How can the Eagles possibly defeat the Chiefs this weekend?
Two 1-2 teams meet Sunday in South Philadelphia to try and redirect their seasons back on track. Between a high-powered Chiefs’ team who’s raging after two straight 4th quarter losses and an Eagles team with a rookie head coach and inexperienced quarterback coming off an awful MNF performance, who would you take? Probably the team with a reigning MVP quarterback and back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. But this is the NFL, and the Eagles somehow pulling out this victory is just another typical Sunday in this league.
Attacking the Chiefs’ Achilles Heel
It’s been a season of concern for Kansas City’s defense. They’re allowing opponents to rack up over 440 yards per game, 269.7 through the air, and over 160 rushing yards per game (2nd worst in the NFL). Through three games, the Browns, Ravens, and Chargers have all scored over 30 points, and the Chiefs have recorded only four sacks on the year (again, 2nd worst in the NFL). If you take away the Browns and Ravens, who are run-heavy teams, even the Chargers managed to gain 77 yards on the ground as Austin Ekeler averaged 5.0 yards per attempt.
The Chiefs actually struggle the most against that RPO-type running scheme. Chris Jones is now playing on the edge and having quite the learning curve against RPO attacks. Lamar Jackson ran for 107 yards on 16 carries, and Ty’Son Williams carved out 77 yards on 13 attempts. Everyone ate in the Ravens’ running game as they gashed Kansas City for 251 rushing yards with 6.1 yards per attempt. Chris Jones had 0 tackles, and 1 assist in that game.
Nick Sirianni had an outrageous game plan by giving the Eagles’ running backs THREE whole carries against Dallas and must be well aware of that disastrous blunder of playcalling. Sunday has to be Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell’s time to shine. It not only exploits the Chiefs’ primary weakness but benefits the overall plan to keep Mahomes and that offense on the sidelines for as long as possible.
Where should the Eagles attack the Chiefs secondary?
The Chiefs are starting to realize that their dynamic and skilled offense can only carry them so far with this Swiss Cheese defense. Kansas City is highly susceptible to big plays downfield.
- S Daniel Sorenson: 9/12, 120 yards, 13.3 yds/rec, 1 TD, LONG: 32
- CB Charvarius Ward: 5/11, 109 yards, 21.8 yds/rec, 1 TD, LONG: 43
- CB Mike Hughes: 8/11, 80 yards, 10 yds/rec, 2 TD, INT, LONG: 20
- NCB L’Jarius Sneed: 8/8, 96 yards, 12 yds/rec, 0 TD, LONG: 30
Stay away from the Honey Badger, and you will find success passing against this secondary. I’m not going to lie; the Eagles’ constant bubble screens to playmakers are getting old fast. I would love to see Sirianni put this young receiving group to the test against a very beatable Chiefs’ secondary.
Will the Eagles win? Probably not. But if they can bleed the clock with a persistent rushing attack, keep Mahomes off the field, and Jalen Hurts hits his shots downfield, the Birds might walk away with an unexpected victory over a historically awful defensive unit so far.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Eagles