Prediction: Chiefs 24, Eagles 20

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
12:05
PM ET

PHILADELPHIA – Gotta tell you that I’m conflicted on this one. Tough call on tonight’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles.

On one hand, I’m a believer in the Chiefs’ defense. The Chiefs are for real on that side of the ball and, particularly if Brandon Flowers’ sore knee allows him to play and play up to his capabilities, they will do a better job against Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia offense than either of the Eagles’ first two opponents.

This is a challenge for the Chiefs, one made more difficult by the fact they had a short week to prepare to play against an unorthodox offensive system and approach. That, and between Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles have a collection of solid skill players.

But the Chiefs have a collection of good defensive players. From Dontari Poe to Tyson Jackson, Mike DeVito, Derrick Johnson, Akeem Jordan, Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry, the Chiefs have some defenders playing extremely well. I think the Chiefs will hold up well under the stress the Eagles will put them under.

It’s in the game’s other phases that you have to wonder. Other than Dustin Colquitt’s punting, the Chiefs haven’t always been good in the kicking game. That’s an area they’ll need some help from.

I like how efficient the Chiefs have been offensively. They haven’t committed a turnover and are 5-for-5 getting a touchdown while inside the opponent 20-yard line. Those streaks can’t continue forever and I expect both could end tonight.

That’s OK if the Chiefs can get some big offensive plays, and perhaps they can against an opponent allowing an average of 30 points per game. But the big play hasn’t been a part of the Chiefs’ offense yet. Where would they come from tonight? Jamaal Charles? Hard to count on that after his performance last week. The passing game? I wonder how things will look there when the starting tight end, Anthony Fasano, is unlikely to play because of an injured ankle and his backup, Travis Kelce, has a sore knee.

So there’s plenty of reason for concern from the Chiefs’ standpoint. However, with kickoff looming, it’s time to make a call. I’m going with the Chiefs in a close call because of the strength of their defense. Prediction: Chiefs 24, Eagles 20.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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