Eagles beat writers make their predictions for the Chiefs game in Week 4
Both teams enter Sunday’s contest on two-game losing streaks.
The Eagles will play on Sunday at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here are the game predictions from the Eagles beat writers for Week 4.
Andy Reid returns with his explosive offense, but it’s his sieve-like defense that has been the story in Kansas City. The Chiefs D ranks last in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), and it’s not just advanced statistics that have Steve Spagnulo’s unit near the bottom of the NFL. It’s in the lowest 10% of most traditional categories — from yards per play to red zone to points allowed. All that being said, K.C. has faced three of the tougher teams in the AFC — the Browns, Ravens, and Chargers.
The Eagles are not in that class. And certainly neither is their offense, which scored only three touchdowns the last two weeks, all of them late in games that were essentially decided. To make matters worse, the offensive line is banged up with three starters out and two would-be starters — guard Landon Dickerson and tackle Lane Johnson — questionable for Sunday. While the Chiefs’ defensive struggles would suggest that Nick Sirianni should attack them downfield, the loss to the Cowboys says that he should do otherwise, considering his quarterback and his personnel.
The Eagles coach shouldn’t try to keep pace with Pat Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, et al. He should do his best to keep the ball out of their hands, and that doesn’t necessarily mean having a balanced offense. He needs to script a game plan with pseudo runs — screens, roll-outs, run-pass options — and, yes, some rushes to allow Jalen Hurts to sustain drives. The Chiefs, of course, can strike quickly, and Jonathan Gannon is likely to employ a lot of Cover 2 and 4 zones to prevent big plays. But the Eagles should have advantages up front and aren’t facing as formidable a rushing offense as they did in Dallas. Then maybe they can keep pace.
Or maybe the Chiefs unload two games of frustration on the Eagles and no matter their defensive liabilities, march up and down the field behind the magician Mahomes. Yeah, that seems more likely.
Prediction: Chiefs 33, Eagles 20
Even though the Eagles got blown out by the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, there’s still some reason to wonder just how big the talent discrepancy is between the two teams. No such question will exist this weekend when the Kansas City Chiefs visit Lincoln Financial Field.
Don’t let the 1-2 record fool you, the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the league, particularly on offense. Whether or not they return to the seemingly unbeatable form they’ve taken in recent years remains to be seen, but they’re plenty good enough to give the Eagles defense the same fits it had while allowing 41 points to Dallas.
Offensively, the Eagles could mimic last week’s plan and try to take an early lead with shot plays and quick passes. Even if they succeed, Patrick Mahomes has proven to be historically undaunted by early deficits. No lead is safe against Kansas City’s offense, especially considering the sense of urgency the team will have after losing two straight games to some of the best teams in the AFC.
If the Eagles go the other way, try to establish the run and shorten the game, it’s still hard to see them keeping up. With the way the passing offense looked against Dallas, it might be their only hope, but the Eagles’ chances aren’t looking good regardless.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Eagles 14
The Chiefs and Eagles might have identical records at the moment, but there’s no hiding the fact that this week’s visitors are the far superior team. The Eagles offense generated just three touchdowns over the last two games, which has raised many questions about first-year coach Nick Sirianni’s play-calling and his game-planning. NFL fans and pundits were left dumfounded in Week 3, when the Eagles rushed a franchise-low three times.
It is possible Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts get on the same page at some point this season, but it’s unlikely that’ll happen this weekend against a Chiefs squad that has advanced to the Super Bowl in consecutive years. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon insists the Eagles have created a good game plan to contain Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Co. But it’s tough to put any faith in Sirianni’s unproven offense right now.
Prediction: Chiefs 33, Eagles 21