Chiefs vs. Eagles: Defensive Players Kansas City’s Offense Must Key On

Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) hands off to running back Jamaal Charles (25) in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 17-16. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have landed in the “City of Brotherly Love” but believe me, there was no sign welcoming Andy Reid back to the city where he coached for the last 14 years. Reid is firmly in the camp of the enemy as far as the Philadelphians are concerned, and there is no love to be extended to this “former brother of the city.” With Reid, now head coach of the Chiefs for just shy of nine months, he brings a team he’s revived from the ashes of poor management, coaching and play. His team is as prepared as any team can be after only a 72 hour turnaround from the their last game to play the new high powered, fast moving, explosive, college style, Philadelphia Eagles.

Through the first two weeks of the 2013 season, the Eagles have averaged 31.5 points per game. That total, though, has only been able to garner them a 1-1 record, as they dropped a heartbreaker on Sunday to the San Diego Chargers. During that same time, the Chiefs have averaged 22.5 points per game, which is a damn sight better than the 13 PPG from last season, but just won’t be enough to cover the score happy Eagles.

However, while the Chiefs have an offense that could literally explode at any time (Charles has yet to break a run longer than 20 yards and Smith is still contained somewhat in his WCO box) the Eagles defense doesn’t seemed primed to handle an explosion of any kind.

During the opening week of the season, the Eagles defense (or lack thereof) allowed the Washington Redskins to come roaring back from a huge halftime deficit to make the game interesting for guys like me who stayed awake long enough to see the end. And last week, they weren’t able to hold off the Chargers, led by Phillip Rivers, and win the ball game. To say the Eagles defense has some holes would be a huge understatement. If Andy Reid wants to stick it to his old team (and I don’t care what he says in press conferences, I know at least some part of him does) he will have to figure out a way to find those holes and continue to exploit them while his offensive unit is on the field.

Currently, the Eagles are ranked 30th in the league for total yards allowed. They are 28th for points allowed per game (30), 19th for rushing (100 YPG) and finally 31st for passing allowing a staggering 360.5 yards per game. Now, we know that Alex Smith will likely not pass for that much, but there is hope. In breaking down the Eagles D, I’ve think I’ve found a couple of those holes that Reid will have to exploit.

December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Cedric Thornton (72) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Cedric Thornton

One thing I’ve noticed in going through the Eagles players is that the overwhelming majority of the tackles over the first two weeks have come from their linebacking corps or their secondary. Very few tackles have been made up front, which is why they’re so poor against the run and even the pass. They are getting little to no pass rush up front and have less than half the sacks that the Chiefs do. That starts with defensive end Cedric Thornton. Because the Eagles run a “hybrid” 3-4 scheme, the run stopping should start with the D linemen. The fact that it’s not, shows that the line is vulnerable to five yard chunks of yardage on the ground.

Jun 4, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) during minicamp at the NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Mychal Kendricks

Kendricks was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft by Reid during his tenure in Philly. The guy is a talented linebacker who currently leads the team in tackles with 18. He also has two fumble recoveries on the young season as well. However, Kendricks suffered a minor groin injury and has just come back to practice. He’s listed as probable for Thursday night’s game, which means he’ll likely get the nod, but may not be as quick to get to the ball carrier. If the Chiefs run the ball more than usual against the Eagles in order to burn up the clock and keep Vick and company on the sideline, those long drives could wear on Kendricks, reducing his effectiveness.

Sep 9, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Philadelphia Eagles free safety Patrick Chung (23) and Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon (88) exchange words in the second quarter at FedEx Field. The Eagles won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Patrick Chung

Chung signed with the Eagles during the offseason as a free agent and has found some early success with the team. He’s generally a good safety, but could be presented with a bit of a mismatch on Thursday night against the Chiefs tight ends. At 5’11”, Chung has a considerable height disadvantage against the Chiefs’ Anthony Fasano (who is listed as questionable with an ankle injury), Travis Kelce (who is also listed as questionable with a knee injury) and Sean McGrath (who is listed as “epic” with the best beard in the NFL.) All three of these men are over 6’4” and can catch the ball. If Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is looking for that mismatch, he may have found it.

At the end of the day, this game will about defense stopping offense. It sounds cliché, but I think it comes down to whichever team has the ball at the end of the game. The Chiefs offense definitely matches up favorably against the Eagles defense. We’ll know how it all plays out tomorrow night.

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • Dadpole550

    Had to look at last sentence twice…I’m sure u meant night but I believe our defense proves itself against the run but its got a huge chore with Jackson….I got Charles an D bowe showing up big tomorrow. GO CHIEFS!

    • Jason Seibel

      Fixed. My bad…that looked really bad. Sorry about that. Damn copy and paste.

  • Blake Molina

    This is a chance for Bowe to feast, as well as get Knile Davis a chance to carry the ball and show us something. The team could get 150 rush yards or more in my opinion, with probably a 5.0 YPC or higher average on runs between tackles.

  • Trent Taylor

    Watched replay of Eagles and Bolts. Philly’s D was very weak underneath. Rivers hammered them with passes to the flats and over the short middle, which led to passes deeper down field. Sweeps to both the right and left were also very effective. If the O line gives Alex the time Rivers had, I look for big games from Charles, McCluster and Bowe. Go Chiefs!

  • ladner morse

    I wanted the Chiefs to take Mychal Kendricks in that draft. I recall he had great speed and I thought that plugging in next to DJ would help make the Chiefs D elite. Looks like the Chiefs D is doing alright without MK.
    Great post Jason!
    Go Chiefs!!!!

  • Jim Harper

    I know it is fun to predict what players are going to have success on any given day. However I learned years ago to stay away from such prognostication. It almost always comes back to bite me in the ass and I end up looking like the latter of the duo of Dumb and Dumber. This is also one of those games that has the ability to give our Chiefs legitimacy. With that in mind it scares the bejesus out of me and I am a nervous wreck unless it turns into a blowout with at least a 3 touchdown lead with only 5 minutes to play. I know everybody says close games are more fun to watch to which I say bull crap. I am thoroughly convinced that the more blowouts I get to enjoy the longer I should live. Sounds reasonable wouldn’t you agree? So if everyone would get on board for a KC blowout tomorrow night then our beloved Chiefs will start out 3-0 for the first time since 2010, and even better you may even be partially responsible for extending my life a little! Win Win right? Go Chiefs! Great read Jason!

    • BlindChow

      Close games are only fun when you don’t care about the winner.

      • Jim Harper

        Thanks for breaking that down for me. You are exactly right.

  • James Cooper

    This is a chance for Bowe to feast, as well as get Knile Davis a chance
    to carry the ball and show us something. The team could get 150 rush
    yards or more in my opinion, with probably a 5.0 YPC or higher average
    on runs between tackles.

  • James Cooper

    Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles live stream
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  • BlindChow

    “…the Chiefs have an offense that could literally explode at any time.”

    I’m not sure the word “literally” means what you think it means. Though spontaneous human combustion sure would make the game more interesting…

    • Jason Seibel

      I see what you did there….

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