Can Big Red Cover the Spread Against his Former Team?
Great Googly Moogly! Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs are coming back to The Linc to take on the team he coached for 14 seasons. Let’s take a look at this juicy matchup, and not just from an x and o and wagering standpoint. You see there is so much intrigue baked into this game, so let’s check it out.
The last time Reid & the Chiefs visited Philadelphia in 2013 they left with a 26-16 win. The Eagles had four first half turnovers, including two interceptions by then Eagle QB Mike Vick, including a pick-six by Eric Berry. What better way for Reid to start his tenure with a new team than to smack the team he was fired by just nine months earlier.
A lot has changed in the eight years since that matchup. For the Chiefs it’s no longer Alex Smith throwing the ball to Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster, it’s Patrick Mahomes slinging it to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Advantage Chiefs.
For the Eagles it’s no longer Mike Vick handing off to LeSean McCoy and chucking it downfield to DeSean Jackson, it’s Jalen Hurts throwing to DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor and not handing it off to Miles Sanders. Advantage Chiefs.
The Eagles were 3- point favorites at home on that Thursday night in 2013, this Sunday the Chiefs are -7 point faves on the road. Again, Advantage Chiefs.
The two teams played again in 2017, this time at Arrowhead Stadium, with the Chiefs taking the W by a 27-20 count. The Chiefs closed as a -4 point favorite and collected the cover. Advantage, well you get it.
But while those are all big tilts towards KC, the biggest advantage comes at the Head Coach Position, where for the Chiefs it’s still Andy Reid, while for the Eagles, Chip Kelly is long gone and walking the sidelines is one first year Head Coach, Nick Sirianni.
Let’s look at a side-by-side comparison between the two…
Andy Reid Coached the Eagles for 14 years. Sirianni has coached them for 3 games.
Reid led the Eagles to 130 regular season victories, nine playoff seasons, with four consecutive seasons reaching the NFC Championship game and one Super Bowl appearance. Sirianni has led the Eagles to one win, against the Atlanta Falcons.
Since his tenure with the Eagles, Reid has boosted his career win total to 222, with 17 of those wins coming in the postseason. Oh and one Super Bowl title.
If Reid and the Chiefs beat the Eagles today, that will be not one, but two teams Big Red will have coached to 100 wins. Pretty impressive.
Okay I know what you’re probably saying, it’s not fair to compare the two because Sirianni just started as a Head Coach in the NFL, and he only has three games in his back pocket.
I hear ya and it’s a fact that Reid was 0-4 in his first season as Head Coach before beating the hated Dallas Cowboys at Veterans Stadium in 1999 to go 1-4. In Reid’s first season the Eagles finished 5-11. Sirianni could certainly surpass that number of wins this year and go on to a Hall of Fame coaching career just like Reid. But based on what I saw last Monday Night where he ran the ball only three times, I’ll place my money elsewhere.
Reid’s accomplishments with the Eagles are many, but three moments stick out to me. First and foremost is the “Pickle Juice Game” to start off the 2000 season. The Eagles came into Dallas as underdogs of -6 and no one thought they had a shot to cover, let alone win. So, what did Reid do? Well, knowing it was going to be the hottest game in Cowboys history he and trainer Rick Burkholder had the players drink pickle juice all week to help retain electrolytes and avoid cramps. Oh, and he started the game with an onside kick, which the Eagles recovered. Dallas on the other hand never recovered and the Birds not only won but destroyed Troy Aikman and the Cowboys 41-14.
Next, the 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Green Bay Packers. Faced with 4th & 26 on their own 26 and trailing 17 – 14, McNabb would hit Freddie Mitchell for 28 yards and a first down. Reid would lead the Eagles to a 20-17 OT win and another NFC Championship berth.
On a side note, a friend and I lost $1,000 on this game laying -4 with the Eagles. We had a couple big shots to cover in overtime when Brian Dawkins intercepted Brett Favre and had a couple more guys to beat for the touchdown. It didn’t happen, but with the Birds at the Green Bay 34, a touchdown was not out of the question. So, what does Reid do? He throws it and runs it and gets all the way down to the fourteen-yard-line and then he gets conservative with a QB sneak on third-down and kicks the Field Goal. Thanks for nothing Andy.
Anyway, forgive the digression. Third, is not anything that happened in a game at all. It’s when Jeffrey Lurie took Reid to dinner at Del Frisco’s Steakhouse and Big Red ordered three steaks. Legend has it that when the server did their usual spiel and asked Andy “Would you like the Ribeye, the New York Strip or the Filet Mignon,” Coach Reid simply answered “Yes.” Word is he ate about 90% of them.
I mean this is a guy who bets cheeseburgers with players and refs and who says about Philadelphia, “There wasn’t a cheesesteak there I didn’t like.” The guy is like a modern day Wimpy from Popeye who will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today, so I don’t doubt for a second this story is true.
So back to Reid vs Sirianni. One thing you might not know is that this won’t be the first time they’ve met. They do have history, and that history is when Reid took over the Chiefs in 2013, he fired Nick Sirianni, who was the Wide Receivers Coach, to bring in his own WR Coach from the Eagles, David Culley. Culley is now the Head Coach of the Houston Texans. Poor guy.
Sirianni describes the conversation as “awesome” and that it helped him when he became a Head Coach. Hmm, okay Nick.
As you can see this game has a lot of intrigue and a lot of storylines. The Chiefs are still -7 favorites to cover the spread and while it looks like a juicy number to jump on, I’ve been thinking all week that it might not be the right side.
Kansas City comes in 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS, with one score losses against the Ravens and Chargers. The game they won at home was a four-point win over the Cleveland Browns from which they had to claw back from a 29-20 deficit in the fourth quarter to win 33-29.
The Chiefs rank 30th in total defense, 24th against the pass and 31st against the run.
I’m going to hope Coach Nick Sirianni learned something from Monday Night’s debacle against the Cowboys and will run, run, run the ball to keep it away from Mahomes and company. And maybe that “awesome” conversation with Reid in 2013 will help stoke Sirianni and his team’s fire a little bit as well.
Do I think the Eagles can win the game? I’d say it’s a longshot, but I’ll take the Eagles +7 for the cover.
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Have a great week 4! I hope you are fortunate.