Every year the NFL schedule-makers find a way to slip in a rather mundane football game and have it be filled with storylines lines like Andy Reid returning to the City of Brotherly Love and be on the opposite sidelines to coach against his former team, after being the home coach from 1999-2012.
The Las Vegas Hotel opened this Thursday non-conference confrontation with Philadelphia at -3 over Kansas City. Online sportsbooks have offered an initial total in the 49 to 50 point range.
The Series History
Since 1998, these teams have met four times with Philadelphia winning the past three times and covering the spread on each occasion. The previous get-together was in 2009, also in Philly, with the Eagles crushing K.C. 34-14 as touchdown favorite, which by the way was in Week 3 of that particular season.
Examining the Line Makers Releases
This has to be considered a safe release by the NFL odds makers on the sides, with the Eagles a three-point choice.
Philadelphia is beginning to show how explosive they can be in scoring 30 or more points in their first two contests under new head coach Chip Kelly. What you notice is the usage of Michael Vick in the vertical passing game, taking deeper shots down the field.
We are not trying to say future Eagles opponents will not make adjustments, yet it worth noting Vick’s yards per completion is up over 20 percent compared to career norms. Vick has always been better when he cuts it loose and you see the new Philadelphia coaches have worked with the left-hander on his footwork, which has improved his accuracy.
Whatever strides the Eagles have made on offense under Kelly are virtually wiped away with the defense. In the last six quarters the Philly defense has surrendered 53 points and been gashed through the air and on the ground. Those setting the numbers cannot say the Eagles have any real edge because the strengths are matched by the weaknesses.
Kansas City’s win over Dallas was for more impressive than the rout of Jacksonville. The Chiefs have the makings of a formidable defensive squad, allowing just one touchdown thus far and holding the Cowboys to six points in the last three quarters.
Andy Reid seems very comfortable with Alex Smith as his quarterback, knowing he’s not going to take many risks, with moving the chains his primary goal.
Though coach Reid is wearing a different colored jacket and lid, he still has a deep knowledge of the players which have been on the Eagles roster and this has to give him a slight edge on their tendencies.
Are the Chiefs a Good or Bad Bet?
Kansas City is a play if they generate a pass rush and fluster Vick into throwing passes up for grabs where they have a strong back seven who have ball-hawking tendencies. The Chiefs offensive line should be able to get a push up front and maneuver the Eagles around, giving Jamaal Charles running lanes, particularly in the C-gaps and off the edges.
K.C. is likely doomed in a shootout and the secondary cannot be overaggressive or they will be torched.
Are the Eagles a Good or Bad Bet?
When it comes to formulating your NFL picks, Philadelphia is developing into a club better suited for OVER’s and being the underdog with their roster configuration. With the perimeter weapons and LeShon McCoy being used as a runner or receiver, the Eagles offense is like Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was a couple years ago, a continual home run threat.
Yet, subtracting the home field, this is essentially an even contest and that Eagles defense is the negative equalizer whenever Vick leads his squad to a score.
Check back with me later this week when I will have free picks for the side and total for this Thursday throw down right here at SBR Forum.