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Chiefs Game #3: Mind Over Matter

Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been three years since the Kansas City Chiefs began the NFL season 2-0. Sunday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys gives the team a share of 1st place in the AFC West (with the Denver Broncos). Unfortunately, a truncated week leaves Kansas City with little time to celebrate a great start to their 2013 campaign. The Chiefs will face the Philadelphia Eagles before a national television audience on “Thursday Night Football.” Week 3 could prove to be the biggest challenge of the young NFL season for the Chiefs.

Thursday’s matchup with the Eagles will be Kansas City’s third game in just eleven days. Monday and Tuesday will be regular workdays for the team. Having a short week to work with is one thing (the Philadelphia Eagles have the same three days to get ready for the game). It’s quite another thing to have to travel with only four days between games.

Beating a good football team last Sunday suggests that the new-look Chiefs are resilient. Winning this coming Thursday will require yet another intangible — mental toughness. Players are likely to be a bit more banged up than normal (due to having less recovery time). They’ll also have to contend with jetlag. The team is slated to depart for Philadelphia early Wednesday morning. The Chiefs are traveling east and “losing” time, so it may take a day for them to recover.

Adversity never calls ahead in the NFL. More often than not, it shows up on your doorstep unannounced. In Kansas City’s case, it could come in the form of their third regular season game. The Chiefs-Eagles contest will be the NFL center of attention on Thursday night. Is this football team ready for a high stakes road game? Their first road win came against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, who are currently averaging just 5.5 points per game. Philadelphia is at the other end of the league spectrum. The Eagles boast the 3rd-highest scoring offense in the NFL (31.5 points per game).

This game will reveal the mental makeup of this football team. Elite teams in the NFL handle adversity. The Chiefs proved they can win a big game when they held the Cowboys off to secure their second win of the season. Kansas City will now need to prove they can win a big game, on an even bigger stage, without the help of their “12th man.”

The Chiefs don’t want a repeat of their last nationally televised game (a 2012 road loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers). Kansas City wasted a stellar defensive effort that night by posting a mere 290 yards of total offense and just 13 points. I’m sure they’d also like to forget their last TNF appearance where they were routed by the Chargers (another 13-point scoring effort). Chip Kelly’s Eagles have scored 30 or more points in each of their last two games. Offensive ineptitude on Thursday figures to make winning a third straight game unlikely for the Chiefs.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of all this week will come for head coach Andy Reid. He’ll return to Lincoln Financial Field to face the only other NFL team he’s ever known. Reid received the ouster from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie immediately following the 2012 season. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for him to call the shots from the opposite sideline. The Chiefs need Reid to be sharp. He’s wearing two hats, the most important of which is being at the helm of this new offense.

Road teams won only five of thirteen Thursday night games in 2012. Each of the those teams played a game the previous week (just four days prior). Of those five teams, three of them would go on to qualify for the NFL playoffs (Denver, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis). I think that says something significant about the dividends that being mentally tough can pay in this league.

Are the Kansas City Chiefs the strong-willed bunch that Thursday night’s stage won’t prove too big for? Will a short week of preparation followed by a travel day sap the team’s focus? The Chiefs have proven they can execute. Come Tuesday of next week, we’ll also know if they’re ready to answer the bell, above the shoulder pads, despite unfavorable conditions in a given week.

Here’s your chance to answer those two questions now. Feel free to use the comments section below to weigh in. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!

 

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • steve james

    This game will be all about training camp and the conditioning work that has been put in. It will be a huge test of the defense and the coaches ability to keep up and adjust to what the Eagles offense is doing. 17 seconds to get set with the right coverage or blitz package. Gonna be quiet the show. I don’t think they will put up 31 points. It will be a tall order but here is to hoping Reid can win again at Lincoln Field just from the other side. GO CHIEFS!

    • Jim Harper

      Well said Steve!

