A week four match-up brought an AFC West, last placed, Kansas City Chiefs to the city of brotherly love. Coach Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia for the first time since 2013. Eagles coming off of a brutal beat down in Dallas last Monday. Both teams riding a two-game losing streak were desperate for a win. This game was more competitive than I expected, but the result was the same; a 42-30 Eagles loss. Sitting at 1-3, this team is at a crossroads with a tough stretch coming up. The Eagles have to be better to turn this start around.
Jalen Hurts looked sharp and in control of the offense, with the exception of whatever that play was right before the half. Considering this was the fourth different starting offensive lineman group in four games (just like last year, sigh), this was a pleasant surprise. Driving the ball into the red zone in three first half possessions showed promise, but unfortunately settling for field goals too often against this Chiefs team. He was able to pick apart the Chiefs secondary for majority of the game at ease, while using his feet when needed to keep the chains moving.
Javon Hargrave. He has been a force up front, amassing five sacks thus far. He continued to apply pressure up the middle for majority of the afternoon forcing Patrick Mahomes out of the pocket. DeVonta Smith sighting. The rookie’s first 100-yard day in the NFL. He looked great on routes and showed his sure hands while getting robbed of a touchdown catch. We need more games like this out of first round selection. Kenneth Gainwell. This was my favorite later round draft selection, and he continued his strong rookie season making catches out of the backfield plus a rushing touchdown. Gainwell has a very bright future as an Eagle.
(Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports)
Brief shout out to Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the Shady McCoy touchdown celebration after the first quarter touchdown. Major respect shown to the Philly great.
Penalties. I can’t know how to hear anymore about penalties. Comfortably in first place in the NFL for penalties, the birds stayed consistent gathering nine more, on pace to shatter the NFL season record. Derek Barnett is a liability along the defensive front. If he made big plays, these stupid penalties could be forgiven. Instead, he just consistently puts the team in a tough position with late, unnecessary flags. With more penalties than sacks in his career in Philly, time for a breakup.
It’s no secret how lethal the Kansas City offense is. Tyfreak Hill decided to play games with the secondary all day to the tune of 11 catches, 186 yards, and 3 touchdowns. I wouldn’t expect the defense to stifle the potent offense, but forcing no punts is not ideal. Mahomes ran his offense with ease with five passing touchdowns, converting crucial third downs all day with his feet. With the shootout fashion of this game, an additional stop or two could have turned this loss into a win.
(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The run game, or lack their of. For being a three-headed monster of running backs in Indianapolis, Coach Nick Sirianni has lost his running the ball ways. After a pathetic run game against the Dallas Cowboys, Coach started this week with a run. Unfortunately that was the start and finish of the run game. Miles Sanders is being vastly underused for the talent he has. Top 10 in yards per carry, but only gets single digit carries in games were the run game did not need to be abandoned. Inside the KC 3 on first and second down, but elect to pass the ball, resulting in a long unsuccessful third down play, leading to a field goal. The pass offensive dominated, but the birds need to be two dimensional to be a good football team.
This game aside, the ugly is the upcoming stretch of games for the Eagles. When the schedule was announced, a week 5 game in Charlotte against the Panthers seemed favorable. Now Sam Darnold (HUH?) has the Panthers playing well with the exception of the beating they just suffered in Dallas. After the trip to Carolina, a Thursday Night Football clash against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Philadelphia. Followed by road trips to Las Vegas and Detroit, completed with a battle at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. Sitting at 1-3, the Eagles will play the role of underdog in four of those fives games. Detroit could end up being a pick ’em, as both teams are struggling to get wins. In order to maintain any kind of pace with Dallas, the Eagles need three of these games. If this stretch goes poorly, Eagles fans may start looking ahead to next year.
Featured image: Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports