Even with a super creative offense that’s too quick to stop, the Philadelphia Eagles have problems on in the secondary that prevent them from translating their advantages into wins every week. Their matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs offers an opportunity for Chip Kelly and Andy Reid to face off for the first time, but also to see if Kelly can bring his defense to some sort of improvement, and if Reid can get a big day from his quarterback for the first time this season.
Not that Alex Smith has done badly, but he’s been limited to keeping it simple, which works well, as the Chiefs have gone 2-0. But against the Eagles defense, it might be a good opportunity to air it out, which Reid loves to do, and take advantage of the second-worst pass defense in the NFL this season so far.
The Eagles gave up 329 passing yards to Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in week 1, but that was hard to judge because it all came in garbage time after the Eagles pulled too far for the Redskins to catch up. In the 33-30 loss to the San Diego Chargers, it was even worse, and right from the start.
Philip Rivers finished with 419 yards and three touchdowns, even as the Chargers lost their top receiver, Malcolm Floyd, midway through the game. They gave up a total of 539 yards to the Chargers, which is the best offensive output for the franchise since 1982. Eddie Royal caught three touchdown passes, which is one more than he;s had in the past two years combined.
The Chiefs haven’t really been dominant in the air so far this season – only 370 total yards, averaging only 5.7 yards per attempt, completing 60% of their passes; all among the bottom 10 in the NFL. But there have been no turnovers, and most importantly 0 losses. The defense has done exceptionally well against the Cowboys after the first quarter, so it’s not just the Jags that they’re able to shut down.
We know we’re going to see big numbers for Michael Vick and the Eagles’ offense, but the key to success this season will be how many times the Eagles’ defense manages to limit teams to less-than-spectacular days when throwing against it.