I’m struggling to find the right words to type after that one.
Things were look pretty hopeless at one point. The Eagles were down 17 to 7 at halftime (funny enough, the same deficit the Chiefs faced against the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII). They were getting thoroughly outcoached. They were getting uncharacteristically outclassed in the trenches. It felt like the Chiefs might break the game open in the second half, especially after the Birds started the third quarter with an uninspired three-and-out.
Ultimately, though, the Eagles did what they’ve done for such a long stretch with Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts at the helm ... by just finding a way to win. They simply don’t say die.
Make no mistake: the Chiefs certainly helped the Eagles by making a lot of mistakes that aided Philly’s comeback chances. Still, kudos to the Birds for capitalizing. It’s pretty crazy that Sean Desai’s unit pitched a SHUT OUT in the second half.
Regardless of how they got the win, that the Eagles DID emerge victorious is a big deal. Beating Andy Reid coming off the bye? Winning at Arrowhead? It’s just not easy to do. Most importantly, the Birds did not lose ground in their effort to repeat as the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.
They’re far from perfect but they just win. The Eagles are inevitable.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer, per usual. The Chiefs’ offense began the game with the ball. Patrick Mahomes’ first pass was incomplete after a scramble and miscommunication. Haason Reddick did what the Eagles could not do in the Super Bowl and sacked Mahomes for a big loss. Facing 3rd-and-19, the Chiefs ran a screen for a short gain to go three-and-out. Awesome start by Sean Desai’s unit!
Haason Reddick has recorded a sack in each of his last 3 games. He also has a sack in 4 consecutive road games, which is tied for the longest streak by an Eagle since Hugh Douglas in 2000 (5 games). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) November 21, 2023
- A bad Chiefs punt allowed the Eagles to take over at their own 43-yard line. The Eagles’ first play was a D’Andre Swift carry for three yards. Another Swift run brought up third down. Facing 3rd-and-6, Jalen Hurts held the ball and avoided a couple sacks before eventually being brought down in the backfield. Disappointing to not take advantage of prime field position. Three-and-outs by each team to start the game.
- The Chiefs began at their own 20-yard line after a 40-yard Braden Mann punt. Isiah Pacheco busted a big run up the right side for 24. Then a Kadarius Toney handoff (?!) went for another first down after the Chiefs’ offensive line opened a big hole on the right side. Milton Williams split blocks to come up with a big tackle for loss to force third down. Facing 3rd-and-7 in plus territory, however, Mahomes found Toney right near the marker. Replay showed the ball short of a first down but the refs spotted it to where the chain measured a first. Not sure the Chiefs needed extra help. They got some more when Josh Sweat jumped offside. Then Rashee Rice juked Darius Slay out of his shoes after a short catch for another first down. Facing 3rd-and-goal, Mahomes stepped up and found a wide open Justin Watson in the end zone. Blown coverage by Kevin Byard, who has not looked good since the Eagles traded for the veteran safety. 10-play, 80-yard TD drive with 5:43 off the clock. EAGLES 0, CHIEFS 7.
As it turns out, Kevin Byard trying to play zone while everyone else was playing man isn’t a great redzone call— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) November 21, 2023
Eagles’ ability to stop the run and ability to run the ball (with running backs) was a big issue in the Super Bowl.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 21, 2023
Also an issue early on tonight.
- Hurts’ first pass attempt was completed to a comfortably open DeVonta Smith for a first down. The Eagles ran a QB Draw (!) to pick up another first down. Interesting to see a designed run for Hurts, seems like a good sign for the health of his knee. In an ode to his Eagles tenure, Andy Reid called a vintage random timeout. Forgot about those! The Eagles got another first down with illegal hands to the face on L’Jarius Sneed. Another Hurts completion to DeVonta resulted in another first down. Swift followed strong blocking — with who else but Jason Kelce leading the way — and made some moves to get to the 5-yard line. Then Swift took another carry to the right side (aided by an uncalled hold on Olamide Zaccheaus) for a score! BIG drive by the Birds to answer. 9 plays for 75 yards and a TD. Jake Elliott’s extra point kick fortunately bounced in after hitting the left upright. EAGLES 7, CHIEFS 7.
For those who wanted a holding call on Josh Sweat on the Chiefs' first TD, looks like Olamide Zaccheaus got away with a hold on the #Eagles' D'Andre Swift's TD run.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 21, 2023
These things tend to even out.
- Milton Williams came up with another big run defense tackle for no gain to end the first quarter.
- Facing 3rd-and-9, Mahomes took off running and Jalen Carter tripped up the quarterback from behind to force a punt. Josh Sweat got held on third down but the penalty was obviously declined. Forcing two three-and-outs on the Chiefs’ first three drives, a really good start by Desai’s defense.