  • Danny W

    I think this game will be too big for them (Chiefs). I don’t think they’ll come through on this one for Andy Ried. I feel like the offense they have will overmatch our offenses inabliity to get into the red zone often enough. I’d say we lose by double digits. I hope we win and win big. I just have a bad feeling about this one though. It could get embarrasing. Heres to hoping we don’t rely too much on our defense because offense is really going to have to take time of possession in this game and run the clock out on Vick and the Eagles. Like I said, hope I’m wrong and we see a Chiefs win but this is an awful short time to try and get a grip on that offense.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      No faith in this defense to slow the Philly offense down?

      • Danny W

        No faith in the offense to give them the normal rest they would need in a game like this. I think the defense is more than capable of handling this team with just a little bit better of an offense. I hope the offense improves this week, I hope we get the running game going, and find a way to stretch the field and get into the red zone more. The thing is they haven’t proved they can yet so I can’t believe they will until they do.

        • berttheclock

          Some of the receivers for the Bolts were wide open against Philly.

          • Danny W

            I know Philly’s defense is going to be their achillies heel. We should be able to score on them but hopefully drag the clock as we go. The only way we win against a shoot out team is to keep them off the field as much as possible. Alex Smith is going to have to take some chances.

          • sidibeke

            I’d like to see our D create a couple of turnovers, too; a good way to keep their O off the field. They lost 2 fumbles against Wash but didn’t turn the ball over at all against SD.

          • Danny W

            We should be in the tops of the leauge in turnovers.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            That’d be a welcome change.

          • Richard Comstock

            I don’t see Djack getting off the press before Poe is crushing the pocket and our Lbs are containing vick. I also don’t think smith will have any trouble with cooper. I don’t think they will stop JC..that Defense is bad..Even if they do get ahead..they don’t know what to do with a game clock anyway..This is a good match up for us.. We should win by 10 or more.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Wow… You’re quite confident. Wish I could say the same.

          • Richard Comstock

            I work with 10 die hard cowgirls fans..I have been telling them all season we are coming for them..This Def is the truth! WHOS GONNA BLOCK POE BABY!!! THATS ALL I NEED TO KNOW

          • Danny W

            LOL I love it man.

          • Danny W

            I ‘d love to think this will happen.

          • Richard Comstock

            Than think it my friend..I know you feel it in your heart…Our Defense is VERY VERY good..do u think they are gonna stop our offense as much as we will stop theirs? They have a defense of the likes of chiefs from the Trent green/priest era. Casshole is gone..we can have faith in our QB to not lose the game..our skills players are good and our Defense is top 3 in the league! yeah I said it..we will finish top 3

        • Stacy D. Smith

          I expect a more ball control style offense this week. Reid knows he needs to slow that Philly offense down a bit. I expect him to try and grind it out. Keep the scores low. That kind of game plays into KC’s hands.

          • Danny W

            Thier offense is fast as is our defense. Alex may have to take a few chances down the field to win this one. It will be interesting to see how he does.

        • mnelson52

          Our defense has given up 1 TD in 2 games. Even if they had a bad game and gave up 3 TDs and 2 FGs, that’s 26 points. Eagles defence has given up over 30 points a game. I like our chances.

      • berttheclock

        I am only concerned with stopping DeSean Jackson. 4.35 speed on the outside is still 4.35 speed.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          I’m a little worried about containing Vick and keeping McCoy in check.

          • berttheclock

            True, but, the reason I fear the speed of Jackson on the outside is Vick has laid two perfectly thrown passes into the hands of Jackson as he flew down the sidelines on straight GO patterns.

        • Jim Harper

          Jamaal has the same kind of speed. Does not mean much as long as everyone stays home.

    • BlindChow

      If it’ll make you feel better, I’m an Eagles fan, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple years, it’s this: always bet against the Eagles. Even if it looks like they’re winning, they’ll more often than not choke the game away in the final quarter.

      • Jim Harper

        Now that is funny.

      • Danny W

        Come on man no way your as snake bitten as this franchise fan base. You guys have had some good years in the last decade.

    • chiefridgy

      I had the same feeling about the Cowgirls game. Glad I was wrong….here’s to hoping you are too.

