Both teams feature a new head coach, one a tad more familiar than the other in NFL circles. The Chiefs ride in with Andy Reid, a man who made his name coaching the Eagles for 14 seasons before being fired at the conclusion of last year. Reid won seven NFC East titles in that span while making five NFC Championship game appearances and earning a Super Bowl berth in 2004.
Philadelphia has an offensive wizard on its side of the field, the man brought in to soothe the fans who had grown weary of Reid. Chip Kelly hasn't been charged with too much -- only to bring the first NFL championship to the Eagles' faithful since 1960 in the days of Chuck Bednarik and Norm Van Brocklin.
Meet the Chiefs
Kansas City won two games in 2012 despite having six Pro Bowl players -- including four on defense. The Chiefs already have two wins this season, largely due to a defense that refuses to yield points. New defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has his unit allowing only nine points per game ... and that includes a safety that was scored against the special teams in Week 1.
Thus far, Kansas City has allowed 107 rushing yards total and caused four turnovers while scoring once on defense. Last year's first-round pick, Dontari Poe, is also becoming a star. The nose tackle has 3.5 sacks already and is beginning to command a consistent double-team.
The offense still have plenty of work to do. Alex Smith has played as expected thus far, taking what the defense is giving. Jamaal Charles has yet to fully heat up, but still has over 200 yards of total offense. The big concern has been up front, however, as the Chiefs offensive line gave up four sacks and multiple pressures against the Dallas Cowboys last week.
Meet the Eagles
No team has received more attention than the Eagles thus far this season, mostly due to having one of the most exciting offenses in football. Philadelphia showed off Kelly's quick-strike offense that he employed as a college coach in Oregon during Week 1 on a Monday night against the Washington Redskins and it paid immediate dividends.
The Eagles ran 77 plays and scored 33 points in their opening-week victory, rushing for 263 yards behind the effort of LeSean McCoy as he picked up 184 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In last Sunday's loss to the San Diego Chargers, the offense again was terrific with 30 points and over 500 yards. The Eagles held the ball for only 19:43, however, and ran just 58 plays compared to 79 for the Chargers.
Things haven't been quite as solid on defense. Philadelphia ranks 30th in yards allowed, 28th in points against and 31st in passing yards against. The Eagles have struggled to hold up late in games due to their fast-paced offense and the defense has permitted 20 points in each of the two the second halves this year.
Local takes: Chiefs
Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride talks about the importance of not turning the ball over:
No turnovers through two games is terrific. Probably the most important stat, right? Besides the whole 2-0 record thing. This is one of the biggest indicators for wins and losses in the NFL. Don't turn it over and you're more than likely going to be competing for the playoffs. The Chiefs are doing a great job here. I'd like to point out that I once said the Chiefs are playoff-worthy as long as they don't screw it up (like turnovers).
Local takes: Eagles
Over at Bleeding Green Nation, Mike Kaye writes a winning formula for Philadelphia:
For the Eagles to win this game, the offense needs to spread the field and make the Chiefs' secondary work, so that LeSean McCoy can have easy access to holes. On defense, the Eagles just need to competent. This will likely be a high-scoring game, so Philadelphia needs to pressure quarterback Alex Smith and get the ball out his hands.
Follow the Fun
Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Bleeding Green Nation and Arrowhead Pride, for more analysis and highlights from the game.
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
Watching some Eagles. DeSean is going to be a major problem on Thursday. He will get loose, for sure.— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) September 18, 2013
Eagles vs. Chiefs 2013: Game time, TV schedule, online streaming and more http://t.co/3n4HQR08OA— BleedingGreenNation (@BleedingGreen) September 18, 2013
@Mellinger - Chiefs beat writer
@HowardEskin - Eagles reporter
Going on good_day_philly to talk #Eagles and a poor defense. Eagles may set team records for pts scored and allowed this year. 7:20a— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) September 16, 2013
This is one of the harder games to pick this week. Both teams are coming off a short week for this primetime matchup, giving neither any time to study the opponent. It might be tough for the Chiefs to get a hold of what the Eagles want to do offensively and create a gameplan in only a few days. Conversely, Reid has a ton of NFL experience compared to Kelly. On top of that, Reid obviously knows the Eagles very well, and should be able to dissect individual's weaknesses. Ultimately, a short week likely translates to the team with more talent across the board winning.
Pick: Chiefs 27, Eagles 17
The Eagles are favored by three points at home, according to Oddsshark.com.