Week 2: Eagles vs Chiefs by Daniel Farr
After beating the Washington Redskins in week one, Philadelphia plays at Kansas City this week. In other words: Andy Reid coaches against his understudy Doug Pederson. Although Reid is 8-3 when facing coaches from his tree, this game feels different. Pederson served as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator from 2013-15 and he will have tons of insight on the Chiefs pedestrian offense. What Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense did to the New England Patriots last week was a complete fluke. Smith is a mediocre quarterback who can't possibly repeat that impressive performance, he went 28-for-35 had a near 400 yards and tossed four-touchdowns. Not only did Smith have the best game of his career, but he was throwing accurate deep balls with supreme confidence, a rarity for the game-managing quarterback. Kansas City’s rookie running back, Kareem Hunt, had 246 all purpose yards and three touchdowns, again a somewhat fluke stat line. There is no question that the Chiefs have a very good running game, but expect their passing attack to regress towards the norm. Sadly, Eric Berry the Chiefs All-Pro safety and one of the best players in the NFL, is out for the year with an achilles injury. This will have a major impact on the Chiefs defense and their team as a whole, Berry was the leader of this group. Expect Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz to look sharper, last game he missed a handful of throws and had two turnovers. The best young quarterback in the NFL will clean up his game, and as a result the offense will be more efficient and impressive. If Pederson runs the ball more, this will be a great game that may come down to the wire. Last week against the Redskins the Eagles’ defense forced four turnovers, scored a touchdown, and recored four sacks. But, they did lose cornerback Ronald Darby for four-to-six weeks. After assessing the teams, it appears to the naked eye that the Eagles and Chiefs have similar defenses, talent-wise. So the game will come down to the offense played by both teams. Who is a better quarterback, Wentz or Smith? Wentz. Who is a better coach and play-caller, Reid or Pederson? Reid. This is a very evenly matched game, but because of the Eagles having an advantage at the quarterback position and the Chiefs losing their leader, Philadelphia wins 27-23.