NFL Predictions: Chiefs at Eagles Odds and Week 3 Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/17/2013
When the Kansas City Chiefs hired Andy Reid as their new head coach early in the New Year and just a few days after Reid was canned by the Philadelphia Eagles, you can bet Eagles fans noticed immediately that Kansas City would be visiting the City of Brotherly Love this season. That it's happening on a Thursday night -- allowing even more time for all those fans to get properly lubed up, if you get my drift -- should make for quite an atmosphere as the fans welcome Reid back.
As an aside, this is not the biggest homecoming of the season. That would be Week 7 when the Broncos and Peyton Manning visit Indianapolis. I have no doubt Colts fans will shower Manning with cheers, but I'm also equally confident Reid won't get the same treatment. He deserves it, though. Reid led the Eagles to six division titles, five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance in his 14 years there. Did the Eagles perhaps underachieve in a few NFC title games they should have won at home? Maybe, but don't get too greedy. Reid was 130-93-1 in Philly and won 10 playoff games. The Chiefs had 98 wins, three postseason appearances and no postseason wins under five different head coaches during Reid's time in Philly.
It really has worked out for both teams. It appeared the Eagles had tuned Reid out, but he's already matched Kansas City's win total for last year. Meanwhile, the Eagles have the most "hip" coach and offense in the league with Chip Kelly. Win-win.
Chiefs at Eagles Betting Story Lines
Chiefs fans shouldn't be making postseason plans just yet. Kansas City became the seventh team since the merger to start a season 2-0 a year after winning no more than two games. Not one of the other six made the playoffs. That said, Reid has started 3-0 just once. It was in 2004, the Eagles' Super Bowl season.
It will be interesting to see how gassed the Philly defense will be in its third game in 11 days. That unit was on the field for more than 40 minutes of Chargers possession in Sunday's shocking loss to a San Diego team on a short week and having to play across country in an early game. San Diego had 539 yards of offense, and Philip Rivers looked like Dan Fouts, completing 36-of-47 for 419 yards, three TDs and no picks. Eddie Royal caught all three Rivers TD passes and now has five already -- and was probably picked up early Monday morning in your fantasy league.
The Philly offense is humming along in Kelly's up-tempo scheme. The Eagles are averaging 477.0 yards and 31.5 points per game. They are averaging just 1:53 of possession on their 11 scoring drives. Michael Vick's career was reborn when Reid took a chance on him, and it appears rejuvenated under Kelly. Vick is the third-rated passer in the league and hasn't thrown a pick. Running back LeSean McCoy (league's leading rusher) and receiver DeSean Jackson (NFL's No. 1 receiver) are on pace for monster seasons. Just think if Jeremy Maclin was healthy.
Certainly the Chiefs' defense is the best Philly has seen thus far. The Chiefs are second in the NFL in points per game (9.0) and fourth in total yards (194.0). Kansas City is allowing only 54.0 rushing yards a game. To be fair, a lot of the Chiefs' defensive numbers are inflated by opening against Jacksonville, but Dallas had only 37 yards rushing last week and six points in the final three quarters.
Offensively, the Chiefs aren't all that exciting, but they aren't turning the ball over. QB Alex Smith rarely throws the ball more than 10 yards downfield but has four TD passes and no interceptions. Smith is averaging just 5.66 yards per attempt, No. 30 in the NFL. Vick is No. 1 at 10.34.
Injury-wise, the Eagles will get back starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher after he sat out Week 2 with a concussion. Kansas City will get back cornerback Dunta Robinson after he missed last week's game for personal reasons, and left tackle Branden Albert will start after suffering a minor shoulder injury against Dallas. Running back Jamaal Charles has a minor quad injury but will start.
Chiefs at Eagles Week 3 Betting Odds and Trends
At WagerWeb, the Eagles are three-point favorites with a total of 50.5. The Chiefs are 2-5 ATS in their past seven road games. They are 1-6 ATS in their past seven after a win. The Eagles are 9-3 ATS in their past 12 Week 3 games. Philly is 1-6-1 ATS in its past eight September games. It is 0-6-1 ATS in it past seven against teams with a winning record. The Eagles have covered just three of their past 12 after a loss. The “under” is 4-0-1 in Kansas City's past five road games. The “over” is 4-0 in the Eagles' past four Thursday games. The Chiefs are 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings but these teams haven't met in four years.
NFL Predictions: Chiefs at Eagles Betting Picks for Week 3
To add more emotion to this game, Reid's greatest quarterback, Donovan McNabb, will have his number retired at halftime. You know the Eagles players really want this, but so do the Chiefs players for their coach. According to SI.com, only twice before in NFL coaching history has someone spent as long as Reid's 14 years with the Eagles and later coached against his old club. It last happened when Hank Stram took his Saints to Kansas City in 1976. He coached the Chiefs from 1960-74 (franchise started as AFL's Dallas Texans).
I'll say it yet again: the home team has a massive advantage in these turnaround games, and there's no way the Chiefs defense will be fully prepared for this Kelly offense with two days of practice. Take the Eagles and the over.
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