point favorite, I’m still betting on the Chiefs in a tough game to forecast.
Prediction: Kansas City over Philadelphia, 31-24