Eagles-Chiefs Preview

Former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid returns to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since he was fired by Jeff Lurie at the end of the 2012 season. Reid will bring with him the back-to-back AFC Champions Kansas City Chiefs, for whom he has coached since 2013. Currently sitting at 1-2, the Chiefs have a stacked team with many superstars – especially on the offensive side of the ball. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of the best in the NFL and will undoubtedly make life very difficult for the Eagles defense. 

Both teams sit at 1-2 but it the two are miles apart from one another in terms of talent. Against the hated rival Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles were not very good at football. The Cowboys dominated the Eagles 41-21 (close to B+L’s prediction) and the game was worse than the 20-point deficit suggested.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni likes to talk about how each week in the NFL is one round of a 17-round fight. If that’s true, then the week  three Monday Night Football game against the Cowboys was a third-round knockout. Unfortunately, there won’t be any turnaround in week four. Expect the Chiefs to dominate this game as well. The Chiefs defense has been atrocious so far, and could give the Eagles an opportunity to put some points on the board. However, overall, the Chiefs have too much talent for the Eagles to keep up with.

Five factors will determine how successful the Eagles will be on Sunday: Jalen Hurts, the offensive and defensive lines, DeVonta Smith and, most notably, Nick Sirianni. 

Read More–Eagles vs Cowboys Game Preview

Jalen Hurts

After a great start in the season opener against Atlanta, Hurts has cooled considerably. He needs to warm back up against the Chiefs. Against Dallas, Hurts was inaccurate and ineffective, . If he has a similar performance, the Eagles will be embarrassed. 

is stats from the Dallas game g reflect somewhat decent numbers: 25/39 for 326 yards,  two touchdowns and  two interceptions. But the bulk of his numbers came well after the game was out of reach. 

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni likes to talk about how each week in the NFL is one round of a 17-round fight. If that’s true, then the week  three Monday Night Football game against the Cowboys was a third-round knockout.

Hehad two awful interceptions:one on the Eagles’ third play of the game, and one on the third play of the second half that was returned for a touchdown. He missed easy throws all night and even though he completed 64  percent of his passes, his inaccuracies were so bad that the television announcers made a point to criticize it. 

After the game, Hurts took responsibility which showed a great deal of maturity. 

“I didn’t execute,” he said in his postgame press conference. “I didn’t do a good enough job of leading. I didn’t do a good enough job of running our offense, of doing the things that I need to do. So, it’s on me. This one is on me.”

Hurts showed great poise and mettle even though his performance was not up to par. It is important to consider this is only his  seventh start in the NFL, and he is playing with his second head coach. He seems to be of high character and hopefully will learn from this game.

Offensive Line

Three games into the 2021 season and 60 percent of the Eagles offensive line is injured. Brandon Brooks suffered a pectoral injury and was placed on the IR (injured reserve list) and will miss at least 3 games. Jordan Mailata had an MCL sprain in practice before the Cowboys. During the game, Isaac Seumalo was carted off the field and diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury to his foot; he will miss the rest of the season.

This means the Eagles offensive line will include three backups against a Chiefs struggling defense that is hungry to bounce back. Given their injuries, and inefficiencies, a hobbled Eagles offensive line could be just what the Chiefs ordered. 

Alabama rookie offensive lineman Landon Dickerson did not have a good game in his rookie start. He faces another tall order against the Chiefs defensive line.

Simply put, the  O-line is in shambles.

Defense

I fully expect the defensive line to struggle against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. Other than Javon Hargrave, the line has been a disappointment. Through three games the defensive ends have only mustered half a sack. it. 

The front seven was constantly blown off the line by the Cowboys, and the secondary was picked apart all night. Darius Slay looked awful and looked inexplicably lost on a pass he gave up for a touchdown. Steven Nelson let CeeDee Lamb breeze right by him on a post route where Dak Prescott found him for a huge gain on the opening drive. 

The Chiefs have a dynamic offense. Tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill will give the Eagles headaches all game long. Before the game last week, many questions lingered over whether the Eagles would be able to keep up with Dallas. The answer was a resounding no. Expect more of the same against Kansas City.

DeVonta Smith

Smith needs to show up against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Heisman Trophy winner has been MIA the past two weeks. After a great start to the season, he has been mostly invisible on the field the past two weeks. He had a measly  three receptions for a pedestrian 28 yards. 

Smith will be facing tougher competition than the secondaries he has faced so far. If he does not improve quickly, talk of him being yet another first round wide receiver bust for the Eagles will start.

Nick Sirianni

Awful. Just absolutely awful. And those are probably the nice things to say about Sirianni this week. now he will face off against the most successful coach in Eagles history the week after getting blown out by Dallas. Sirianni has regressed each week since the opener, and must turn it around and make sure he does not embarrass himself against the legendary coach. Moreover, he has to make sure he does not lose the Eagles locker room this early in his tenure. 

Inexplicably, the Eagles had ZERO running plays in the first quarter. At the end of the first half, they had just three. Miles Sanders, 2020 Pro Bowl running back, had two carries – the entire game. This is inexcusable.

On top of this, there were the penalties. The Eagles actually set a franchise record for penalties through three games, lead the NFL in penalties, and are on pace for the most in NFL history. First year coaches have been known to struggle, but they should be expected to keep their team disciplined on the fundamentals, such as penalties. So, even if the talent is not there or not fully developed, a culture and core is established. None of that is happening so far with Sirianni at the helm. 

After three games, Sirianni’s performance is validating the naysayers who were skeptical of his hire after his infamous first press conference. He comes across as playful and goofy but seems to lack true gravitas and savvy. He looks overmatched and lost frequently when the cameras cut to him on the sidelines. 

Prediction

Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot to like about the Eagles going into the game. The only excitement from an Eagles standpoint could be the official retirement ceremony of former running back Lesean “Shady” McCoy. McCoy will be signing a one-day contract to retire with the Eagles. He is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. 

Unfortunately, McCoy is retired and cannot help the 2021 Eagles. Then again, given Sirianni’s play calling the past two weeks, he probably wouldn’t use Shady even if he was at the prime of his career. 

I am expecting another blowout loss. The Chiefs will win. The Eagles will be 1-3 and Andy Reid will have gotten his revenge on all the fans that wanted him fired.

Betting line: Chiefs -7

Our Prediction: Chiefs 38 Eagles 20

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