The winningest head coach in Philadelphia Eagles' history returns to Lincoln Financial Field, but will patrol the visiting team sidelines for the first time.
It's a matchup that is perfectly fitting for prime time as the Eagles will host the Kansas City Chiefs on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football in Week 3.
Andy Reid is in his first year as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs after 14 seasons in charge of the Eagles. Reid has been part of the visiting team in the past, but it wasn't since he was a relatively unknown quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers in 1997.
Reid takes over a 2-14 team that earned the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft which was used on offensive tackle Eric Fisher. On paper, however, Reid and new general manager John Dorsey have put together a team that could contend for a playoff spot in 2013.
The first spot that Reid addressed was quarterback where the Chiefs dealt this year's second-round pick and a conditional pick in 2014 for Alex Smith, who went 19-5-1 in the past two seasons with the 49ers before losing his starting job to Colin Kaepernick. In the past two seasons, the Chiefs quartet of quarterbacks have combined for 21 touchdown passes against 38 interceptions. Smith has tossed 30 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions in that same time span. The Chiefs ranked dead last in the NFL in passing offense in 2012, but were actually fifth in rushing.
Reid inherits a talented group of skill position players including running back Jamaal Charles and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who was signed to a long-term contract extension. The Chiefs already had Tony Moeaki at tight end and added Anthony Fasano in free agency and Travis Kelce, center Jason Kelce's brother, in the draft. Up front, the Chiefs franchised left tackle Branden Albert and have Fisher lining up at right tackle.
With Reid's track record of success, the Chiefs offense will be much more competitive in 2013.
Even though the numbers weren't impressive, the Chiefs also have a foundation in place on defense. Reid decided to keep the 3-4 alignment. Up front, the Chiefs signed defensive end Mike DeVito away from the Jets and have last year's first-round pick Dontari Poe at the nose. At linebacker, the Chiefs have Tamba Hali to attack the quarterback from the edge. Hali has 35.5 sacks in the past three seasons. Derrick Johnson is a playmaker at inside linebacker. Last season, Johnson had 125 tackles, 2.0 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Kansas City strengthened its secondary in the offseason adding cornerbacks Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson to join talented corner Brandon Flowers. The Chiefs also have 2010 first-round pick Eric Berry, who bounced back in 2012 after tearing his ACL in the 2011 season opener.
The Chiefs will head into 2013 under the radar after a dismal 2012 along with the consensus that the Denver Broncos will be one of the league's elite teams. But with a foundation in place, along with a veteran quarterback, the Chiefs could benefit from their fourth-place schedule and contend for a playoff spot in 2013.