A week after the home opener, the Chiefs return to the road for a matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. No doubt you've heard about how tough the Chiefs' schedule is this year, and it's right around Week 3 that we start to see just how rough things will be.
- Just like Baltimore, who the Chiefs play in Week 1, the Eagles made it all the way to their conference title game last season. Two of Kansas City's first three games in 2009 come against conference runner-ups.
- The trip to Philadelphia marks the first in a slate of four consecutive games against the NFC East, one of the toughest divisions in football. Washington, the fourth-place team in the division, finished 8-8 last season. For comparison's sake, 8-8 was also the record posted by the two best teams in the AFC West.
- With the exception of Week 2, the Chiefs' first six opponents have defenses ranked in the top 10 last year. That includes the second- and third-best defenses, the Ravens and the Eagles. The team with the #1 ranked defense – the Pittsburgh Steelers – will see the Chiefs in Week 11.
Needless to say, it won't be easy for the Chiefs early in the season.
Why The Chiefs Could Win
Despite their postseason success, Philadelphia wasn't an entirely dominant team last season. They finished with a record of 9-6-1, just good enough to sneak into the playoffs with the final wildcard spot.
The game that ended in a tie – the first such finish in six years – came against a Cincinnati Bengals squad on a 1-8 streak before facing the Eagles. Granted, that was a road contest for Philadelphia, and they play the Chiefs at home. But given how poorly they played that day, it's not completely impossible to imagine them turning in another inexplicable stinker.
It's also worth noting the team that ended the Eagles' postseason run was the Arizona Cardinals, and both of their coordinators are now in Kansas City. It's not terribly likely, but perhaps a less-talented team like the Chiefs can utilize the game plans Todd Haley and Clancy Pendergast put to work that day and get similar results.
If Kansas City comes out on fire, the Eagles revert back to the form of that Bengals game, and a few other factors go the Chiefs' way – perhaps a sudden outbreak of food poisoning in the Tri-State area – an upset could be within their reach.
Why The Chiefs Won't Win
We've already covered the Eagles' third-ranked defense, but we've yet to mention their ninth-ranked offense from a year ago. Philadelphia managed to flourish even with Brian Westbrook, one of their primary weapons, battling injury all season.
A healthy Westbrook and the offseason additions of Jason Peters and Stacy Andrews at offensive tackle should only help the Eagles' offense improve. Philadelphia also drafted Missouri's Jeremy Maclin and Pittsburgh's LeSean McCoy. Maclin should be another downfield weapon for Donovan McNabb while McCoy will allow the team to take some of the load off Westbrook's shoulders.
There are plenty of other reasons we could discuss here, but why dwell on the negatives? Ultimately, we'll say the Eagles were only a game away from the Super Bowl last year, while the Chiefs…well, they were a little bit farther away than that.
Most Likely Result: the Chiefs (1-2) leave Philadelphia with a loss.
Reading KC's Fortune - Week 3
WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories
Packers Acquire Davis; Place Shields on IRKnile Davis goes from fourth on the depth chart in Kansas City to a key role with the short-handed Packers. He is big and fast but to this point has failed to put it all together.
Packer ReportTuesday at 6:51 AM
Week 6 NFL DFS: DraftKings Secret StarsHave you experienced the fun of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)? We have some recommendations for you if you're interested in participating in contests over at DraftKings. With just a…
Week 6: Four Bewildering BackfieldsEvery week, Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith examines the most turbulent backfields in the NFL to help decipher whether or not there are any Fantasy stars in the making.
Three Backfields With Question MarksEvery week, Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith examines the most turbulent backfields in the NFL to help decipher whether or not there are any Fantasy stars in the making..…
Prescription Notes From Week 7Dr. Roto discusses what he learned from Week 7 of the Fantasy Football season!
Scout Fantasy9:51 AM