Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles: Picks, Predictions, and More...
The Eagles are 3 point favorites at home against the Chiefs, with the total set at 49.5.
By: MaChez, TSZ Expert
Uh oh. Guess what day it is?! Guess. What. Day. It. Is. Yep, that’s right. It’s hump day. As of 10am this morning we’ve crossed that proverbial hump and are closer to the start of Week 3 than we are to the end of Week 2. Finally...those 34.5 hours were tough.
Starting our weekend off tomorrow night, we have the long awaited return of the Andy “The Walrus” Reid to Philadelphia. As pointed out in the intriguing Tenfascinating walrus/Andy Reid facts, “Walrus whiskers are not hairs. They are sensitive, tactile organs. Andy Reid whiskers are also sensitive, and it hurts him when you make fun of him on Twitter.” What does that have to do with this week’s match-up against the Eagles? Nothing, so let’s move on to something that does.
Chip Kelly has led the Eagles to a 1-1 start and all signs points to his offensive style working in the NFL. Michael Vick looks better than ever (301 YPG), LeSean McCoy has averaged over five yards per carry, and the offense is averaging 477 yards and 31.5 points per game. Unfortunately, Kelly forgot the Eagles aren’t playing the likes of Fresno State and every second he shaves off the offense is a second he’s giving to the NFL offense he’s facing. San Diego shined a glaring light on that issue last week when they ran 21 more plays than the Eagles and had a time of possession (TOP) of 40 minutes. The offense gets all the publicity but the fact that the Eagles were still in a game with such lopsided TOP says a lot about the defense.
Down in Kansas City, Andy Reid has led the Chiefs to a 2-0 record with wins against Jacksonville and Dallas. Obviously Jacksonville doesn’t count and Dallas was a one point win at home. The Chiefs are winning in a completely different way than the Eagles - playing traditional, boring offense and shutting down teams on defense for 248 yards (3rd) and 9 points (2nd) per game and a league leading 3.8 yards per play. On offense they’ve been what you would expect from an offense led by Alex Smith: 26th in yards per game, 16th in points per game, etc, etc. So far their longest play is 31 yards. Oh how I wish I could watch that every week...
Vegas has set the line at -3 favoring Philly and the total at 49.5. I don’t think betting trends really apply here with each team having new coaches and playing at the same time last week. What I think this really comes down to is tempo of play.
In last week’s game, the Eagles showed just how dangerous their offense could be, putting up 1.52 points per minute of possession (PPM) while giving up 0.82 PPM on defense against the Chargers. On average, the Eagles put up 1.21 PPM (3rd in the NFL) while the Chiefs only put up an inflated (because of the JAC game) 0.76 PPM. For comparison, SD puts up 0.95 PPM and WAS puts up 0.86.
As San Diego proved in Week 2, if you’re going to win against Philadelphia, it’s going to have to be in a shootout, and the Chiefs just don’t have the firepower to do so. If the Eagles score at their average rate (1.21 PPM) and the Chiefs do the same (0.76 PPM), the Eagles would only need 25 minutes and 11 seconds of offense to win by 4 and cover the spread. So far they’ve averaged 26:11 TOP, even with a crazy low 19 minutes last week.
I could go on and on with different stats and PPM scenarios, but I think you get the point I‘m trying to make: Eagles = Fast. Chiefs don‘t. Philly’s quick offense will force the Chiefs to throw (like WAS and SD had to) and do you really see Alex Smith, the guy who put up less yards this season than Vick put up last week alone, doing anything significant offensively?
The Chiefs are being overvalued because of their 2-0 record and the Eagles are being undervalued because of their loss and what appears to be but is not a time of possession problem. The Eagles are also at home during Prime Time and better conditioned physically to handle the short week. Chip Kelly won’t make the same clock management mistake two weeks in a row and the Eagles will beat the Chiefs handily.
Prediction: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-3) over Kansas City Chiefs