It’s getting late early for the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles. It was one thing to lose at home to the San Francisco 49ers, an excellent defensive team (unless Aaron Rodgers is left with too much time at the end of the game.) It was a whole other deal to get absolutely boat-raced by the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in front of a national television audience.
The Kansas City Chiefs come to Philadelphia on Sunday. The Eagles are 1-2. So are the Chiefs. That’s about where the similarities end. The Chiefs are a very good team with an elite quarterback (Patrick Mahomes), a coach who is going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and two Super Bowl appearances in the past two seasons.
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The Eagles fired their coach at the end of last season, and their quarterback, Jalen Hurts, is being scrutinized ruthlessly as the Eagles try to decide whether they can ever win anything with Hurts under center. The Eagles are a touchdown underdog at home, and if anything, that line feels a little light. Not because the Eagles won’t score (they will, plenty)…but because the Chiefs will score quite a bit more.
Because the Eagles’ divisional schedule doesn’t really kick in until Thanksgiving – five of the Eagles’ last six games are against NFC East opponents – the early part of the schedule is marginally terrifying.
After this game with the Chiefs, the Eagles have to go to Carolina (3-0), host the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) and then go to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders (3-0). If the Eagles can’t get their problems sorted soon, this season will be over before it ever really got a chance to start.
All odds per our partners at FoxBet.
JALEN HURTS OVER 230.5 PASSING YARDS (-118)
Experienced, skilled quarterbacks (think Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, even Matthew Stafford these days) approach the game like a diner at a five-star restaurant. They take their time with the menu (of receivers downfield), they consider their options, and they only commit to a specific choice once they’re sure it’s what they want.
Hurts, meanwhile, is approaching the game like a hungry fat guy who got to Golden Corral five minutes before the buffet is being taken down. His options aren’t great, and he has almost zero time to make a good decision, but dammit he’s starving and he’s gonna eat something. This is why there has been seemingly no rhythm to where Hurts throws the ball. On one hand, you could say “he’s trying to spread the ball around,” but on the other hand you could say “he has no idea who’s going to be open from play to play.”
And yet, none of that matters for this prop. Hurts has thrown for 780 yards in three games, including 303 yards last week (largely in garbage time.) You know what this game against the Chiefs promises some of? Garbage time. Throwing for 231 yards against a Chiefs defense that has allowed 95 points in three games just isn’t much of an ask.
MILES SANDERS OVER 55.5 YARDS RUSHING (-110)
That was some play calling master class from Nick Sirianni last week:
Three run plays by the Eagles RB’s in the entire game. THREE.
— Drew Copley (@DrewASJax) September 28, 2021
Not surprisingly, one of the loudest “run the damn ball” voices to emerge from the wreckage of the loss to the Cowboys was putative starting running back Miles Sanders, who had two more carries in that game than you did. On Wednesday, Sanders said “I do believe to have a successful offense, you have to run the ball.”
The Chiefs are giving up 5.4 yards per carry. Sanders has averaged 4.9 yards per carry for his career. The crowd at the Linc will call for Sirianni’s head if some sort of run game doesn’t get established early. If Sanders is going to break out, this will be the game he does it.
DeVONTA SMITH OVER 50.5 YARDS RECEIVING (-105)
The line here tells you that DeVonta Smith is going to have another underwhelming performance this week. Smith is -125 to end up under 50.5 yards receiving. And sure, Smith has been disappointing so far.
Here’s the thing, though: Smith was drafted as a burner and a big play threat. Through three games, his longest reception went for 19 yards. Through their three games, the Chiefs are the 23rd-ranked defense against the pass in terms of yards given up. Smith has the highest number of targets on the team (21), and Hurts is likely to keep doing whatever he can to get Smith going. One chunk play would put Smith well within reaching this total. At home, against an iffy pass defense, should be Smith’s time to get it.
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