Kansas City Chiefs (0-2 0-2 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1 1-1 ATS) Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, 1 PM ET, September 27, 2009 on CBS
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Chiefs +9.5/Eagles -9.5
This Sunday (Week 3) the winless Kansas City Chiefs head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Donovan McNabb is still injured so Kevin Kolb will get his 2nd start in a row while Michael Vick may see his first playing time in 2 years if Kolb struggles with INT’s like he did in last week’s game.
Last week the Eagles were crushed by the New Orleans Saints 48-22 and the Chiefs were also beat losing a tough game to the Oakland Raiders 13-10. This game is important to both teams, as the Eagles need to keep pace with the teams in the tough NFC East while the Chiefs need to get in the win column or they may be looking forward to another long losing season.
Last week the Eagles lost to the Saints by 26 points even though they had more total yards in the game. The reason they lost was that they had 4 turnovers including 3 INT’s by backup QB Kevin Kolb. Kolb did have 391 yards passing, but the turnovers kept stopping the drives. The Eagles were only down by 4 points at halftime, but in the 2nd half the Saints scored 31 points and the Eagles only had 9, including only getting 2 off a safety in the 4th quarter. The Eagles were underdogs by 3 points and were not even close of covering the spread. The game had a whopping 70 points scored and blew by the posted total of 46, which was surpassed by 24 points.
In the 13-10 loss to the Raiders last Sunday the Chiefs dominated on offense as they had 409 total yards while Oakland only had 166. However, Matt Cassel, who did have 241 yards passing, had 2 turnovers, which cost the Chiefs dearly. After only scoring 3 points in the first 3 quarters the Chiefs scored a TD with only 2:38 remaining, but their defense could not stop the Raiders from marching down the field to score a TD with only 1:07 to give them a 13-10 lead that would stand. The Chiefs were favored by 2.5 points so they did not cover the spread and the 39.5 total was nowhere near being reached since only 23 points was scored in the game.
The Eagles have 3 QB’s on their roster that have been to 12 Pro Bowls between them (Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Jeff Garcia), but Kevin Kolb will be starting in only his 2nd career start.
Matt Cassel was solid in his first start in a Chiefs uniform, but he has to limit his INT’s or the Chiefs will lose this game. Cassel will be facing an Eagles’ secondary that is giving up an average of 185.5 yards through the air.
The Chiefs’ defense is giving up an average of 132.5 yards per game on the ground, but they may get a break this Sunday since RB Brian Westbrook injured his ankle in the New Orleans game and he may not be able to go in this game.
Rookie RB LeSean McCoy (64 yds) will probably be the featured back and he has to have a good game this Sunday if the Eagles are to cover this huge spread.
Much like Cassel, Kolb had solid passing yardage in his last game, but he did have 3 INT’s and he cannot repeat that performance.
Chiefs’ RB Larry Johnson (98 yds) has struggled big time this season, as he is only averaging 2.8 yards per carry. It is yet to be seen if this is due to his judgement or a weak offensive line. He will have to pick up some yards to force the Eagles defense to respect the Chiefs run game which would open up the passing game for Cassel.
The Eagles’ offense is averaging more total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards per game and their D is giving up less total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards per game. That is not a good stat for the Chiefs, who will be playing in front of a hostile Philly crowd.
The Chiefs have to cut down on turnovers and play a stellar defensive game in order to pull off the upset.
Jason’s Pick: Even though the Eagles are without McNabb and may be without Westbrook for this game, they are a much better team plus the home field advantage factors in as well. Look for the Eagles to win this game and for Kolb to have a solid outing, but the Chiefs to cover the 9.5-point spread.