The Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) fought hard against one of the AFC’s best teams, the Kansas City Chiefs (2-0), before eventually falling apart and losing the game 27-20. The Eagles followed up their win in the opening week of the season by putting together a very good game for three quarters, but things fell apart and mistakes were made that the Chiefs capitalized on to get them their second win of the season.
The first half was entirely dominated by defense, as both teams combined for only nine points on three field goals. Each team opened up the game with a drive resulting in 34-yard field goal, but after that both offenses couldn’t get anything going. The Eagles secondary put together an excellent first half, effectively shutting down Chiefs’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
With under two minutes to go in the second half, Kansas City punted the football away to Philadelphia, and Darren Sproles was on his way to having a good return before he got hit and fumbled the football, which was recovered by the Chiefs’ Anthony Sherman. The Eagles defense responded well, forcing a three and out, but Kansas City remained in field goal range. The Chiefs took the lead, 6-3, on a 39-yard field goal off of the leg of kicker Cairo Santos. The Eagles got the football with only 17 seconds left in the half, and they proceeded to move the football down the field using a big catch and run from tight end Zach Ertz.
The 🏈 bounces off the DB.
And right into @ZERTZ_86's hands.
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2017
Newly signed Eagles kicker, Jake Elliott, then missed the field goal attempt wide left, leaving the game still 6-3 Chiefs going into halftime.
The first half was a battle of defenses, and the second half was the exact opposite. It didn’t take long for the first touchdown of the game to occur. The Eagles wrapped up one of their best drives of the game with Alshon Jeffery’s first touchdown as an Eagle, a 15-yard touchdown that was originally ruled short of the end zone but was reversed when Philadelphia challenged the play. With the Eagles having their first lead of the game at 10-6, the Chiefs offense responded with a big play touchdown. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt found a hole up the middle and ran it for 53 yards for a touchdown, making the score 13-10 Kansas City.
The Eagles tied the game back up on a 40-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. After stopping the Chiefs offense and forcing a punt, the Eagles had a golden opportunity to take control of the game. However, quarterback Carson Wentz was intercepted on a tipped ball by defensive tackle Chris Jones. Kansas City began the next drive on the Philadelphia 31-yard line. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed a couple of passes to his favorite target, tight end Travis Kelce, on the drive before Kelce took a shovel pass and found his way into the end zone for the touchdown, giving them a 20-13 lead.
Dodge, duck, dip, dive and TOUCHDOWN. pic.twitter.com/sJ3BUFEl1c
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 17, 2017
Kansas City’s defense forced a stop, and then the offense continued where they left off on their last drive. Alex Smith escaped the Eagles’ pass rush and extended the drive with a perfect throw to Chris Conley for a 17-yard gain. Running back Kareem Hunt then finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run, his second touchdown of the game, to increase their lead to 27-13. The Eagles offense, which had been struggling with the Chiefs’ pass rush, then drove down the field and put one in the end zone on a 9-yard touchdown catch for Nelson Agholor. With eight seconds left on the clock, the Eagles still had some life, although they were down 27-20. Rookie kicker Jake Elliott onside kicked it and the Eagles Trey Burton recovered it. However, the Eagles hail mary attempt failed and the Chiefs walked away with the 27-20 win, their second of the season.
Key stats and other storylines
- Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz had a pretty good day overall, but he made a mistake at the worst time of the game. Wentz completed 25 of his 46 pass attempts for 333 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 55 yards on four attempts. Wentz needs to make an attempt at ending these tipped ball interceptions, he has two of them in two games this season.
- Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith simply outlasted Carson Wentz in the battle of who could go longer without making a mistake. Smith completed 21 of his 28 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown. He also scrambled for 21 yards on four attempts. When Wentz began to fall apart in the fourth quarter, Smith stepped up his game and that is the reason for the Chiefs getting this win.
- The Eagles front seven, specifically the front four, had another terrific game. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was sacked four times and hit nine other times. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox had one sack, his second of the season, and linebacker Mychal Kendricks added a sack, four tackles and a quarterback hit. Kendricks, who always seems to find his way into trade discussions during the offseason, has continued his impressive play from the preseason into the regular season.
- It just seemed like the entire Eagles team ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. The offense began to get pounded by the Chiefs pass rush, and the defense began allowing big play after big play as the game fell into the Chiefs hands. Hopefully, head coach Doug Pederson will be able to work on preventing this from happening again.
- Darren Sproles was heavily involved in the Eagles game plan, rushing for 48 yards on 10 attempts and catching two passes for 30 yards. Free agent acquisition LeGarrette Blount didn’t serve a big role, or really any role, in the offense during today’s game.
- Tight end Zach Ertz (five catches, 97 yards) and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (seven catches, 92 yards, one touchdown) and Torrey Smith (four catches, 66 yards) led the way in the Eagles’ passing game. Wentz really began to develop a lot of chemistry with both Smith and Jeffery, two of his newest offensive weapons, as the game went on. Rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins hauled in his first career catches, totaling 32 yards on three catches.
- Philadelphia’s secondary really had a good game, especially when considering that they went into the game without their top cornerback (Ronald Darby) due to an ankle injury, and they lost safety Rodney McLeod early in the game due to injury. Rookie third-round pick Rasul Douglas was forced into a lot of playing time today due to the injuries, and he ultimately played a very good game. Douglas totaled four tackles and one pass deflection while being very quick to the ball all game long. The secondary as a whole limited Tyreek Hill to only four catches for 43 yards, and they did a great job covering tight end Travis Kelce (eight catches, 103 yards, one touchdown) until the fourth quarter.
- Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis was put on the injured reserve earlier in the week, resulting in the team bringing in kicker Jake Elliott. Elliott made two of three field goals on the day.
- Head coach Doug Pederson called a much better game, but he still mostly abandoned the run game in the second half. The offensive line didn’t have a good game, and the Eagles don’t really have any running back that they feel confident in using a lot, but the run game still needs to be used more. Quarterback Carson Wentz won’t last long throwing the ball 35 or more times a game behind an offensive line that is letting pressure get to the quarterback.
- The Eagles offensive line, which was touted as one of the best in the league, has continued to not play well so far this season. Specifically, left guard Isaac Seumalo has had an extremely poor start to the season. If he doesn’t turn it around soon, we could see either Chance Warmack or Stefen Wisniewski step into the starting left guard spot.
- On the Eagles injury front, safety Rodney McLeod and safety/cornerback Jaylen Watkins both left the game early due to hamstring injuries.
The Philadelphia Eagles next take the field at Lincoln Financial Field in their home opener against the rival New York Giants. The game will be televised on FOX at 1 p.m.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Drew Hallowell/www.philadelphiaeagles.com