There are a lot of interesting storylines for a matchup that takes place once every four years. The Eagles continue preparing for Sunday's game at Kansas City. Here's what you need to know for Thursday, September 14.
1. Doug Pederson's Difficult Task
Eight and three. That's Andy Reid's record against his former assistants. But Doug Pederson presents a different challenge. He's the first former player to play for Reid to take on the winningest head coach in Eagles history.
"Obviously it's a tough task. His teams are always well prepared. They're a disciplined group. You see that, very consistent in how they go about their preparation during the week. And listen, it just comes down to the preparation and hard work for them, and that's what he's done in his past. And I think sometimes, in my position, I don't want to put any added stress or pressure on myself to go perform.
"I have to continue to study the tape and plan accordingly and then put our team in positions, again, just like last week. It's that chess match and moving our pieces against their pieces. And for me, I just can't get caught up in that record. I can't get caught up on who's on the other sideline, things of that nature. I just have to focus on my job and getting our team ready to play."
2. The Journey Of Jake Elliott
Jake Elliott didn't consider staying in Cincinnati after the Eagles expressed interest in signing him off the Bengals' practice squad. The rookie fifth-round pick out of Memphis will make his NFL debut Sunday against Kansas City.
"I think it’s going to be interesting," Elliott said. "I think it will all be fine. I've got a couple of preseason games under the belt. Obviously, this is going to be a little different, having your first NFL regular-season game. I'm excited and I'm looking forward to it."
Elliott was a two-time All-AAC Special Teams Player of the Year and an All-America selection in 2015.
Dave Spadaro looks at the kicker position since David Akers, this year's Eagles Hall of Fame inductee, left Philadelphia.
3. Ronald Darby Does His Terminator Impression
The Eagles' cornerback showed up in the locker room at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday using a scooter to move around after he dislocated his right ankle in Sunday's win over Washington. He received great news that there is no ligament damage and the injury does not require surgery.
"I'll be back," Darby told reporters.
The timeline is 4-6 weeks, the cornerback said. Dave Spadaro has more.
4. Get To Know WR Mack Hollins
The rookie wide receiver has a thing for exotic animals. His grandfather once owned a lion.
"It's not one of those chill-in-the-house lions like on TV where they're sleeping with it," Hollins recalled. "I met the lion one time. My dad's dad was the one who actually had the lion and we saw it one time when I was maybe 11 or 12. That was the last time I saw it."
The Rockville, Maryland native breeds African Cichlid fish and owns two pet snakes, a Sunglow Boa named Nikiti and a Ball Python.
"I feed them once a week, one of them went 12 weeks without eating," he said. "They don't have to be fed all the time. All of their heating is automatic so I can just leave them there during Training Camp and not have to worry about them. Whereas a dog, or really any other animal, you'd have to feed every day."
5. Carson Wentz And Miss America Were Former Schoolmates
It's been a big couple of years for the state of North Dakota.
Last year, Carson Wentz was the No. 2 overall pick of the NFL Draft and became the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, leading the team to a 3-0 record for the month of September while earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month honors. Sales for his jersey ranked seventh among all NFL players for the 2017 offseason.
On Sunday, shortly after Wentz led the Eagles to a win over the Washington Redskins, his former schoolmate was named Miss America.
Cara Mund, who graduated from Bismarck Century High School one year after the Eagles' quarterback, won the prestigious title and cited Wentz as inspiration.
"If Carson Wentz can do it, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund can become Miss America," she said in her acceptance speech.
Wentz was proud to see North Dakota in the spotlight again.
"It can be done, no matter where you come from, no matter what it is that you're pursuing in life," he said on Wednesday.
I don't expect Wentz to turn into Randall Cunningham anytime soon.
6. Blanket Coverage
7. Well Said, BG
8. The Total Package