After 14 years of service former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid returns to the bird’s nest wearing another team uniform and could expect nothing but a warm welcome – to be more specific: a warm Philadelphia welcome.
Philadelphia welcome? That’s what longtime Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb described when he himself first took the field as Washington’s thrower. First “polite cheers as a greeting, then hardy boos”, writes NFL columnist Ashley Fox.
But the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night includes more than that. Chip Kelly's, the Eagles new head coach, high speed offense will be put to the test.
After a great start with a 33-27 win over a rusty Washington team ,Chip Kelly still wasn’t pleased with the pace: “I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you,” Kelly said, via NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala.
If Kelly didn’t like the win, he definitely wasn’t pleased about Sunday’s loss to the San Diego Chargers. Especially because the Chargers looked like they cracked the code of Kelly’s high speed offense, and injury-prone quarterback Michael Vick picking up another late knock.
The Chargers did what the Kansas City Chiefs should do tonight as well: Win the battle up front. The defence and offensive line from San Diego were just a little bit quicker with their feet then the error-prone Eagles who couldn’t put pressure on quarterback Philip Rivers.
That should be formula for tonight’s game which suits the Chiefs even more.
The defence with two time Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry looks sharp under Andy Reid’s regime. They are in ranked second of 32 teams in the NFL, behind the Seattle Seahawks, allowing just 248 yards of offence.
A solid and disciplined Chiefs quarterback performance by Alex Smith who led the league at onepoint last year with the highest completion percentage of 70% and had just the third highest passer rating (104.1) has already helped add to that and will continue to.
Philadelphia’s booing welcome may not be enough of a game-changer to turn the odds in the Eagles favour.