(Photo credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)
Whether you call it the Andy Reid Bowl, the Kelce Clash or perhaps Super Bowl 57.5, fireworks are expected when the Kansas City Chiefs play host to the Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday night showdown.
Both teams are coming off bye weeks. The Eagles (8-1) sport the best record in the NFL. The Chiefs (7-2) have the best record in the AFC and have swept the last four meetings, including 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.
It has been one of the season's most anticipated matchups since schedules were released in May, and neither side has done anything to dampen the enthusiasm.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been sacked only 12 times through nine games and should have ample time to pick apart the Eagles' 29th-ranked secondary. The Eagles do have the ability to control time of possession and stay within striking distance, but the absence of tight end Dallas Goedert to a fractured forearm is also a concern.
Prediction: Chiefs 27, Eagles 23
Kansas City has held steady as a 2.5-point favorite at BetMGM, where it has been backed by 60 percent of the spread-line bets and 70 percent of the money. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's moneyline has moved from 110 to 125, which has drawn 70 and 64 percent of the action, respectively.
The Over/Under market opened at 48.5 but has dropped three points to 45.5 with the public backing the Over with 59 percent of the bets and 72 percent of the handle.
Travis Kelce Anytime TD Score (-115 at BetMGM): This has been the most popular player prop at the book, and for good reason. Kelce has scored in four of his first eight games this season, and Monday night is another clash against his brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce. Travis Kelce caught all six passes targeted to him for 81 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LVII.
Both quarterbacks shined when these teams clashed in the Super Bowl nine months ago in Glendale, Ariz. Mahomes, playing on an injured ankle, threw two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and set up the winning field goal with a gutsy 26-yard scramble. He won his second Super Bowl MVP award.
Jalen Hurts was just as effective. He completed 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown and rushed 70 yards for three touchdowns. He used his legs to pick up the game-tying score -- and the two-point conversion -- with 5:15 remaining.
Both are in the MVP conversation again this season. Hurts has completed a career-high 68.9 percent of his passes for 2,347 yards with 15 touchdowns but also eight interceptions. He has seven rushing scores, most courtesy of the much discussed "Brotherly Shove."
"I'm a big fan of his," Reid said Thursday about Hurts. "He's a really good football player. He can throw the ball. He can run the ball. ... He always seems to be in control."
Philadelphia's biggest weakness is a spotty secondary that likely has Mahomes licking his chops. Only the Chicago Bears (20) and Washington Commanders (21) have allowed more touchdown passes than the Eagles with 19. The team ranks 28th in the NFL against the pass, allowing 257.0 yards per game.
Mahomes is on pace for another strong year with 2,442 yards and 17 touchdowns but has also thrown eight picks. He bounced back from a Week 8 loss at Denver when he was under the weather to take down the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, tossing two TD passes in the first half and hanging on for a 21-14 win.
Mahomes is once again relying heavily on Travis Kelce, who leads the team in catches (57) and receiving yards (597).
The Eagles placed linebacker Nakobe Dean (foot) on injured reserve Thursday, and tight end Dallas Goedert (fractured forearm) will miss the game. Meanwhile, safety Justin Evans has been limited with a knee injury.
The Chiefs enter the game extremely healthy, with only running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire missing practice time this week due to an illness.
Reid is the winningest head coach in the history of both franchises, logging 140 victories (including playoffs) for the Eagles from 1999-2012 and 136 since taking over the Chiefs in 2013.
THEY SAID IT
Including the Super Bowl, Travis Kelce's Chiefs are 4-0 against Jason Kelce's Eagles.
"I'm motivated to win the game. I don't need the Super Bowl to motivate me to beat my brother or Andy Reid. I've never beat them in my career and I'm maybe motivated by that, but I don't buy into Super Bowl revenge games," Jason Kelce said.
"Each season is different. This team is not the same. That team is not the same. Nothing that goes out there and happens on Monday night is going to at all change or make anything different about what happened last year."
--Field Level Media