The season’s first loss is a pill that’s never easy to swallow, and the week leading up to the next game always feels just a little bit longer.
This was a winnable game for the Eagles, marred by mistakes, injuries, and questionable coaching decisions. Let’s see what they’re saying about the Birds’ week two setback to the Chiefs.
Philly.com’s Paul Domowitch graded every area of the Eagles on Tuesday and gave the birds a C overall:
Yeah, it was a tough road game that everyone had put an “L’’ next to before the season. With the exception of the long TD run they gave up to Kareem Hunt, the defense played pretty well. But the offense has a number of issues, including a non-existent run game and a continued propensity for third-and-longs.
Speaking of grades, Pro Football Focus broke down the game and doled out their own marks, with Rasul Douglas receiving the highest rating of any Eagle. Carson Wentz received a 50.5 and these remarks:
Carson Wentz struggled mightily against the Chiefs defense, the only real success the Eagles offense passing game had was the last drive where the Chiefs played soft coverage and a lucky 53-yard pass which bounced off a Chiefs defender’s arm into Zach Ertz’s arms. When Wentz was pressured (10 passes) he only completed 2 passes for 10 yards.
ESPN Eagles writer Tim McManus analyzed the shunning of LeGarrette Blount and why it’s a bad thing:
The early returns have not been good, but where can they turn if they turn away from Blount? Sproles is 34 and cannot be used as a workhorse at this stage of his career, Smallwood has not shown himself to be a reliable option to this point and undrafted rookie Corey Clement is no sure bet. Start cutting Blount out, and you run the risk of alienating a veteran presence in the room without a sound Plan B.
The Eagles are in this bind largely because of the front office’s inability to hit on running backs in recent years. The disastrous decision to trade away LeSean McCoy falls on former coach Chip Kelly, as well as owner Jeffrey Lurie for allowing him to do it, but executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has had a couple of offseasons to try and build the position back up.
CBS Philly listed the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Sunday’s contest and this falls in the “ugly” column:
Left guard Isaac Seumalo had a tough time, which manifested itself in the Eagles’ third-and-10 at their 25 with just over 3 minutes left in the half. Dee Ford bull rushed over Seumalo for a 9-yard loss.
The lackluster performance by the offensive line led the Eagles to throw the ball often. One of the bright spots resulting from that was the emergence of Alshon Jeffery after basically being invisible in the season opener. Bleacher Report listed winners and losers from the game and the former Chicago Bear was a winner:
Jeffery finished with seven catches for 92 yards and a score, hauling in an impressive 16-yard catch for the game’s first touchdown.
Lining up against Chiefs No. 2 corner Terrance Mitchell, Jeffery could hardly be stopped and showed the type of dominance Eagles fans expected when he came to town this offseason.
As strong as the Eagles’ passing offense looked in the opener, Jeffery’s disappearing act for much of the game had Philly fans worried. But he refused to give himself credit for his strong personal outing, per CSN Philly’s Dave Zangaro: “They won the game. None of that s–t matters.”
Jeffery is right; the Chiefs did win the game, and because of that win, Sports Illustrated’s MMQB moved KC to the top spot in their NFL Power Rankings. The Eagles are 14th. Meanwhile, ESPN has Philly dropping from 9th to 15th in its Power Rankings. They did, however, praise Wentz:
How many Eagles quarterbacks have thrown for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of the first two games of the season? Four. Ron Jaworski (1982), Randall Cunningham (1994), Donovan McNabb (2006) and Carson Wentz (2017). Wentz does not appear to be primed for a “sophomore slump.”
On the Chiefs’ side of things, Kansas City’s KSHB had several local media personalities dissect the game. They seem to be lauding the Chiefs, with one even saying:
“I don’t know that the Chiefs have had a more promising 2-0 start!”
SB Nation named Andy Reid one of the winners among all the reunion match-ups in week 2 and took a swipe at Philly fans in the process:
Eagles fans used to complain about Reid not running the ball enough (what don’t they complain about though?) during his days in Philly. That’s been the key to his success this season with the Chiefs, thanks to electric rookie Kareem Hunt, who picked up two touchdowns and 109 yards from scrimmage.
On the topic of Reid, Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City-Star complimented the head coach for his role in the Chiefs’ win:
But I also think we should talk about the head coach.
Andy Reid has brought a steadiness, and reliability to the Chiefs, and anyone old enough to read this is old enough to appreciate that. At halftime against the Eagles, the Chiefs had 130 yards. They were being pushed back, outgained, and outmuscled.
Based on reaction, this was a big win for the Chiefs and a telling loss for the Eagles, who have now several glaring issues. The good thing for the Birds is that they face the Giants next, a team reeling from an embarrassing Monday Night Football loss. The home opener is nearly upon us, and if the Eagles fall on Sunday, the boos will be harsh and the media reaction in next week’s post could be even worse.