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September 16, 2017

Five over/unders for Eagles vs. Chiefs

The Eagles came away victorious in Week 1, scoring a 30-17 win over their division rival, the Washington Redskins. And in the process, they made yours truly look pretty terribly with his over/under picks for the week – I'm pretty sure I got all but one wrong.  

I'd say chalk it up to rust, but I've been doing these throughout the preseason, so either I'm out of excuses and terrible at this, or it's true that preseason football is simply a waste of all of our time. Or both.

Rust, however, didn't seem to be a problem for either the Chiefs or the Eagles in their openers, as both teams went on the road and picked up big wins. Kansas City is probably feeling pretty good after beating up on the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 1, and they'll look to continue that in a game that pits master – and longtime Birds coach – Andy Reid against his former pupil, Doug Pederson. 

Let's get right into it with our Week 2 over/unders, and hopefully, I'll have knocked off some of that rust by now:

Total points: 47.5

That's the current point total being offered over at Bovada, and it's actually pretty darn close to what it was for last week's game against the Redskins – and just a half point over their actual point total from that game.

No Ronald Darby. No Eric Berry. Plus two offenses that have playmakers on the outside? I'm going to take the over, just like I did with my weekly prediction.


Alshon Jeffery receptions: 4.5

The Birds didn't do a great job of getting Carson Wentz's new toy involved in the offense against Washington, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. Jeffery was targeted seven times, but only caught three passes for 38 yards.

Howie Roseman didn't spend that money just to watch Nelson Agholor tear it up. Look for the former Bears WR to be more involved this week. This one seems like a no-brainer to me.


Tyreek Hill + Kareen Hunt yards from scrimmage: 200

This duo combined for 383 total yards of offense in their opener. And, no, that's not a typo.

Just let that sink in for a minute. 

Ok, good. Now, if the Eagles want to stand a chance in this one, they have to limit these two. Without Ronald Darby, Hill could present problems for the Eagles secondary, especially if Hunt is able to find success early and keep Schwartz from sitting back in coverage and daring Alex Smith to beat him. 

Of course, keeping these two in check isn't the only thing you have to worry about. Tight end Travis Kelce can hurt them as well. And I see him doing enough damage that Hill and Hunt won't be nearly as productive as they were against the Pats.


Eagles' takeaways: 1.5

The above number (Hill+Hunt) is very important if the Eagles hope to come away victorious on Sunday, but this may actually be the key to them improving to 2-0. The Birds are very good when they win the turnover battle under Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz – and really bad when they don't.

In 17 games, they're 6-2 when they have more takeaways than giveaways, 2-2 in games where the turnover differential is even, and 0-5 when they turn the ball over more than their opponents. 

I think the Eagles only come away with one takeaway in this – remember, Alex Smith doesn't take many chances down the field – and the Chiefs will have at least one. If they can keep it that way, they'll have a chance at winning. If not, well, I just showed you the numbers.


Times we're reminded of the Doug Pederson-Andy Reid connection (including either's ties to the Eagles):

Somehow, they'll still hit the over (especially if this turns out to be a blowout either way).


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