Previewing Philadelphia’s Week 11 matchup.
The Philadelphia Eagles are on the road to face the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. In order to preview this Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Arrowhead Pride. The talented Tom Childs kindly took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to questions about the Eagles, check out AP.]
1 – What are some of the biggest differences from the last time these two teams played?
It’s got to be the complete flipping of the script from the Chiefs. For years the Chiefs have ran through Mahomes, Kelce and Reid. If they’ve been Batman in this scenario then the defense has been Robin. Robin is fine and sometimes effective, but it’s been Batman that has been the hero in the KC Universe.
Out of nowhere, Batman has been shelved as the main protagonist in our story and Robin has taken the limelight.
This was a development that literally no one in Kansas City expected. All summer the talk was about the offense and it’s diverse range of offensive weapons — and once again, the story of the defense was ‘can they do enough?’
Well it turns out that everyone was wrong about the offense because they’ve been flat out bad.
But the defense….oh boy.
This was a unit that the Eagles carved apart just 9 months ago. Now all of a sudden their younger players are becoming stars before our eyes. Now the team wins because of the defense, not in spite of them.
Now if Batman can find his mojo again then we have one helluva team in Kansas City.
2 – No team has allowed fewer points than the Chiefs. What’s behind KC’s defensive improvement?
It’s the improvement and development of the young players.
It was well documented last year that the Chiefs defense was the youngest in the league. With 5 rookie contributors, the team outplayed expectations and painted a very bright future.
However, a sophomore slump was anticipated. The opposite has happened.
Players like Bryan Cook and George Karlaftis are now making a positive impact every single game. Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams have stepped up when called upon — just like they did last season.
But in my opinion, the big reason for the Chiefs defensive improvement has been Trent McDuffie’s development as well as his partnership with L’Jarius Sneed.
The two cornerbacks have been a menace for opposing offenses. McDuffie typically plays in the slot and dominates in that area of the field, while Sneed has been following the opponent’s number 1 receiver. It’s been a plan that has been drawn up and executed perfectly. Justin Jefferson, Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill are just a number of big-time receivers that have been shut down in comparison to their normal production.
In turn, keeping the biggest threat as well as the middle of the field in check means quarterbacks are holding on to the ball longer.- That’s why players like Karlaftis and Danna have dramatically improved their pressure rates.
All three phases of the defense continues to play complimentary football. It’s a joy to watch.
3 – I saw an article on Arrowhead Pride about how the Chiefs offensive line has “been a total mess” over KC’s last two games. To what extent are you concerned about that unit heading into this Eagles matchup?
I’m very concerned to be honest. The supposed strength of the Chiefs team has been a little disappointing so far. Although the sack numbers for Mahomes aren’t crazy, it does feel like he’s a little more uncomfortable behind his offensive line than usual. Perhaps this has something to do with the general disfunction of the offence? Maybe it is just a coincidence?
Jawaan Taylor’s struggles with the officials have seemed to calm down but his play hasn’t lived up to his contract. The interior guys haven’t been as dominant as usual and have been found wanting in run blocking. Although there are plenty of question marks about the run scheme that KC adopts.
Overall, the line needs to improve for the offense to make a step forward to something that we’ve seen before. But unfortunately, there won’t be many tougher assignments for them than the defensive line that the Eagles possess.
If the Chiefs offensive line turns out a performance like the one seen in Germany or in Denver, then it could be a very long night for Mahomes.
4 – What’s one matchup that you think really favors the Chiefs?
Believe it or not, I actually like the Chiefs pass catchers vs the Eagles defensive backs.
From what I have seen, for as bad as the Chiefs receivers has been, the Eagles defensive backs have been equally as bad, if not worse.
I mentioned the success that the Chiefs DBs have had against the guy from the other team. That couldn’t be further from what has happened for the Philly DBs. Tyreek Hill, Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Jahan Dotson all got theirs and then some against Philly. I am hoping that Rashee Rice or Travis Kelce will be the next name added to that list.
All of this is dependent on the Chiefs receivers figuring somethings out and the offensive line holding up their end of the bargain.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too confident. But the Chiefs are coming off a bye — something that normally spells doom for opponents.
5 – Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as 3-point road underdogs, what’s your score prediction? And do you think we’ll see another Eagles-Chiefs game this season?
A lot of people are billing this game as the biggest game of the season and I completely understand why. But for me, the Chiefs vs Dolphins game was far more important in terms of what it means for the Chiefs season. The Chiefs can lose on Monday and still come away with the number one seed. The Eagles are in the same position.
That’s not to say that both teams won’t want to win — but ultimately it’s not going to make or break either team’s season. The real big clash between these two teams will come in Vegas early February.
A story not being spoken about by many is the implications this match will have on the MVP race. Currently, Hurts and Mahomes are neck and neck as per the bookmakers. The winner of this game will have the inside track to collecting an individual award.
As for the prediction, I think the Eagles get a form of revenge against the Chiefs. The Chiefs offense will figure some stuff out but the Eagles will be relentless on the ground. I think DeAndre Swift is in for a monster game on the ground and the aggressive nature of the Eagles will compliment him.
As a football purist, I am already looking forward to see what the Eagles offense has saved for the Chiefs defense. I especially look forward to the inevitable multiple options plays that they’ll run out of the ‘tush push’ formation.
I think the neutrals will get their spectacle — while the teams will get their dress rehersal for the Super Bowl.
Chiefs 27, Eagles 28.
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Title: Eagles-Chiefs Game Preview: 5 questions and answers with the enemy
Author: Brandon Lee Gowton