The Philadelphia Eagles are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon. In order to preview this Week 4 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Arrowhead Pride. The terrific Tom Childs kindly took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming tilt. Let’s take a look at his answers. (Don’t forget to also check out my side of the exchange coming up at AP.)
1 - Pretty strange to see the Chiefs 1-2 and at the bottom of the AFC West! What’s gone wrong and what’s the concern level heading into this game?
Yeah, tell me about it. Who had the Chiefs holding the last spot in the AFC West after 3 games? I know I certainly didn’t. The reasons for the terrible start why have been pretty clear: turnovers and defense (I’ll go into more detail with both later on). As for my concern levels? I’m okay as I type - after all, it is a long season. However, if the Chiefs were to drop this game, then I might be a tad concerned.
2 - Can you speak on what exactly Andy Reid has meant to the Chiefs since arriving from Philly? And, from your perspective, what makes him so successful?
While some will say drafting Patrick Mahomes was the single biggest thing to ever happen to Kansas City, I personally would say that the hiring of Andy Reid was the real game-changer in Kansas City. From the moment he walked through the door at One Arrowhead Drive, the entire culture and feeling around the team changed. After years of darkness, Big Red has delivered the golden era of Kansas City Chiefs football. I do still feel that he is criminally underrated in terms of the game’s great. Here’s to hoping he adds a couple of more rings to cement his legacy.
3 - I’m sure you get this question every week but what’s the key to being able to beat Patrick Mahomes?
You’re right - I do get asked this every single week. Luckily for you, I’m not bored of answering this.... yet. I’m sure some other SB Nation sites will get the old copy and paste trick further down the line. Now, back to the question. The fashionable thing to do at the moment is dropping 7 or 8 guys into coverage every play. The question is if this tactic is really working? Despite the Chiefs well documented ”offensive troubles”, the team still averages 31 points a game with Mahomes himself going for 313 yards per game and 3 touchdowns. The issue has been protecting the football. In the last two weeks the Chiefs have been getting the small things wrong: throwing passes behind receivers, not securing the football after the catch and not holding on to the ball high and tight. In the defensive film room for the Eagles, I am sure that there has been extra emphasis placed on attacking the football to take advantage of the Chiefs’ sloppiness.
4 - Beyond just “Patrick Mahomes,” what is the Chiefs’ biggest strength? How should they be attacking the Eagles?
Travis Kelce, Travis Kelce and Travis Kelce. Seriously, I don’t think we are talking enough about the guy at the moment. What he has been doing for the last 5 season has been simply ridiculous. I mean, we are talking about one of the single best runs at a single position in NFL history. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, Kelce will always get his. It’s getting to the point where we should ask if it is worth opposing defensive coordinators game planning for 87? As no matter what they try, it never seems to work.
5 - What is the Chiefs’ biggest weakness? What should the Eagles be looking to exploit?
While I have alluded to turnovers being a problem, they can be fixed relatively quickly and I do not expect it to be a long term problem - I wish I could say the same about the Chiefs defense.
The Chiefs defense is a mess right now. They can’t stop the run; they can’t stop the pass; they can’t tackle anyone - it’s just plain ugly. When they do have success, opposing coaches are banking on the idea that the defense can’t maintain it over 4 downs, and therefore are being super aggressive. Defensive success for the Chiefs looks to be in stealing possessions. This could be a Tyrann Mathieu interception or a forced fumble from the likes of Juan Thornhil. The fact of the matter is that the only way the defense can help this team win at the moment is by making splash plays and forcing turnovers. This unit can’t simply be trusted to force a punt or end a drive on downs.
6 - Who wins this game and why? Score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of this Chiefs season?
With everything that has gone wrong in recent times, I do think that the Eagles have drawn the short straw by having to face the Chiefs this week. If you have watched any of the Chiefs’ press conferences from this week, you can tell that this team is frustrated, and that they are looking to take that anger out on someone. While I think the Chiefs will win by a couple of scores, I do expect that the Eagles will find some success offensively against this truly awful Chiefs defense. Chiefs 38, Eagles 24.
As for the rest of the season? All I am going to say is that the last time the Chiefs lost 2 in a row, they went on to win the Super Bowl....
Thanks for having me guys - enjoy the game.