While the Andy Reid Bowl will be the focus of the week 3 opener between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, at the heart of this clash will be the attempts of the home side to be more than just a super-quick offensive team, while the visitors will try to simply slow them down, like they’ve done well against their other NFC opponents last week.
Andy Reid coaching against his former team, who he took to the Super Bowl in 2004 and made the playoffs with nine times, is something that can’t be ignored. The Chiefs have started 2-0 with their new head coach, who is on the verge of doing something that’s rarely accomplished: Going 3-0 on a new team after missing the playoffs with a different team in the previous season. Marty Schottenheimer, with the San Diego Chargers in 2002, is the last head coach to have that start, but he missed the postseason as well.
The Eagles were the talk of the league after their week 1 win over the Washington Redskins, but the Chargers visiting Philadelphia sorta changed the excitement over Chip Kelly’s offense. San Diego didn’t slow them down, but Philip Rivers had one of the best games of his career as the Chargers won 33-30.
The offense has been exciting, ranked second in the NFL in rushing yards (181.5) and 11th in passing yards (295.5). Michael Vick has thrown for 631 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions while posting the NFL’s third-highest passer rating at 119.0, but the big problem is the defense, which has given up 721 yards so far this season to quarterbacks, and Chip Kelly insisting on no trying to work the clock isn’t helping them either.
Could we have run more of a ball-controlled offense? Sure. But we wouldn’t have scored a lot of points. So you’re in a Catch 22. We were behind, so you’ve got to try to score to get back into the game, and you can play that game and say, `Hey, let’s work the clock here a little bit.’ But if you start handcuffing our offense, then we may not have scored enough points to make it even a tied game, so now you’re playing the other way.
For the Chiefs, week 1 almost meant nothing. It was against a Jags team that looks like a definite candidate to go 0-16 ; week 2 against the Cowboys, coming back from a bad first quarter, had a very different meaning.
The Chiefs main strength so far has been their defense, allowing only 54 rushing yards per game while holding opponents to 248 yards of total offense. However, Alex Smith has been avoiding mistakes. He has thrown for only 396 yards so far (four touchdowns, 0 interceptions), but he’s also been surprising in the running game with 82 yards on 12 carries so far, and is being put once again in the right system that allows him to succeed.
Prediction – The Chiefs can’t air it out like other teams in the NFL, while their defense will encounter the same difficulty others have against the Eagles, who’ll get their first home win of the season.