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Philadelphia Hosts Kansas City; Reid, McNabb Return

Michael Vick, Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles will look to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and old coach Andy Reid Thursday night.

Michael Vick, Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles will look to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and old coach Andy Reid Thursday night.

The Philadelphia Eagles host the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night, welcoming back former coach Andy Reid in the process.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:25 p.m. ET from Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia.

The Eagles chose Reid as their head coach back in 1999, replacing Ray Rhodes. This was the first head coaching role for Reid, who had previously spent time as an assistant with the Green Bay Packers.

Andy Reid makes his return to Philadelphia.

Andy Reid makes his return to Philadelphia.

In 14 seasons in Philadelphia, Reid led the team to a 224-130 (.583) regular season record and a 10-9 (.526) record in the postseason. The Eagles won six division titles, reached the postseason nine times and made five appearances in the NFC Championship Game, including four straight between 2002 and 2005). The Eagles advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX following the 2004 season, narrowly losing a close game 24-21 to the New England Patriots.

The 2012 season, a season in which the team went 4-12, undoubtedly soured Reid’s time with the Eagles but he left the organization having coached more games and won more games than any other Eagles’ head coach. His .583 record remains second only to Greasy Neal, who went 63-43-5 (.594) between 1941 and 1950.

In addition to Reid’s return, the Eagles will also welcome back former quarterback Donovan McNabb on Thursday night.

McNabb, who was selected by Philadelphia with the second overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, signed a one-day contract with the Eagles back in July in order that he could retire as an Eagle. Now the Eagles will retire his No. 5 jersey and add him to the team’s hall of fame.

Donovan McNabb's No. 5 will be retired.

Donovan McNabb’s No. 5 will be retired.

McNabb spent 11 years in Philadelphia (1999-2009), before closing out his career with the Washington Redskins (2010) and Minnesota Vikings (2011). He set franchise records in pass attempts (4,746), completions (2,801) and touchdowns (216). Together with Reid, McNabb undeniably turned the Eagles into a perennial contender.

While Philadelphia will certainly have a lot to celebrate, the team focus needs to be well and truly on the field.

Philadelphia (1-1, 0-1 home) got off to an impressive start to the season, handing division rivals Washington a 33-27 loss on the opening Monday night game of the season. The Eagles’ high-octane offense, devised by new head coach Chip Kelly, caught the imagination of football fans around the world, sparking length debate about whether or not it was sustainable in today’s NFL.

In Week 2, the Eagles came up short against another offensive-minded team, the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers managed to spoil the Eagles’ home-opener, kicking a late field goal to win the game 33-30.

Both the Redskins and Chargers represented similar challenges to Kelly and the Eagles. Both teams are built around high-scoring offenses. That won’t be the case when Kansas City (2-0, 1-0 road) takes to the field at the Link on Thursday.

So far this season, the Chiefs have picked up an easy win over the Jacksonville Jaguars (28-2) and weathered a storm to come away with a close victory over the Dallas Cowboys (17-16). Both games proved to be methodically sound, with the Kansas City defense as influential as the offense. The question remains then, can the Eagles offense get the better of the Chiefs defense? Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton is confident it can’t.

Kansas City will look to go 3-0 for just the eighth time in the team’s 54-year history, and only the second time since 2003. The Chiefs have reached the playoffs in six of the seven seasons in which the Chiefs have begun the year 3-0, a good omen if the team is successful against Philadelphia.

Both teams go into the game with injury worries at the tight end position. Philadelphia’s Brent Celek (shoulder) is listed as probable, while Kansas City’s Anthony Fasano (ankle) is doubtful.

Philadelphia will look to its run game to boost its passing game. Last week, LeSean McCoy rushed for just 53 yards, a week after torching the Redskins for 184. Part of the reason those numbers were down was the fact that San Diego took control of the field, more than doubling Philadelphia’s time of possession. The Eagles will look for more of the ball this week.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles odds for 9/19/13 are available now.

Philadelphia (-174) opened as the favorite over Kansas City (+157) on the moneyline. Home field advantage is obviously a factor here, but history also supports the Eagles winning.

Philadelphia is 4-2 all-time against the Chiefs and has won each of the last three meetings between the sides. Kansas City’s last win in the series came on September 27, 1998. However, the two sides have split a pair of games played in the City of Brotherly Love.

The spread opened at 3 and has shifted to 3.5 with some online sportsbooks. Both teams are 1-1-0 ATS this season, each covering in their season-opener before coming up short last week.

The over/under opened at 49.5 and has risen to 51 as we approach kickoff. Unsurprisingly, the high-powered offense of Philadelphia (2-0-0) has seen the total go over twice. With an average of 31.5 points per game, the Eagles are behind only the Denver Broncos (45.0 PPG) and Green Bay Packers (33.0 PPG) in scoring in this young season.

Meanwhile, Kansas City (0-2-0) has watched the total go under in each of its first two games. The Chiefs have allowed just 9.0 points per game so far this season. Only the Seattle Seahawks (5.0 PPG) have had a stingier defense. As the old saying go, something’s got to give.

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