The Eagles (8-1) are on the road to face the Chiefs (7-2) in a rematch of Super Bowl LVII on Monday Night Football.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (7-2)
Usually, with these predictions, I have a pretty good sense what direction I’m going early in the week. This one, I kept going back and forth. Like 50 times. Made myself dizzy. On the one hand, the Eagles haven’t beaten the Chiefs since 2009 and not many teams do beat the Chiefs. They’ve lost just 30 games since 2016, which is insane. So you can delude yourself into thinking they’re unbeatable. But they’re not. They did lose to the Lions, and they did lose to the Broncos, and the Eagles had ‘em on the ropes most of the Super Bowl, and the Eagles are the team with the better record, and the Eagles are the team with the better offense and we keep hearing all about the Chiefs’ improved defense, and it is better, but they are allowing 4.5 yards per rush, they do have only 13 takeaways and I think the Eagles can score some points against them because they’re scoring points on everyone. So it comes down to Patrick Mahomes vs. a shaky Eagles secondary, but Mahomes hasn’t quite been vintage Mahomes this year – statistically, he’s having his worst season ever (which is still really, really good) and the Chiefs only have one real weapon, and he is the best receiving tight ever, but I believe Sean Desai will find a way to defend a team with just one real weapon. And it won’t hurt that the Eagles’ pass rushers – whose 24 sacks since Week 4 are 3rd-most in the league – presumably won’t be slipping and sliding all over the field. So I’m going Eagles in a game that won’t be decided until the final minutes. Or later.
Eagles 33, Chiefs 31
Dave Zangaro (7-2)
I spent my week waffling. I think this is a very winnable game for the Eagles and I even think they have the more talented roster. But the Chiefs have had their number in recent seasons and this is a really tough matchup against Andy Reid after the bye week, a situation in which he always seems to thrive. Even if it is raining on Monday night, the field conditions should be better in this game than they were in Super Bowl LVII and that ought to help the Eagles’ edge rushers keep their footing. But that advantage might be negated by Patrick Mahomes’ ability to avoid sacks better than just about any other quarterback in the NFL.
Even though the Chiefs’ defense has been fantastic this season, I still think the Eagles will be able to put up points. I even think they’ll be able to run the football. The problem is that I don’t have a ton of confidence in the Eagles’ defense shutting down the Mahomes-led Chiefs offense. This should be a close game. It could come down to the wire. On paper, I think the Eagles actually have more talent than the Chiefs but I’m going to give the edge to the home team.
Chiefs 31, Eagles 28
Mike Mulhern (8-1)
In my rewatching Super Bowl LVII this week, a few things stood out. First and foremost was Nick Sirianni’s aggressiveness wearing off as the game went along. Opting to kick a field goal and then punt on his first two possessions of the second half while the Chiefs went for three straight touchdowns completely swung the game. I wouldn’t expect Sirianni’s foot to come off the gas as easily this time around. The Eagles also didn’t get AJ Brown involved as much as they should have. Sure, they scored 35 points and his stat line looks great (6 catches, 96 yards, TD), but they only targeted him 8 times in 72 offensive plays (and only once on those two crucial drives). That’s something else I expect will change on Monday night. The Chiefs defense is vastly improved, but Jalen Hurts’ knee is healed up and he’ll be locked in on No. 11.
While the mystique of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid is real, the Chiefs offense seems off this season. Last year they surprised teams in the post-Tyreek Hill world by living with underneath stuff. This year defenses have adjusted and put the onus on Mahomes’ young wide receivers to beat them over the top. So far, it’s paid off as KC is averaging just 23.1 points per game. Sean Desai will have to get creative, and the pass rush will have to get home. I see Jalen Carter doing just that to help seal the game with a couple big sacks.
Eagles 27, Chiefs 23