3 things we learned as Eagles frantic comeback falls short in Kansas City
The Eagles nearly pulled off an impressive upset over the Chiefs but fell short after an ugly fourth quarter.
The Eagles defense looked impressive early, and the offense held its own against the fiery Chiefs — but a pair of unlucky turnovers at the worst possible times and a defense that crumbled in the fourth quarter led Kansas City to a 27-20 victory in Week 2.
Philly made a bevy of incredible defensive plays, shutting down Tyreek Hill and, aside from one 53-yard screw up, shut down Kareem Hint as well but were unable to make a play in crunch time. The Birds, as they have been known to do, abandoned the run, with just 17 attempts — four of them Carson Wentz scrambles (for 55 yards) and threw the ball 46 times. The Chiefs were then able to handle a one-dimensional second-half offense and hauled in the victory to move to 2-0 after beating the Patriots in Week 1.
A stout defense crumbled down the stretch and gave way to a setback in game No. 2 for Philly. Here's what we saw in the loss:
1. Not so full defense
The Eagles' defense was once again spectacular against the otherwise high-powered Chiefs offensive attack. The four-man rush got consistent pressure on Alex Smith, netting four sacks and many more hurries. The linebacker play was also surprisingly potent, as once outcast Mychal Kendricks has shown to be a speedy and potent combatant against the run and a solid match against the pass.
On several key drives, a bend-not-break defense held the Chiefs to just six first half points — three of them coming after a miscue on a Darren Sproles punt return that resulted in a lost fumble.
They were not completely immune to Kareem Hunt, however, as the rookie running back broke open a 53-yard run on a draw to earn the Chiefs a third quarter 13-10 lead. Hunt had seven yards at the half finished with 81 yards as the Eagles' defense fell apart in the final quarter. The big play, as it was last year, undid the Eagles once again as an overall more impressive stat sheet couldn't overshadow Kansas City's timely success when push came to shove.
2. From Wentz he came
Carson Wentz showed he belongs in the NFL even in defeat, as he held on against an onslaught from the Kansas City defense. Wentz got 16 yards of his 333 in the game on his first touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery, putting Philly ahead 10-6 in the third quarter. Wentz led an offense that compiled 27 first downs — in contrast to the Chiefs' 16, leading to a big advantage in possession time.
Wentz was short changed three points when rookie kicker Jake Elliott missed his second career field goal at the tail end of a ridiculous first half bomb to Zach Ertz — a pass he caught after a big bounce off the arm of a streaking defender.
Though he didn't turn the ball over, Wentz fumbled for the second and third times this season (after losing the ball 14 times his rookie year) showing that his biggest major weakness remains ball-control. A garbage-time touchdown to Nelson Agholor padded the stats with eight seconds left.
3. Close call
Prior to kickoff Sunday afternoon the Eagles were 0-21 in the last 21 games when trailing at the start of the fourth quarter. In a shockingly defensive battle, things were tight when the final quarter began with the Eagles trailing by a field goal. Elloitt drilled a 40-yard field goal to tie the game at 13-apiece just inside 12 minutes and the slate was wiped clear.
A bizarre pass that bounced off of Justin Houston's helmet resulted in an unlucky interception at the Eagles 30-yard line as Chris Jones secured an interception to set up a shovel pass to Travis Kelce that would result in a leaping touchdown — yet another remarkable play in a highlight-filled duel.
A ferocious Kansas City defensive stand held Wentz to a sack and two incomplete passes as the Eagles tried to respond. After a punt, the Chiefs rode Hunt into the red zone where the back found his way into the end zone just before the two-minute warning to ice the game, with a 27-13 advantage. Following a successful onside kick from Elliott, the Eagles prayer of a Hail Mary was tipped out of the end zone to end a near-miracle.