ESPN Thursday Night Football is a doozy tonight, and not necessarily for the on-field action. Tonight’s Thursday Night Football game on ESPN features the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, an interesting matchup of offense vs. defense, but an even more interesting matchup between head coaches. Andy Reid is roaming the sideline for the Chiefs, having been unceremoniously relieved of his post as Eagles head coach after the 2012 season. His replacement, NFL rookie Chip Kelly, will lead an Eagles team that’s bound to have mixed emotions going up against their former leader. If you can’t watch tonight’s Thursday Night Football game on TV or via ESPN app on Xbox 360, make sure you watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online live streaming using one of several different methods.
Before logging on to watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online live streaming, you should know more about what’s in store. Here’s a quick Eagles vs. Chiefs game preview. Tonight’s game pits the NFL’s second-ranked offense (Eagles) against the league’s third-rated defense (Chiefs), setting the stage for an epic showdown of first teams. Michael Vick has had a good season so far, following-up a solid Monday Night Football season opener against the Redskins and Robert Griffin III (RG3) with a 428-yard, two-touchdown performance last week against the Chargers. Vick and his Eagles lost that game 30-33, so their second-ranked offense is bound to have some extra motivation going into the 8:25pm Eastern / 5:25pm Pacific ESPN Thursday Night Football kickoff tonight.
The Chiefs may have something to say about that, though, as Kansas City’s defense is poised to give the Eagles’ offense its biggest test this season. The Eagles have won the past three times these teams have met, but their last game was Aug. 27, 2010, and it was only a three-point Eagles victory. This year the Chiefs go into the game with a 2-0 record, seemingly giving them the nod as a favorite. But perhaps because of the offense/defense matchup, Andy Reid returns to Philadelphia as a road underdog. Interestingly, the Odds Shark NFL picks computer says the betting line is -3 for the Eagles. So in other words, all bets are off, so you’ll really want to watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online live streaming tonight to see how it pans out.
While the Chiefs defense is the big on-field story for KC, new quarterback Alex Smith — who came to the Chiefs from the 49ers once Colin Kaepernick came on strong — has brought some stability to the quarterback position. In each of the Chiefs’ first two games, Smith has thrown two touchdown passes with no interceptions. No, those aren’t exactly Michael Vick-like numbers, but they’re a step in the right direction. As noted in this preview on Philly.com, however, “this game will likely be decided by which team can control the tempo. Kansas City isn’t built for a shootout and could end up falling behind if Philadelphia gets its track-meet offense going.”
Looking at each team’s overall stats for the season, the Eagles offense shapes up just as you’d expect. They’ve outgained the Chiefs 477 yards to 302 yards per game, have an average per-game point total of 31.5 compared to the Chiefs’ 22.5, and trail the Chiefs in total time of possession (1,571 minutes to 1,791 minutes). Time of possession is often an indicator of NFL success, but Chip Kelly’s offensive system moves fast, just as it did at the University of Oregon, and the coach has said he expects it to move even faster. With that in mind, the time of possession discrepancy here is completely expected and right in line with the Eagles’ plan.
But stats be damned. The intrigue of tonight’s game lies squarely in the coaches. As noted on ESPN’s Double Coverage of tonight’s game, “Yes, Andy Reid would love to beat his former team Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field. And yes, Eagles coach Chip Kelly would like to make a statement by defeating his predecessor using the offensive stars Reid assembled in the first place.” Jim Rome even got in on the story, saying that while he wouldn’t officially tell Philly fans to not boo the man who coached the Eagles for 14 years, he himself wouldn’t do it. To their credit, both coaches have played down the drama, but it hasn’t kept the rest of the known world from taking note and/or taking sides.
Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher, the first overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, is off to a rough start. And with running back Jamaal Charles only touching the ball 43 times this season (32 carries, 11 receptions) Chiefs QB Alex Smith has his work cut out for him. Fortunately, the Eagles defense is horrid, so the Chiefs may stand a chance of leaving tonight’s game 3-0. You’d better believe, though, that Chip Kelly will have is 1-1 Eagles primed for a Thursday Night Football fight, even if his players will be taking it to their former head coach. If you can’t catch the game on ESPN or via the Xbox 360’s ESPN app, make sure you watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online live streaming tonight. Here are a few links to do so: NFL Game Pass and Verizon’s NFL Mobile App. You may also be able to watch ESPN Thursday Night Football online live streaming on the NFL Network‘s own page, although if you can’t make the TV broadcast, we recommend the ESPN app on Xbox 360. Note that it does require a paid ESPN membership to access the live stream online.