      • Danny W

        Yeah I know. I thought the same about the boys and the Chiefs squeaked out a victory. It’s tough to let my mind know that we may actually be winners.#snakebitten

        • chiefridgy

          Absolutely. No one can blame you for that.

    • KCMikeG

      Come on Danny! Philly defense just gave up 542 yards of offense to Phyllis Rivers. Our offense will have it’s best day yet. Don’t you think Andy Reid has kept some special plays off the radar just for this game? Plus their “high powered offense” has yet to play a defense like ours! We are #2 behind the Seahawks! Vick is Pillsbury turn over machine when pressured. Our offense will roll over their bottom of the league defense.

      • Danny W

        You got me pumped up for it Mike! You know it doesn’t take much to get me all worked up!

  • berttheclock

    Should the Chiefs win, remember, Reid started 3-0 and his team went to the Super Bowl. Thanks to Adam Teicher of ESPN for that stat.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Winning this game would de-pressurize that Giants game for sure. We’d have a week and a half to plan and get healthy. Then you’d have an absolutely rabid Arrowhead crowd there support you as well? Sheesh. Let me geek down.

  • kcpauly

    Well the same can be said about the Eagles, as they have a new coach and new system as well and they run a very fast paced game, maybe they will be the ones wore out, and our defense will feast on Vick and put down the blueprint of how to slow the Chip’s down, and maybe our offense comes together and crushes their scrubby defense, remember offense wins game defenses win championships, and we have them quite outclassed on defense, and I think we are evenly matched on offensive talent, 24-17 Chiefs
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • berttheclock

      Speaking of being fast on play calling, did you see where Kelly has apologized for not running time off the clock?

    • Stacy D. Smith

      It’ll be interesting to see what a short week does to such a fast-paced offense.
      We definitely need to pressure Vick early. If we can get in his head, he’ll turn it over.

      • sidibeke

        I was thinking that as well; four days rest is one thing, then there’s the fact that they’ll be playing Kelly’s Eagles. More snaps for both O and D, and a frenetic pace for at least the D. Here’s hoping we can chew up some clock like SD did and shut down McCoy on the ground.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          We need an early lead.

          • kcpauly

            here here……..
            Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jim Harper

      Several analysts this week have pointed out that the Eagles will have trouble maintaining this pace on a 16 game schedule instead of 11 in college not counting playoffs or bowls. This game will tell us much about our Chiefs.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I tend to agree, but I think it’s too early for them to be worn from it. We won’t benefit from that.

  • berttheclock

    Whenever, anyone refers to the Chiefs as that 2-14 team, I would suggest they peruse the current roster of the Chiefs. 30 new players have been added to this 2013 team and there is still Commings on IR/Return. This is not that 2-14 team.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I guess it could still be, if we drop fourteen straight. Hahaha.

      • Michael Shaw

        Dude (as they say here in San Diego), not funny!!!! Don’t even put that jinx out there like that!!!

        • Stacy D. Smith

          BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • sidibeke

    As an aside, Den looks as good as expected; they did however, lose Clady for time, and possible for the season.

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I’m good with any Denver misfortune that will help this team.

    • Jim Harper

      The reports today indicate Clady will be down for quite awhile and even if and when he comes back he won’t be up to game speed. He is their best OL player and Mannings backside protector.

  • Michael Shaw

    I am only worried about this game because of the short time between games. Given a full week to recover then I think we win hands down. Our defense i ahead of SD and Oakland, so I that is why I think that, but this short week may make everyone tired. Having said that, I would say that if Philly wins, then it will be us being blown out. If we win, then I bet it is close, less than 30 points for Philly close!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I’m not even concerned about the short week necessarily. It’s the short week plus having to travel that worries me.

    • Danny W

      Our defense spent the majority of the game on the field last Sunday. If we can’t control the ball and TOP on offense then we lose and lose by at least ten points. You can’t run the defense the entire game and a half against Jacksonville too and ask them to go another full game against an offense that fast. They’ll be crushed. Elite or not. You can’t supplement enough guys.

