Perhaps I’m a contrarian. Perhaps I don’t want to be yet another person predicting the Chiefs winning a close game.
Perhaps I’m naive. Perhaps the long layoff from the last Eagles game has me underrating their weaknesses in ‘out of sight, out of mind’ fashion.
As reductive as it might sound, however, I just think the road team wants this one more. Losing Super Bowl LVII like they did should only provide extra motivation. Jalen Hurts literally has the picture of him surrounded by red and yellow confetti as his lock screen. Jordan Mailata said he’s taking this game personally. I’m sure Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat are quite aware of the ‘zero sacks allowed’ shirts that were worn at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.
On that note, KC’s offensive line is causing some concern for Chiefs fans. Patrick Mahomes has been able to mask some of their deficiencies and he could conceivably do it again against the Eagles’ pass rush. But unless the field is especially slippery again (we’ll see how it goes with pregame rain expected prior to clearing up by kickoff, the feeling here is the Eagles will be able to get to Mahomes more than zero times. Especially since Philly’s run defense could force the Chiefs to be one dimensional and pass the ball over and over.
The prospect of Mahomes passing a lot isn’t comforting. But if the Eagles are able to contain Travis Kelce at all — admittedly a big “IF” — then the Chiefs will be relying on lesser wide receiver options to carry them to victory. The Eagles’ secondary has obviously had their struggles but they might be able to win their matchups against those guys.
The Eagles’ offense, meanwhile, will be tested by a defense that’s allowed the fewest points in the NFL this season. We won’t know just how healthy Jalen Hurts looks coming off the bye week until we actually see if he can run around often or not. The return of his mobility would be a big deal as it relates to trying to revive the run game. The Chiefs’ run defense is vulnerable, especially with top linebacker Nick Bolton out. Running the ball down KC’s throats could allow the Eagles to really control this game.
And I think that’s exactly what will happen. The Eagles will win in the trenches, like they’ve done for most of this season. Reddick strip-sacking Mahomes will allow the Birds to steal a possession.
The Eagles will win this game and cement their status as the NFL’s top team.
Will the Eagles beat the Chiefs?
Score prediction: 38 to 28, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: James Bradberry pick six to seal the game.
Check out the odds for this week’s game at DraftKings Sportsbook, and leave your own score predictions in the comments.