Five things to watch for in Chiefs-Eagles game

BY foxsports • September 18, 2013

WHAT GIVES ON THE GROUND?

Led by LeSean McCoy's NFL-best 237 yards rushing, the Eagles are second in the league with 352 yards on the ground. The Chiefs' defense is second against the run, allowing 54 yards per game. Something has to give. Last week, the Chargers geared up to stop the run, so McCoy had a big day catching the ball. KC may be strong enough up front to contain the run without having to commit an extra defender in the box. The team that wins this battle likely wins the game.

"Their front seven is pretty good," McCoy said. "So far, it's the most complete defense we've played. But with the offense we have, it falls on us. We just have to execute."

PASS-HAPPY ANDY VS. POROUS SECONDARY

Reid has always employed a pass-first philosophy and it's no different with the Chiefs. Alex Smith has thrown on 59 percent of Kansas City's plays, excluding his scrambles that probably started as pass plays. The Eagles' woeful secondary only gives Reid more incentive to pass, allowing 748 yards passing, third worst in the league.

"They try to give you a lot of unorthodox looks," Smith said of Philadelphia's defense. "We have to be on with our communication. Loud stadium, so everyone is going to have to be on the same page."

BLOCKING POE

Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe already has 3 1/2 sacks, including 2 1/2 on Tony Romo last week. The big guy is a disruptive force and presents a difficult challenge for the Eagles.

"He's big, he's got really good feet, he looks strong in his upper body. He's a smart player, too," Eagles right guard Todd Herremans said.

MISTAKE-FREE MIKE

Michael Vick is off to an excellent start in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense. He's making smart decisions, protecting the ball and operating the read option to perfection. Vick threw for a career-best 428 yards last week and has a 119.0 passer rating. He has accounted for six TDs (four passing, two rushing) and zero interceptions.

"He's very explosive, he brings the run aspect to his position, and him being a dynamic player, you always have to account for him and make sure you know what's going on," Chiefs safety Eric Berry said.

TIRED LEGS

The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to start the season with three games in 11 days. The Chiefs are playing their third game in 12 days. Expect some weary players out there.

"I'm happy that we're doing this at the beginning of the season," Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin said. "If we were trying to get three games (in 11 days) in Weeks 12, 13 and 14, I don't know if you could do it."


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