This week's edition of "Monday Night Football" is a Super Bowl rematch. The last time we saw the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles on the field together, it ended with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Co. emerging victorious and being crowned champions. Jalen Hurts had arguably the best game of his career in defeat, but did lose a crucial fumble that turned into a Kansas City touchdown.
Each of these teams has changed quite a bit since that last matchup, but what hasn't changed is that they still look like two of the best squads in the league. It should be fascinating -- and hopefully exciting -- to watch them square off once again.
Will the Chiefs defend their title, or will the Eagles take a measure of revenge? We'll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here's a look at how you can watch the game.
How to watch
Date: Monday, Nov. 20 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Missouri)
TV: ABC/ESPN | Stream on fubo (try for free)
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Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Chiefs -2.5, O/U 45.5 (via Sportsline consensus odds)
When the Eagles have the ball
Unlike the Super Bowl, the matchup with elite units on both sides is actually this one.
Kansas City's defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season, with Steve Spagnuolo's unit ranking fourth in yards and first in points allowed per game, as well as third in FTN's defensive DVOA and fifth in TruMedia's version of EPA/play. The Eagles, despite often looking off-kilter, still check in fifth in yards and third in points, as well as seventh in offensive DVOA and third in EPA/play. So yeah, this should be fun!
The strength of Kansas City's defense is its work against opposing passing attacks. Chiefs opponents have completed just 60.7% of their passes at an average of 6.1 yards per attempt, with the NFL's ninth-worst passer rating and third-lowest EPA/play average. The defense has excelled at taking away big plays, with opponents generating an explosive gain (20-plus yards) on just 6.2% of dropbacks -- the fifth-lowest rate in the league, per TruMedia.
They've generated pressure fairly often (35.6% vs. a league average of 34.6%) and that has contributed to this performance, but the secondary has been fantastic. Cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and L'Jarius Sneed have emerged as one of the NFL's best and most versatile duos, combining to allow a 63.5% completion rate, a mere 6.7 yards per attempt, and just one touchdown on 85 targets.
They'll be matched up with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in this one, making it one of their toughest tests of the year. Brown has been absolutely on fire since Week 3, racking up receiving lines of 9-131-0, 9-172-2,6-127-0, 7-131-0,10-137-1, 8-130-2, and 6-77-1 in his last seven games. Smith has been less involved this season than he was a year ago, but that could change with Dallas Goedert out after fracturing his forearm in the Eagles' win over the Cowboys before their bye week. Sneed has a bit more size (6-foot-1) than McDuffie (5-foot-11), so it wouldn't be surprising to see him draw the first shot against Brown, even if McDuffie has been a bit stronger in coverage this year.
Spagnuolo loves himself a good blitz package, and Hurts has at times struggled against blitzing defenses this year: he's 69 of 109 for 852 yards, five touchdowns, and five interceptions when facing extra rushers. The issue with sending a blitz is what happens when it does not hit home and Hurts can escape from the pocket. Per TruMedia, he has scrambled away from pressure an astronomical 18.9% of the time, averaging 8.1 yards per scamper. We should expect Spags to send the heat, but perhaps do so selectively in an effort to fool Hurts, rather than speed up his process all game long.
Philly, though, could and perhaps should try to base its game plan around the run. It's been the easier (relatively) way to move the ball against the Chiefs, and the Eagles have the benefit of arguably football's best offensive line, arguably its most mobile quarterback, and of course, the "Tush Push." D'Andre Swift has not run all that efficiently in recent weeks (he hasn't topped 4.1 yards per carry since Week 3), but the Eagles are one of the few teams that can be content rushing for just a few yards a pop and feel confident that they can convert a new set of downs anyway. Playing keep-away against this Chiefs team is a strong strategy even if their offense hasn't been as good this year, because neither has the Eagles defense.
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When the Chiefs have the ball
Philadelphia remains one of the NFL's toughest teams to run against, checking in second in rush defense DVOA and yielding only 3.7 yards per rush. Opponents have gained 12 or more yards on a mere 5.0% of their carries, the fifth-lowest share in the league. The Kansas City run game has also struggled in comparison to what it looked like when these two teams last met: Chiefs backs rushed 19 times for 110 yards and a touchdown during the Super Bowl, with Isiah Pacheco leading the way. This year's Chiefs are averaging only 4.1 yards per carry, and nearly a quarter of their rush attempts have been stoned at or behind the line of scrimmage, per TruMedia.
Luckily for the Chiefs, Philadelphia's pass defense has actually been quite flammable this year. The Eagles rank 22nd in pass defense DVOA, and crucially, they have been the worst defense in the NFL against tight ends. Opponent tight ends have caught 43 passes for 438 yards and five scores, and they have not faced a particularly challenge slate of tight ends. With the Eagles rarely investing heavy resources at linebacker or safety, covering the middle of the field has been a relative weakness for a while, and it has become exacerbated this year by the linebacker and safety play, as well as injuries as those positions.
Travis Kelce was strangely uninvolved (3 catches for 14 yards on 4 targets against the Dolphins) in the Chiefs' final game prior to their Week 10 bye, and that should change on Monday night. It also would not be surprising to see the Chiefs finally condense their sprawling wide receiver rotation, if only to get explosive rookie Rashee Rice more involved in an offense that needs an infusion of juice.
Rice ranks 18th in the entire league in yards per route run, per Pro Football Focus, out of 219 players who have run at least 100 routes. He's often been at his best in the slot, and the Eagles have given up the second-most receptions (86) to players lined up in the slot. They're also tied for the most receiving yards allowed to slot players, despite having played one fewer game than the team they are tied with. The Chiefs have been uncharacteristically unexplosive (if that's a word) offensively this season, and getting Rice more involved could help them.
Mahomes played against Eagles defensive coordinator Sean Desai last season when Desai was in Seattle, and completed 16 of 28 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns, with Kelce generating the majority of that production (6-113 on eight targets).
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Eagles 27
Kansas City has the benefit of being at home for this rematch, and also has a player in Kelce who the Eagles are just not equipped to keep in check. We're betting on that outweighing the Philly offense's advantage in the run game.
I like my pick for this game, but you might like Emory Hunt's better. He's our gambling guru over at SportsLine.com and he's been on roll with his Eagles predictions, going 40-25-1 with his last 66 against-the-spread picks. Anyone who has followed him is WAY UP! If you want to check out his pick, you can do that right here.