Friday, September 20, 2013
Smith-to-Avery connection keys Reid return
By ESPN Stats & Information
Andy Reid’s return to Philadelphia was a triumphant one.
The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 3-0 by beating the Eagles 26-16. The Chiefs became the first team to start a season 3-0 after winning two or fewer games the previous season (in a non-labor-shortened season) since the 2002 Panthers.
Mr. Smith goes to Kansas City … and wins
Alex Smith became the first Chiefs quarterback to win his first three starts with the team since Joe Montana won his first four starts with the Chiefs in 1993.
Smith won with the short passing game, going 21-for-31 for 258 yards on throws of 10 yards or fewer.
Smith was 7-for-7 when throwing to Donnie Avery, and was 4-for-4 (for 107 yards) when throwing to Avery on third down.
Avery had 80 yards after the catch on four third-down receptions.
Justin Houston dominates on ‘D
Justin Houston had 3.5 sacks for the Chiefs, giving him 6.5 through three games this season. He’s the third Chiefs player to have at least 3.5 sacks in a game, joining Derrick Thomas (who did so twice, including the single-game record of seven) and Neil Smith.
Houston may actually have had 4.5 sacks in the game (one was initially ruled a sack, then changed).
If the NFL were to rescore the play and rule that a sack, Elias tells us that Houston would be the first NFL player with at least 7.5 sacks through three games since Mark Gastineau had eight for the New York Jets in 1984.
Eagles offense working fast
Chip Kelly’s offense has been operating faster and faster in each game this season.
The Eagles’ average time of possession in between plays against the Chiefs was 19.9 seconds, half-a-second faster than in Week 2.
The person for whom the offense is working best is running back LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 158 yards, the third-best single-game total in his career. Two of his top three rushing performances have come this season.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that McCoy’s 395 rushing yards through his first three games are the most through the first three games of the season in Eagles history (Wilbert Montgomery held the previous record of 346 in 1981).
Michael Vick also had a 61-yard run, the longest of his career. But Vick struggled against standard pass pressure, going 10-for-23 for 158 yards and an interception (along with three sacks) when the Chiefs sent four or fewer rushers at him.
Vick was 26-for-39 for 219 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions and one sack against standard pressure in the first two weeks of the season.
Elias Sports Bureau Note of the Night
Reid is the fourth head coach in NFL history to start a season 3-0 after missing the playoffs the prior season with a different team (Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves, George Allen).