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Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs keys to the Kingdom versus Eagles

Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

The Kansas City Chiefs face another tough opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles in week two. After the impressive upset of the New England Patriots, continuity is the overriding goal as the team plays its home opener at Arrowhead Stadium.

The are four keys to this game that are most critical to the outcome in week two.

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Keep the ball rolling

Kareem Hunt was awarded the FedEx Ground Player of the Week after Week one due to his 8.7 yd/carry performance. Week two brings an Eagles team they gave up just 3.8 yds/carry in their opening contest against the Washington Redskins. Balance is imperative for this offense to continue to perform well. The offensive line and Kareem Hunt need to be able to gain 5 yds/carry against a top-tier defensive front in order to keep the pressure off the passing game.

It will be nearly impossible for Alex Smith to repeat his four-touchdown 368-yard performance against the Eagles defense. Smith was awarded the FedEx Air Player of the Week award for his opening night performance. What is important is that he maintains his accuracy. Smith passed for an 80% completion rate against the Patriots. In addition, Smith has continued to take shots downfield. He connected on four passes of 25 yards or more in week one. He has to stay aggressive in the passing game for this offense to be effective.

Adapting the defense

The loss of Eric Berry will be impossible to completely overcome. The Chiefs will use the tandem of Eric Murray on the back half and Daniel Sorensen up in the box in order to try and compensate for Berry’s absence. Murray will be tested by Carson Wentz and Doug Peterson. His response to that challenge will play a big role in the game’s outcome.

Justin Houston and Dee Ford may be in for a big game. Not only was Wentz sacked twice against the Washington Redskins, but he was hit an additional three times. The Eagles offense of line gave up a total of 13 pressures to the Redskins lackluster pass rush. Chris Jones has a great chance that increases production as well. To do that, the run defense must be stout against LeGarrette Blount and force third-and-long situations.

The chess match between Andy Reid and Doug Peterson is about to begin. Give the edge to the master rather than the apprentice.

 

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A University of Kansas grad, Ryan is an Exercise Physiologist and NSCA-certified Strength & Conditioning Coach and data analyst. Ryan founded Rogue Analytics Consulting and developed the Athletic Matrix TM. His focus is player evaluation, roster building, and team management. Ryan has lived in every city in the old AFC West, including Seattle. Follow @RyanTracyNFL for more Chiefs and NFL coverage.

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