4 stats to consider as Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs gear up for Week 2 clash
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
The Philadelphia Eagles outlasted the Redskins last week to open their season with a crucial divisional road win, but their next opponent had an even stronger Week 1 showing.
Perhaps you saw what the Chiefs did to the Patriots on Thursday night? New England entered the game behind whispers that it could contend for the first 19-0 season in NFL history before Kansas City thumped the reigning Super Bowl champions in a thorough victory.
The Chiefs’ defense held firm. The offense churned all night in a road environment at Gillette Stadium. And the team delivered big plays — including a couple Alex Smith touchdown passes that went for more than 75 yards — to bury the Patriots in an opening night stunner.
So, the Eagles face a tall task in trying to knock off the Chiefs at Kansas City’s famed Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday. Here are four stats to consider as the Birds gear up for the challenge.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Smith signed with the Chiefs before the 2013 season, the same year former Eagles head coach Andy Reid took over in Kansas City. While Smith hasn’t wowed audiences on a consistent basis, he has delivered steady play and lifted the Chiefs to three postseason appearances during his four years in town.
Part of that sturdiness shows up in Smith’s top-notch interception rate (or the percentage of pass attempts that end in an interceptions). For comparison’s sake, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has the best career interception rate in NFL history at 1.6 percent, and Smith has matched or been better than that mark each of the past four seasons. He doesn’t make many costly mistakes.
Reid’s West Coast offense, built around quick throws, helps reduces risky passes, but Smith’s error-free ways are still impressive. He’s finished with eight or fewer interception each season since 2011.
The Eagles’ takeaways helped put them over the edge in a tightly contested opener against Washington last week. Cornerback Jalen Mills’ fourth-quarter interception near the goal line helped the team preserve a late two-point lead and Brandon Graham’s sack forced a fumble a few minutes later to clinch the win.
Against the Chiefs, the Eagles might have a harder time bothering Smith.
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