WHAT A WIN! - 31 Immediate Takeaways from Eagles 21, Chiefs 17
THIS TEAM FINDS A WAY!
Yeah sure, they looked like ass for large portions of the game, but it does not matter. Why? Because the perfect game doesn’t exist. JUST WIN BABY!
In this instance, they went to Kansas City, fell behind by double digits, then pitched a second-half shutout and completed a gutsy, come-from-behind win to improve to 9-1. They made plays when they needed to make plays, and when KC had to step up, Andy Reid’s guys dropped passes, coughed up the ball, and committed penalties. That’s the simple story for this one. When it really mattered, the Birds got the job done and the Chiefs didn’t.
That is one hell of a win, on the road, in a hostile environment, against the team that beat you in the Super Bowl nine months ago. GUTS! GRIT! DETERMINATION! THIS TEAM HAS IT ALL.
To the observations:
1) No Taylor Swift at the game was very nice. We got the mandatory Donna Kelce shot coming out of the first commercial break, and a sideline report in the third quarter, but avoided the cutaway overkill otherwise.
2) Haason Reddick coming off the edge on the second play of the game to absolutely hammer Patrick Mahomes PROVES that the Sodfather and his accomplices belong in prison. Lock him up! Lock him up!
3) Like you, I was not a fan of the ref spotting that Kadarius Toney catch for a first down. They gave him at least a half a yard extra.
4) The most annoying part of the first Chiefs touchdown was that they tried to run their stupid fake motion from the Super Bowl, and the Eagles actually had it covered. Unfortunately the pass rush couldn’t get home, Mahomes squirted out of the pocket, and then found his receiver after Kevin Byard got totally lost. Frustrating, because they took away the first read:
5) It was good to see Hurts move the sticks with his feet during that second drive. It was pretty significant to hit the bye week when they did, for rest reasons, but they revealed later on the broadcast that he did have a brace on his knee for protection, despite practicing without it this past week.
6) Crappy conditions obviously. Looked horrendous on TV to start. The Birds committed to establishing the ground game on the first two drives, giving D’Andre Swift 7 carries that he turned into 31 yards and a score. Olamide Zaccheaus totally got away with a hold on the touchdown, but the refs didn’t throw the flag. We’ll call it even after the bogus spot on the Chiefs’ first TD drive, and the no-call when Josh Sweat was impeded coming off the corner.
7) Jason Kelce was possessed on that second drive. Holy cow! He opened up a huge hole for Hurts on the QB draw, then he just ragdolled the shit out of some dude on the big Swift run that took the Birds into the red zone:
At 36 years old. Jason Kelce is amazing pic.twitter.com/hG54iR5saD
— Brenden Deeg (@BrendenDeeg_) November 21, 2023
8) Swift had a great second series. So what did the Eagles’ coaching staff do on the third drive? Give the ball to Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell! Two carries for five yards before the Hurts interception, which was really goofy to watch live. Joe Buck just completely stopped talking for a few seconds while A.J. Brown stripped the ball. Then they couldn’t get a decent initial replay angle, so we had to wait until after the commercial break and the first Chiefs play to get the resolution to the sequence.
It wasn’t as bad as the way FOX dumps out to break, but still annoying because we had to sit there for a few minutes before getting the explanation that Brown’s shin had touched L’Jarius Sneed when he was on the ground.
9) Tell ya what, Byard redeemed himself in a big way with that red zone interception. He needed that one badly. Huge play!
10) I’d like to shout out the ESPN music guy, who played Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” and Snoop Dogg’s “Who Am I” in the second quarter.
11) That series of Chris Jones sacks was pretty ugly. On the first one, they pushed him out to the right and he just kept circling towards Hurts, who crumpled. Just a four-man rush there, nothing crazy. On the second one, they were trying to set up a screen and couldn’t even execute it because Hurts was flushed before Gainwell could even get into position.
12) Horrendous missed tackles on that 21-yard Toney punt return. They had him completely bottled up.
