The Eagles fell to the Chiefs 27-20 in a game that wasn’t quite that close yet still came down to the final snap. If you’re into moral victories, there’s a positive to take away from going on the road against a good, well rounded and well coached team that had extra rest and going blow for blow with them for 55 minutes. But they lost, so there are more negatives to take away from the game. In other words, there’s winners and losers regardless of the outcome. Let’s review.
The pass rush
Last week’s strong performance was no fluke, as the Eagles had 4 sacks and a lot more hits and hurries. Five different Eagles have gotten a sack so far this season, the depth of the line and Jim Schwartz’s new found blitzing are getting it done. Eli Manning is going to have a long afternoon next week.
Tyreek Hill was supposed to light the Eagles secondary up, and when Rodney McLeod left the game with injury it seemed certain he would. But the secondary (and special teams) kept Hill in check, ending his six game streak of scoring a touchdown. Rasul Douglas had an impressive debut, begging the question of why was he a healthy scratch last week?
That was Kendricks’ best game under Schwartz. He was in pre-season form with a sack, two tackles for loss and a touchdown saving special teams tackle. It took a year, but Jim Schwartz has found a way to use him, and Kendricks is giving him reason to keep playing him.
Like last week, Wentz had some plays he’d like back, but overall had another solid game. This season is all about Wentz’s progress, and after two games, he’s not only clearly making it, but he’s been consistent, which is vital. He got Alshon Jeffery going early, used his legs wisely and effectively, and again spread the ball around both all over the field and to a variety of receivers with nine different Eagles catching a pass.
In his debut on offense, Hollins had a nice game. Two of his three catches were for a first down, and his third set up 2nd and short. It didn’t light the world on fire, but it was a performance that warrants more playing time next week. Not bad for the rookie.
The offensive line
A game to forget, particularly by Isaac Seumalo. Seumalo didn’t have a good debut at left guard last week, but you could maybe chalk that up to it being his first game there against a divisional rival pass rush that has given the Eagles problems. The Chiefs have a great pass rush, but two straight bad games is concerning. The rest of the line didn’t help him out, not just giving up sacks but assisting in a Carson Wentz fumble and giving running backs nowhere to go.
The running game
Expect Carson Wentz to be among the league leaders in pass attempts again as the Eagles can’t get anything going on the ground. LeGarrette Blount was supposed to add an edge to the run game, he had one carry that was called back on a penalty. He had as many total yards as you did. Wendell Smallwood was supposed to see an increased role, which he technically did with four touches, but was invisible, he gained one yard from scrimmage. The offensive line deserves some blame for the running woes, but it starts with the running backs, who are holding the offense back.
Agholor followed up a great debut with no production until the final seconds of the game.
“The 60 minute game”
There’s no shame in losing to the Chiefs, who are now 45-24 under Andy Reid. But like some losses last year, the Eagles were in this game until late and couldn’t close it out. They had a slight lead in the second half and the defense was playing strong. Good teams put away bad teams and play other good teams close, and after two games the Eagles have done exactly just that, so this could be just a blip. Considering their issues putting away games last year though, store the 4th quarter in your memory banks.
As the kids say, “not a good look.”
You gotta go when you gotta go.