We are going to go slightly off course here in Week 11 and instead of a player to stop, we are going to veer off to coach to stop: Andy Reid.
The future Hall of Fame coach is 4-0 against the Eagles, beating three different Eagles’ coaches, Chip Kelly in 2013, Doug Pederson in 2017, and Nick Sirianni twice, in 2021 and in Super Bowl LVII.
Reid put on a master display in the second half of the Super Bowl, overcoming a 10-point halftime deficit to score on every Chiefs’ drive in the second half. The Eagles could not get to Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City run game averaged over six yards carry. The Chiefs averaged 6.5 yards a play, while Mahomes posted 38 points in just over 24 minutes. There were numerous occasions where an Eagle defender was not within 10 yards of an open Chiefs’ receiver.
Reid sliced and diced former Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s defense. Let’s see what current Eagles’ defensive coordinator Sean Desai can come up with Monday night against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Was there anything gained from the 38-35 Super Bowl loss?
“No matter what game you’re playing, you’re always going to go back and look at the film of the last time you played that coach,” Sirianni said in reflection of facing Reid again. “In many cases, you’re going to go back and look at maybe the last couple times that you’ve played them.
So that was obviously the last game of last year, and there’s a lot of things that we study that we’re not just studying the first eight games. We’re studying multiple years’ worth of things. Obviously that tape has been helpful to be able to look at it, and we understand it’s probably helpful for them to look at as well. It’s part of our preparation.
“So, we’ve used that. We’ve used the tape. We’ve used the preparation going into it. There are things that I’ve been watching this week, and I’m like it feels like I just watched this stuff not too long ago, which is because I did. So, there was some deja vu there.
Obviously, we use everything that can help us prepare for a game, and obviously the preparation that we did going into it and also that game can help us a lot.”
Sirianni admitted there was some forehead smacking to go along with watching the Super Bowl replay.
“Again, you do that with every game, and there’s going to be things that you say, ‘oh, man, that was a really good play.’ Or, ‘oh, man, I wish we could have that one back,’” Sirianni said. “Do you find yourself sometimes doing that? Yeah, but you’ve got to remind yourself that, ‘hey, our job is to get prepared for this game.’ What happened in the past happened in the past. We’ll learn from our mistakes. We’ll get better from the things that we did well. I’d be lying to say, if I’m like, ‘Oh, if this would have just happened or that would have just happened’ every once in a while, but we’re not dwelling on it.”
There have been massive changes for both teams since the Super Bowl. Eagles’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen has moved on to the Colts, and has been replaced by Brian Johnson. With Gannon’s move to Arizona, Desai has stepped in. Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy left Kansas City to take on the same role in Washington, leaving former Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy as the new Chiefs’ OC—and some problems have ensued.
The Chiefs have had an issue with their receivers making plays, which does not help when their receiving corps is dropping an NFL-high 8-percent of Mahomes’ passes, and Mahomes has completed seven touchdowns to the Kansas City receivers, and thrown five picks when targeting them. Kansas City has no deep threat. The Chiefs do have Travis Kelce down the middle of the field—a constant Eagles’ weakness on defense this season.
Will Reid exploit that Monday night?
Let’s see if Desai can come up with some answers and counter moves to prevent it.
Joseph Santoliquito is a hall of fame, award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written feature stories for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project piece for ESPN.com called “Love at First Beep.” He is most noted for his award-winning ESPN.com feature on high school wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America