  • Chris Tarrants

    I am going to rant on here for a minute. I am sick and tired of defending my chiefs week in and week out, to fans who think their teams are world beaters! Jax well we really shut their fans up. Then Dallas and we stunned their fans and now it’s the eagles fans who think and I am quoting several fans at once that they are going to steam roll our defense and hang 30+ on us and blow us out? They won 4 freaking games last year!!! Why does every teams fan base think that we are the leagues worst team? I mean last year was awful but we did send several people to the pro bowl. We have to win this game just to shut these ignorant fans up, and I’m guessing that we will have to do so week in and week out

    • Stacy D. Smith

      In fairness, this was the worst team in the league last year. We can’t expect people to respect this team without having proven something first. I heard Cowboys fans dismiss this team entirely last week. It’s laughable to me. Dallas is a good team, but they certainly aren’t the class of the NFC. It’s probably good that this team isn’t getting its due just yet. Gives them added motivation. I hope the Eagles overlook us all the way to 3-0.

      • RepOurChiefs

        Word..

    • Andy

      I r ember a Happy Days episode when Richie had to confront some bullies. Fonzie told him to act tough and they would back down. Well, Richie acted tough, but the bullies did not back down. Richie calls a side bar with Fonzie and says his plan isn’t working. Fonzie said he left out one important detail, that Richie needed a reputation of being tough. Richie says, “Thats not a good thing to leave out” Funny as heck. Until we get a reputation, we are who we were too a lot of folks.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Gotta love the Happy Days reference.

    • PunjabiPete

      Unfortunately, my guess is the Kansas City Chiefs will still be the worst team in football even if they are playing in the Superbowl. No way talent could come from a small market team, unless Peyton Manning is there!

  • ArrowFan

    Is Albert good to go? I say the key to this one is running the ball and consuming time while our D is on the sideline. Same plan vs Denver as well.

    • Chris Tarrants

      That will be the goal but I also think the key and please feel free to use this in the five keys to victory this week and that is to send the house after Vick! He is a good QB when he has time in the pocket or when scrambling but he is one of the worst qbs in the league when he is rattled and getting pressure. Remember the blitzburge stealers? We need to be the Blitz City Chiefs this week

  • Canad-Ian

    If Chiefs can’t get it done on short rest Thursday do you think they can get it done on short rest this Sunday vs Giants? This Thursday game might screw us up badly.

  • Bigtexjayhawk

    I liked our BIG formation at the end of the Dallas game. We ran it down their throats when they knew it was coming. Get Jamal going, get Bowe downfield, and bootleg like crazy. I think keeping up our red zone efficiency and limiting our turnovers trumps TOP. If we limit them to less than 50 yards rushing we win

  • KCMikeG

    Congrats on your ONE point AA FF victory!!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      On the last play of the game even. That was incredible. I was sweating it out!!!

  • ladner morse

    Awesomeness Reach! Wish I could post during the day my work constraints….

    I’m buying in for this weekend. I think the Chargers beating the Eagles in a close game gave me more hope than any other scenario. I’m wondering more about whether or not the Eagles players can actually keep up with Kelley’s demanding pace requirements. It’s 3 games in 10 days for those boys since they played last Monday evening. I’m pretty sure the increased pace is more taxing to execute than to play against it at this point. A few 3 and outs and the Chiefs could be rolling early.

    Go Chiefs!!!!
    Go Reach!!!!

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Thank you kindly, sir.
      I think the key is going to be us tampering with Philly’s pace. Either by speeding it up (with an early lead) or by slowing it down (with ball control).

  • ray2512

    You only have one possession at a time. Alex and Jamal can move the ball against Philly at will. As long as the Chiefs don’t turn the ball over, they shouldn’t have a problem. Chiefs have a much better defense Chiefs 31 Philly 24

  • PunjabiPete

    Love that pic up there, “‘scuse me young pup, thanks” LOL

  • Weston_MO_Moderate

    So far the Chiefs are the Cinderella team of 2013 – we can’t rationally argue that they will win this or the next or every game – but we can say…………….. “We believe.” And maybe even more importantly “We hope.” Go Chiefs.

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