The Kansas City Chiefs will kick off the second half of the season with a re-match of Super Bowl LVII on Monday night in one of the most anticipated games of the year.
Here are five things to keep in mind heading into game day.
1. Here's a look at the final injury report for both teams.
Head Coach Andy Reid didn't have any injuries to report following Saturday's practice, adding that everyone participated. The only caveat to that news is that wide receiver Richie James – who was placed on Injured Reserve with a knee injury earlier this season – is unlikely to be activated prior to Monday, according to Reid.
James, while still technically on Injured Reserve, returned to practice on Nov. 1. He can remain in his current state until Nov. 22, when the Chiefs will need to make a decision about his status for the remainder of the year.
The Eagles will be without tight end Dallas Goedert, who fractured his arm in Week 9. The absence of Goedert is a significant, as he ranks third on the Eagles in catches (38), receiving yards (410) and receiving touchdowns (2). The veteran tight end caught six passes for 60 yards in Super Bowl LVII.
Philadelphia will also be missing the services of second-year linebacker Nakobe Dean (foot), who was placed on Injured Reserve earlier this week. Dean started each of the Eagles' last three games before suffering the injury.
2. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest offensive points in the NFL through Week 10.
Through 10 weeks, no defense has been better than Kansas City in the most important statistic of all: points allowed.
Kansas City has surrendered only 134 offensive points this season, which are the fewest of any team in the NFL. The Chiefs played one less game through 10 weeks than Baltimore, the next-closest team, to be fair, but the point remains, Kansas City's defense has been nothing short of outstanding.
The Chiefs are the only team in the NFL to yield no more than 24 points in every single one of their games this year. Kansas City has allowed the fewest plays of 20+ yards of any team (24), and their 31 sacks rank third. It appears to be sustainable, too, as their collective performance hasn't been buoyed by a high takeaway total (where they rank 16th) or an unreasonably high rate of success in the red zone (where they're 17th).
This defense has simply been nothing short of outstanding through the first half of the season, and they'll be tested yet again when Philadelphia – the No. 3 scoring offense in the NFL – takes the field on Monday.
3. Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts has the second-longest average time to throw in the NFL.
Interestingly enough, the Chiefs will go from facing a quarterback with the quickest release in the NFL in Miami's Tua Tagovailoa (a league-leading 2.31 seconds) to a passer with one of the longest time-to-throw marks in Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts, whose 3.14-second release time is the second-longest of any passer with 300+ dropbacks. For example, 61 percent of Tagovailoa's pass attempts this season have taken place in fewer than 2.5 seconds. Hurts, by contrast, has thrown the ball in fewer than 2.5 seconds on just 41 percent of his dropbacks.
It's all to say that Hurts plays a much different style of quarterback than what the Chiefs last faced, and because of that longer time-to-throw, there is potential for Kansas City's pass-rush to have a significant impact on the game. In fact, Hurts has been under pressure on 37 percent of his dropbacks this year, but to his credit, the veteran quarterback has completed six "big time throws" – a subjective measure calculated by Pro Football Focus – while under pressure. His ability as a runner, as evidenced by his 316 rushing yards this season, also comes into play in those situations.
Still, Hurts has been sacked 22 times this season – the 10th-most of any player – while recording eight interceptions and three lost fumbles.
Simply put, the Chiefs' pass-rush will likely have opportunities during Monday's game, and when presented, it's imperative that they take advantage.
4. Philadelphia's offense emphasizes ball control and running the clock.
The Eagles' offense is among the best in the NFL this season, averaging 28 points-per-game, but their style of play represents a stark contrast to that of the Chiefs' last opponent in the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins were predicated on quick-strike drives and big plays, both of which the Chiefs were able to limit in Week 9. The Eagles, by contrast, are a ball-control offense that thrives on efficiency.
For example, Philadelphia has the most 10-play scoring drives of any team with 21, and the second-longest single-game average time of possession at 33 minutes and 26 seconds. The Eagles' average scoring drive takes nine plays and more than four minutes, and in the process, Philadelphia keeps the opposing offense off the field. In fact, the Eagles' defense has faced the fewest offensive possessions of any team at just 91.
It's all to say that the Eagles prefer to maintain a slow, methodical rhythm offensively that chews up clock, finishes drives with points and limits the opportunities of the other team. The key for the Chiefs will be to throw off that rhythm by creating negative plays and turnovers.
Philadelphia has just 48 negative plays this season – the third-fewest in the NFL – while their 13 giveaways rank in the middle of the pack, but in their lone loss vs. New York, the Eagles turned the ball over four times and committed five negative plays. It seems like an obvious point of emphasis, but against Philadelphia, it's absolutely critical.
5. Nobody has been more successful following a bye week than Head Coach Andy Reid.
It's perhaps the most well-known statistic among fans of the Chiefs, but it bears repeating: no head coach has been more successful following a bye week than Andy Reid.
Reid is a remarkable 21-3 following a regular-season bye in his career, including an 8-2 mark with Kansas City. The Chiefs have won each of their last five games following a regular-season bye, and when including all games that follow the annual break – not just the game that takes place immediately after – Kansas City is 28-5 since 2018.
It's worth pointing out that Philadelphia is also coming off of its bye week for Monday's game, meaning that both teams will be rested and ready to go for what promises to be one of the matchups of the year.
Catch the Chiefs and Eagles on Monday night at 7:20 p.m. CT on ESPN.