COMMENTARY | The greatest quarterback and greatest coach in Philadelphia Eagles history return to Lincoln Financial Field tonight when the Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs (8:30 p.m., NFL Network).
Donovan McNabb, who called signals for the Eagles for 11 seasons and holds every major team passing record, will be honored at halftime and have his No. 5 retired. Andy Reid, who recorded the most regular-season and playoff victories in Eagles history is his 14 seasons as head coach, returns to Philadelphia in his third game as Chiefs head coach.
The Eagles enter tonight's game at 1-1 following a 33-27 win at Washington and a 33-30 loss to San Diego at home. The Chiefs are 2-0 following a 28-2 win at Jacksonville and a 17-16 win over Dallas at home.
Five Players to Watch
LeSean McCoy, Eagles - Shady leads the NFL in rushing after two weeks with 237 yards on 42 carries, a 5.6 yards average. If Adrian Peterson wasn't still playing, it would be pretty easy to call McCoy the most dangerous running back in the league. He goes against a Kansas City defense that is currently second in the league against the run.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs - One of the league's best receivers in this his seventh NFL season, the former LSU wide receiver has caught more than 400 passes for more than 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. He's started slowly in the Andy Reid era but he's the kind of big-time receiver that could light up the suspect Eagles secondary.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles - He is the best wide receiver in the NFL thus far this year, leading the league with 297 yards on 16 receptions with two touchdowns. As usual, he'll be Michael Vick's primary target but he may be running shorter routes to compensate for a Chiefs' pass rush that has accounted for nine quarterback sacks thus far. No team has more.
Dontari Poe, Chiefs - He's the leader of the Kansas City pass rush with nine tackles and 3½ sacks as a nose tackle. The 6-3, 246-pound Poe, only in his second year out of Memphis, has been impressive in running down quarterbacks. But he's even more impressive in stuffing the middle for the Chiefs against running backs.
Cary Williams, Eagles - The defensive back was one of several members of the secondary who struggled against San Diego as he was cited for pass interference on three occasions. He was brought to Philadelphia primarily because of his reputation for physical play. He'll need to clean that up, especially if he's matched up with the likes of Bowe.
Five Things To Watch
Andy Reid - If he wears his red Chiefs gear again, the portly coach will be very hard to miss. Regardless of his attire, this will be an emotional return to Philadelphia on many levels. It's hard to speculate how that emotion will impact his approach to this game.
The first quarter - Because of the underlying emotion attached to this game, a fast start could go a long way in deciding it. There's no doubt the Chiefs would love to win this one for Andy as much as many of his former players want to beat him. A couple of quick scores either way could really boost the team with the lead.
Michael Vick's health - The Chiefs are tied for the league lead in sacks and are very stingy against the run. That's not the healthiest combination for the injury-prone Vick. Will this be the night when he is forced to the sidelines for a series or more? Most honest members of the Eagles faithful expect that to happen sooner or later.
Donovan McNabb's honor - Yes, there were some hard feelings after McNabb left. There were plenty of hard feelings just about the entire time he played in Philadelphia. But McNabb left it all on the field for 11 years for this franchise. His numbers speak volumes for him. He richly deserves to have his number retired and deserves to hear the loudest cheers he's ever heard at the Linc.
Chip Kelly's adjustments - In some ways, Kelly may have coached himself into a defeat last week with his play calling in the final minutes. Even in scoring 30 points, it was a sloppy effort offensively and a horrendous effort defensively. The great coaches in the NFL clean up their mistakes quite well week to week. This is Kelly's first opportunity to do so.
Ted Williams lives in Emmaus, PA and is a lifetime Eagles follower. He spent 20 years in print journalism, winning state and national awards.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Kansas City Chiefs
- the Eagles
- Donovan McNabb
- Andy Reid
- Michael Vick