13) Fletcher Cox not being able to get Mahomes down before the two-minute warning was significant. He had him about three yards behind the line of scrimmage, which would have set up 2nd and 13. Instead, Mahomes scrambled for 14 yards all the way to the Philly 25.
14) There was a lot of stuff on both sides the refs just weren’t calling. A lot of grabbing/holding especially. They probably could have thrown a flag on every other play.
15) Not much to say about the Travis Kelce touchdown, other than fuck off to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for setting a great pick on the play. The Chiefs run that as well as anybody. I guess the frustration is that it feels like the Eagles get called for that and other teams don’t, but you just gotta sell it to the refs.
16) Abomination on both sides of the ball before halftime. The offense took a huge sack on the first play and went three-and-out, killing just 60 seconds of clock and giving the ball back to the Chiefs at the Philly 46. Then the defense had KC in 3rd and 15, gave up a first down, and got flagged for encroachment while trying to get back to the line of scrimmage. That allowed for a cheap field goal that never should have happened.
17) Did you see Jalen Carter dive under the KC line? He was trying to intercept the spike. Never seen that before. I love it. I encourage it.
18) Ridiculous 3 and out to start the second half. Two runs followed by a QB draw on 3rd and 7 that went nowhere.
19) Mahomes was super-annoying on the feet through three quarters. He wasn’t necessarily ripping off huge gain, but just evading pressure and buying himself time, avoiding tackles and keeping plays alive.
20) The KC crowd was LOUD on television. That’s a real environment out there.
21) Disastrous third down zone read with Swift losing yards and taking them out of Brotherly Shove territory.
22) MUCH better play calling on the first scoring drive of the second half. They picked up nine on an RPO, then a Brotherly Shove followed a huge gain on a Swift reverse/end around. They took an end zone shot to Brown afterward, followed by some orbit motion, play-action, and a five-yard pass to DeVonta Smith coming out of the backfield.
Then, on the TD run, Hurts got through despite KC sending a lot of pressure. He got in behind Jordan Mailata here:
Chiefs blitz and Brian Johnson calls up a QB draw for Jalen Hurts. Three point game pic.twitter.com/AGQtaL7xrS
— Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior) November 21, 2023
23) How good would the Chiefs be with a legit WR1? There were three plays where they had the Eagles beat deep, and couldn’t connect because of some squirrely-looking routes and a brutal drop on the third one (Valdes-Scantling). This version of KC kind of reminds me of the pre-Terrell Owens Birds.
24) Kelce fumbled in the red zone because he was thinking about Taylor Swift. Distracted!
25) No clue what Brian Johnson was doing with two straight bubble/receiver screens to begin that fourth quarter drive. What the hell was that? The defense battles their asses off to get the ball back, and you respond with THAT?
26) That third down pass from Mahomes, the one with the Eagles sending the house? Incredible throw. He’s so good.
27) Andy Reid with a COWARDLY PUNT! 19 yards net of field position.
28) They kept running 10 personnel throughout this game. Four receivers and a running back, no tight end. Troy Aikman explained it in the fourth quarter. There was a little bit of Jack Stoll usage, but not a ton.
29) That game-winning touchdown drive was something else. The huge toss to DeVonta Smith set up the score, but they kept going to that screen pass and found the success again going to the MIDDLE with it, instead of trying to hit the receivers on the boundaries. Say what you will about Brian Johnson’s play calling in totality, but they kept trying those screens and QB draws specifically, because they must have liked what they saw on tape even if they weren’t executing. When they did hit on those plays, they hit them BIG.
30) That was a TOUGH call against the Chiefs on the Brandon Graham/false start sequence. The Fletcher Cox roughing the passer will suffice as a make-up call:
Fletcher Cox called for roughing the passer on Patrick Mahomes. pic.twitter.com/JlaLmKJMyT
— Tanner Phifer (@TannerPhiferNFL) November 21, 2023
31) This almost killed me, but I survived, and so did you, and the Eagles are 9-1:
Marquez Valdes-Scantling dropped what would’ve given the Chiefs the lead 😬
— PFF (@PFF) November 21, 2023