Whether you call it the Andy Reid Bowl, the Kelce Clash or perhaps Super Bowl 57.5, fireworks are expected when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday night showdown.
Both teams are coming off bye weeks. The Eagles (8-1) sport the best record in the NFL. The Chiefs (7-2) have the best record in the AFC and have swept the last four meetings, including 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.
It has been one of the season’s most anticipated matchups since schedules were released in May, and neither side has done anything to dampen the enthusiasm.
Reid is the winningest head coach in the history of both franchises, logging 140 victories (including playoffs) for the Eagles from 1999-2012 and 136 since taking over the Chiefs in 2013.
Both quarterbacks shined when these teams clashed in the Super Bowl nine months ago in Glendale, Ariz. Patrick Mahomes, playing on an injured ankle, threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and set up the winning field goal with a gutsy 26-yard scramble. He won his second Super Bowl MVP award.
Jalen Hurts was just as effective. He completed 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown and rushed 70 yards for three touchdowns. He used his legs to pick up the game-tying score — and the two-point conversion — with 5:15 remaining.
Both are in the MVP conversation again this season. Hurts has completed a career-high 68.9 percent of his passes for 2,347 yards with 15 touchdowns but also eight interceptions. He has seven rushing scores, most courtesy of the much discussed “Brotherly Shove.”
“I’m a big fan of his,” Reid said Thursday about Hurts. “He’s a really good football player. He can throw the ball. He can run the ball. …. He always seems to be in control.”
Philadelphia’s biggest weakness is a spotty secondary that likely has Mahomes licking his chops. Only the Chicago Bears (20) and Washington Commanders (21) have allowed more touchdown passes than the Eagles with 19. The team ranks 28th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 257.0 yards per game.
Mahomes is on pace for another strong year with 2,442 yards and 17 touchdowns but has also thrown eight picks. He bounced back from a Week 8 loss at Denver when he was under the weather to take down the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, tossing two TD passes in the first half and hanging on for a 21-14 win.
Mahomes is once again relying heavily on tight end Travis Kelce, who leads the team in catches (57) and receiving yards (597).
Including the Super Bowl, Kelce’s Chiefs are also 4-0 against older brother Jason Kelce, the longtime center for the Eagles.
“I’m motivated to win the game. I don’t need the Super Bowl to motivate me to beat my brother or Andy Reid,” Jason Kelce said Thursday. “I’ve never beat them in my career and I’m maybe motivated by that, but I don’t buy into Super Bowl revenge games.
“Each season is different. This team is not the same. That team is not the same. Nothing that goes out there and happens on Monday night is going to at all change or make anything different about what happened last year.”
The Eagles placed linebacker Nakobe Dean (foot) on injured reserve Thursday. Safety Justin Evans (knee) practiced in a limited capacity for Philadelphia, who listed cornerback Bradley Roby (shoulder) and guard/center Cam Jurgens (foot) as full participants.
Every player was a full participant in practice for the Chiefs on Thursday.
–Field Level Media