Thursday Night Football: Chiefs Stonewall Eagles

Receivers Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery are happy with new coach Andy Reid, and they beat his old team then quenched his thirst!

Head coach Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia, and it was his offense that drained the Eagles’ defense to stamp a 26-16 road victory.

This game featured a pair of top running backs, highlighted by LeSean McCoy’s 20 carries for 158 yards and a 41-yard touchdown burst. Most of his damage was done in the second half after returning from a leg injury, and he made history by running for a 40+ yard touchdown for the fifth time. McCoy is the only player to accomplish that feat so far. Winning counterpart Jamaal Charles tallied 20 touches on the ground and 7 through the air, summing up 172 yards. Charles bounced outside from three yards out for the score that kept the game out of reach.

Chip Kelly is a great offensive mind, but much like my thought when Reid coached quarterback Michael Vick, Philly simply needs to upgrade the position. When Nick Foles was drafting two years ago, I was dead serious when I suggested that he start for the Eagles. Unlike the 5’11 Vick, Foles is 6’5 so he can actually look over his offensive line. Plus, he has more football ahead, room to grow, and he’s more mobile than publicized if you watched him at the helm last year. Or even the guy Kelly drafted, Matt Barkley, that may very well be his QB of the future for all we know. Vick had his opportunities, moments, and countless highlights, but unfortunately he is what you would classify as fool’s gold.

Speaking of a quarterback with better mobility than given credit for, Alex Smith was brought in to manage the game and make plays with his feet when necessary. The combination of Reid and Smith has turned a 2-14 Chiefs team around with a 3-0 start to the season without a single turnover. This is similar to the type of QB coach Kelly is looking for.

We witnessed a breakout performance from wide receiver Donnie Avery, shredding Philly on seven catches for a buck-41. While the standout receiver Dwayne Bowe saw double coverage most of the night, Avery and Charles did some serious damage on the perimeter all night long. You just knew Charles was in for another big year, even more so under a coach that has great success with backfield talent. Also, notice how Avery is playing the same position that the injured Jeremy Maclin played when coached by Reid.

Not to be overlooked is the Kansas City defense that harassed Vick to force five sacks and four turnovers. The fifth turnover in the game was on special teams. What’s even more impressive, was the ability to halt an aggressive offensive pace and stifle the QB to only complete 13-30 passes. In three games so far they have held their opponents to 35 total points, only Seattle has allowed fewer points. The stars of the night were outside linebacker Justin Houston with 3.5 sacks and safety Eric Berry with a pick six. It sure is nice to have middle linebacker Derrick Johnson defending sideline to sideline while cornerback Brandon Carr shadowed Desean Jackson enough to confuse the quarterback.

They’ll head back home for a 10-day rest to prepare for a team Coach Reid is also familiar with, the New York Giants. When you think about it, aside from the opener against the Jaguars which was a wash, he just can’t get away from the NFC East and is taking full advantage.

As for the Eagles falling to 1-2 after dropping the last pair of games on their home field. Coach Kelly hasn’t won yet at home, and his team has 10 days to prepare for the Super Bowl favorite, Denver Broncos. Next week’s game in Denver kicks off a three-game road trip for a team trying to get their groove back. They have a chance as long as Vick can find Jackson in stride, and right now Shady McCoy looks like the best back in football. We mentioned Maclin was injured, can you imagine the offense with him? Especially since the guys they have opposite of Jackson aren’t helping the cause, they aren’t getting any separation. Then again, as for tonight, the Chiefs do have six Pro Bowl defenders.