Next up in our game by game preview of the 2017 season: the Chiefs, who have a bunch of young playmakers on offense, some of who may actually play when the teams meet in Week 2.
Lost: RB Jamaal Charles, RB Knile Davis, QB Nick Foles, DE Jaye Howard, WR Jeremy Maclin, TE James O’Shaughnessy, DT Dontari Poe
Added: TE Orson Charles, TE Gavin Escobar, S Marqueston Huff, CB Stanely Jean-Baptise, DE Jarvis Jenkins, DT Bennie Logan, P Will Monday, LB Marcus Rush, RB CJ Spiller, G Andrew Tiller,
Drafted: QB Patrick Mahomes, DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, RB Kareem Hunt, WR Jehu Chesson, LB Ukeme Eligwe, S Leon McQuay
Why they’ll lose to the Eagles
Who is Alex Smith going to get the ball to? Jeremy Maclin didn’t have his best season in 2016, but Tyreek Hill and Chris Conley haven’t yet shown that they replace him as “#1” receivers, and Smith isn’t capable of carrying them. Travis Kelce is excellent in the open field, but he hasn’t been great in the red zone, nor have the Chiefs, (3rd worst red zone offense in 2016, the Eagles 3rd best red zone defense), and the Eagles defense was #1 in DVOA against tight ends in 2016. The Chiefs rushing offense struggled all year, adding CJ Spiller won’t help; and while Kareem Hunt might be a long term solution, Andy Reid doesn’t drop rookie RBs into the deep end, so he probably won’t be a factor in this September game.
Under Reid, Kansas City has never been carried by their offense, and they won’t be in 2017. It’s easy to see the Chiefs, already not a high scoring team, struggling to score in 2017, especially early in the season as every WR adjusts to an elevated role. Meanwhile, the Eagles three highest scoring games in 2016 were their first three, so an early hot start isn’t implausible.
Why they’ll beat the Eagles
Despite probably taking a step back on offense, the Chiefs are still a very talented team due to their defense and special teams.
While they got off to a hot start last year, the Eagles offense might take a few weeks to fully gel in 2017, but the Chiefs defense won’t, and that could be enough in this Week 2 tilt. Kansas City has one of the best secondaries in the NFL, and while the Eagles WRs are improved from 2016, KC has the advantage as they do in most games.
And though the Eagles generally enjoy an advantage on special teams, they’ll meet their match in Kansas City.
|Year||Eagles ST DVOA||Chiefs ST DVOA|
Both teams will win games in large part because of special teams. It probably won’t be this game.
And as limited as the Chiefs offense might be, it could give the Eagles a match-up issue, as Tyreek Hill is one of, if not the fastest players in the league and Chris Conley has outstanding speed as well. Against a secondary that has struggled with deep balls and probably will again this year, that could be the deciding factor.
In addition to the Chiefs just being a talented team, Andy Reid and his staff are really good coaches. It wouldn’t be a surprise for him to show he’s still figuratively Doug Pederson’s boss with a superior game plan and execution. They were a 12 win team in a tough division last year, and there’s no reason to expect an implosion this year.
Who wins the Chiefs game?
This poll is closed