KANSAS CITY, Mo. – How did the Eagles win this game?
Ah, it doesn’t matter. They did. After their 21-17 win over the Chiefs in a rematch of Super Bowl LVII, they are 9-1 and in the driver’s seat in the NFC.
It wasn’t always pretty on Monday night. The attacks were repeated for most of the match, and the defense was sometimes wounded on the ground. But they made enough plays on the road to beat the Super Bowl champions.
Jalen Hurts: 14/22, 150 yards, 1 INT; 12 rushes, 29 yards, 2 TD
This was not a repeat of Hurts’ stellar Super Bowl performance. On Monday, he didn’t light up the scoreboard and there were moments of dangerous lull in offensive production. But he hit DeVonta Smith on that deep ball to set up the go-ahead touchdown. He also showed some ability to use his legs after recovering during the bye week. He rushed for a few touchdowns on this one. Hurts’ passer rating of 64.6 is pretty ugly, but this was a game where QB stats don’t tell the whole story.
DeAndre Swift: 12 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD; 3 reception 31 yards
At least one Swift appeared Monday night. It has been a long time since the Eagles produced a performance similar to what we saw against the Chiefs. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry and his 35-yard sweep was one of the biggest plays of the entire game. The rest of the running backs didn’t contribute much but in a game that was relatively low scoring, Swift did his part.
DeVonta Smith: 6 catches for 8 targets, 99 yards
With L’Jarius Sneed following up on Monday, AJ Brown had his worst production of the season. He was targeted four times and only had one catch for 8 yards. But Smith was there to make the plays. The Eagles’ other No. 1 receiver finished with 99 rushing yards — yes, that’s what bothered him — for the second time in three games. A 41-yard drive in the fourth quarter to set up the go-ahead touchdown was the play of the game. We saw a lot of WR screens in this game that didn’t work but that likely had more to do with the play.
Jack Stoll: One catch for 3 yards
The Eagles played their first game of the 2023 season without Dallas Goedert on Monday. Goedert suffered a broken forearm and the team hopes to have him back within the next month. In this game, it was Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra and Albert Okwuegbunam. The Eagles will miss Goedert’s playmaking ability. The only catch from the tight ends in this game was a 3-yarder from Stoll. Calcaterra suffered an ankle injury during the match. But the tight ends are asked to block and that’s something Stoll is good at.
It wasn’t the cleanest game for the Eagles’ offensive line. The Birds gave up five sacks for 26 yards to the Chiefs but it’s also important to note that all five of those sacks came in the first half. The Eagles were able to run the ball fairly well in this game, scoring 114 points on the floor.
Haason Reddick: 1 sack, 3 QB hits, 1 TFL
It was a strange game for the Eagles’ defensive line. Reddick started the game with a sack on Mahomes on the second play of the game but they didn’t get it again. Although an intentional grounding forced by Josh Sweat in the fourth quarter was essentially a sack. After giving up 121 yards in the first half, the Eagles gave up just 47 yards in the second half. Overall, it was a solid performance from the players up front and they looked to have worn down the Chiefs attack.
Zach Cunningham: 7 tackles, 1 PBU
The Eagles will have to move forward without Nakobi Dean, who is back on the IR after Lisfranc surgery. The good news is that the duo of Cunningham and Nicolas Morrow have been playing well together all season. Cunningham ranked second on the team in tackles and Morrow added five of his own and recovered a Travis Kelce fumble in the second half.
Kevin Byard: 8 tackles, 1 fumble, 2 PBU
Sure, there was a miscommunication in the first quarter touchdown pass from Mahomes to Justin Watson. but after that? The Eagles defensive back made some big plays with two quick snaps in the red zone. One came on a Kevin Byard interception and the other came when Bradley Roby knocked the football out of Kelce’s arms. Mahomes attempted 43 passes Monday night and finished with 177 total yards.
Britain Coffee: 3 punt returns, 53 yards, length 26
It wasn’t an ideal day for the Eagles’ special teams unit. Kadarius Toney’s 21-yard kick came back agonizingly and there was a particularly bad kick from Braden Mann. But Mann ended up averaging 47.7 on seven punts with a length of 63. Britain Coffey had 3 punt returns with an average of 17.7 and a length of 26. Josh Jobe’s pass interference on a penalty late in the fourth quarter pinned the Chiefs at their own 9-yard line. It was one of the biggest plays of the game.
For much of this game, I was confused by the offensive play call from Brian Johnson. It looked like they were focusing on the horizontal passing game and the Eagles offense was stuck in the mud. But in the end, he called some plays that worked and helped them out of trouble. Overall, this is a well-coached team. Being down by 10 points at halftime and never showing panic speaks volumes about coaching and leadership. Nick Sirianni’s team continues to rack up wins and he deserves some credit for it.
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