This Thursday marks Andy Reid’s first return to Lincoln Financial Field since his bitter departure from the Eagles organization last season. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are under the direction of new head coaches. One who has proven themselves in the city of Brotherly Love and the other who has received mixed reviews from Eagles fans and reporters alike. Both being offensive gurus, will it be Chip Kelly or Andy Reid who lead their team to victory during Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season?
Keys to the Game for Philadelphia
1. Heighten the Pace to Full Throttle
As football fans have been well aware, Chip Kelly runs a high-octane offense that prides itself on how many plays they are able to complete each game. In Week 1, the Eagles ran 77 plays but they were only able to run 59 last week against the Chargers. If the Eagles want to win this game, they are going to have to tire out the Chiefs talented defense. Fatigue leads to mistakes and mistakes are what the Eagles are going to need in order to find the end zone enough to support their unstable defense.
2. Disguise Blitzes Better
Last week Phillip Rivers picked apart the Eagles defense, accurately pointing out all of the blitzes and calling audibles accordingly. Philadelphia was able to stop the run efficiently in the past weeks, but their lack of a pass rush has really allowed for opposing offenses to exploit their defensive backs. Pressure the quarterback and cause lapses in the offense. It’s that simple.
3. Minimize Penalties
Penalties really throw off the rhythm of a team. Last week the Eagles committed a lot of idiotic penalties that really slowed them down. One penalty reversed a Desean Jackson touchdown and defensive pass interference calls gave opposing offenses tons of yardage keeping drives alive. If they do not fix this, it will be a long game and a longer season.
Key Players for Philadelphia
1. Lesean McCoy
Already, Shady is leading the league in rushing yards. He needs to keep up this production in order to keep the passing option open for Mike Vick. Kansas City has a very good defense and if they know that Vick is always dropping for the pass, the defense’s job will become quite simple. If McCoy is able to get the tough yardage, the potent Philly attack will be at it once again.
2. Trent Cole
The Eagles defensive performance has been questioned early this season for their lack of a pass rush. Cole doesn’t usually have a problem in this department, but he has yet to get up close and personal with the opposing team’s quarterback. Expect Trent to get in the thick of it this week so that Alex Smith doesn’t have much time to think about where he is going with the ball or control the tempo of the game.
3. Cary Williams
Hotheaded Cary Williams needs to stay away from the penalty flags and get close to Dwayne Bowe. Bowe is the Eagles biggest concern when on the defensive side of the ball thus making him Williams’ concern. Williams has no problem with the physicality that is innate to Bowe’s style of play, but he does have a problem staying close enough (legally) to make a play on the ball. Cary needs to be able to smell what kind of gum Dwayne Bowe is chewing for him to be successful this week.
Although the Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and on the sidelines for that matter, I think that the Eagles will finish on top this Thursday night in Philadelphia. I do not believe that the Chiefs defensive line will be able to keep up with the pace of the Eagles’ offense.
Also I believe that the Eagle’s front seven is a more skilled group than the Chiefs defensive front seven. Once Kansas City’s starters become fatigued and different players rotate into the defense, Philadelphia’s offensive line will have no problems keeping them in check. The running lanes will part open for Shady like he was Moses. Quickness is the key for the Eagles and if the players can keep up to Chip Kelly’s play calling, everything else will fall perfectly into place.
Eagles 38- Chiefs 24