- The Eagles finally got A.J. Brown involved on the first play of the Eagles’ third drive. Boston Scott took a 2nd-and-2 carry for a first down. Interesting to see him ahead of Kenny Gainwell! And then Gainwell immediately took a carry for no gain. Sigh. Hurts threw a bad pick to Sneed ... who was NOT downed immediately by A.J. Brown, who instead let Sneed get up and then stripped him to regain possession! Crazy play! Or not. Because the turnover was automatically reviewed and it was determined that Brown’s shin touched Sneed. Sooooo close. Ugh. Upon broadcast replay, Hurts had Brown streaking deep for a potential touchdown and the receiver was shown confronting Hurts on the sideline for not the first time this season. Looks like each player had different expectations for that play.
If he wasn’t touched on the ground (I’m not sure on that part) then this is absolutely the Eagles football. Great job by AJ Brown to rip it out. pic.twitter.com/igw9OKTWFZ— Shane Haff (@ShaneHaffNFL) November 21, 2023
Jalen Hurts has now thrown nine interceptions in 2023. He’s tied his career high from 2021 in 10 games.— Brooks Kubena (@BKubena) November 21, 2023
Peyton Manning said A.J. Brown had an in route but created so much separation on his route that he started working upfield and put his hand up to alert Jalen Hurts. #Eagles— EJ Smith (@EJSmith94) November 21, 2023
- The Chiefs methodically moved into the red zone with the Eagles unable to stop the Chiefs’ rushing attack, making Pacheco look like prime Derrick Henry out there. Mahomes threw a pass into the end zone that was ... PICKED OFF CLEAN BY KEVIN BYARD! Nice redemption for the veteran, who hadn’t logged a single PBU or INT this year prior to that moment.
- The Eagles took over at their own 20-yard line after the touchback. Swift ran for a first down but then Hurts got sacked by Chris Jones. Facing 3rd-and-14, Jones got to Hurts again with Lane Johnson letting Jones go to help set up a screen pass that never materialized. Even if it HAD worked, they were trying to get the ball to Gainwell. No!
- Toney broke off another nice punt return against the Eagles (sigh) to allow KC to start at Philly’s 45-yard line. Sweat’s second offside penalty of the game gave the Chiefs a free play that they failed to take advantage of with Byard getting away with some pass interference. Fletcher Cox had Mahomes dead to rights in the backfield to force a field goal and instead allowed the QB to escape along the sideline for a first down. Great! Facing 3rd-and-4, Mahomes found Travis Kelce who got open on a (what was deemed legal) pick play. Sirianni did not like no flag there. EAGLES 7, CHIEFS 14.
The Eagles had the No. 1 run defense in the NFL heading into this game. Allowing 66.3 rushing yards per game. They've allowed 121 in the first half to the Chiefs.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) November 21, 2023
KC coming in: -0.15 EPA/rush (24th)— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) November 21, 2023
KC tonight: 0.11 EPA/rush (would be 1st)
- The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 1:45 on the clock and one timeout to work with. Hurts was strip-sacked by a blitzing Trent McDuffie from the slot but was fortunately able to recover the ball. A dump off to Gainwell, who unwisely ran out of bounds to set up 3rd-and-15, and then another Chiefs sack forced a punt.
Hurts is struggling in the pocket. His eyes are dropping and he isn't buying time -- just looking for escape hatches ASAP.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) November 21, 2023
Spags + C. Jones are finding success against the line as well. PHI needs to get some quick game rolling to get AJB involved without risking more sacks.
Eagles OL hasn’t been good enough in pass protection.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 21, 2023
Doesn’t help when Jalen Hurts is holding onto the ball for a long time (entering this game, second slowest average time to throw this year at 3.14 seconds).
- The Chiefs took over at the Eagles’ 46-yard line with 0:44 left. A false start knocked them back and then a bad drop brought up third down. Facing 3rd-and-15, Mahomes naturally found Justin Watson open over the middle for a first down. Jalen Carter got called for encroachment for not getting back in time on the hurry up. The Chiefs completed another pass to set up a 43-yard field goal that was made by Harrison Butker. Pretty awful way to end the first half! EAGLES 7, CHIEFS 17.
Jalen Carter tried to CATCH the spike!— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) November 21, 2023
This would have been the greatest play of all time! pic.twitter.com/POLarBi18b
Crushing end-of-half sequence from Nick Sirianni's group, which has historically under Sirianni's tenure been more than solid in four-minute offense.— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) November 21, 2023
Eagles got the ball with 1:45, chance to score. But they had three plays worth -5 yards, took only a minute off the clock.
Sadly the #Eagles offensive staff is getting badly outcoached so far. An inexcusable lack of answers (protections or routes) for the pressures that Spags keeps bringing, and Jalen isn't healthy enough to bail the coaches out this time.— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) November 21, 2023
Hurts has been sacked on 4 of his last 6 dropbacks. Eagles passing game a mess right now. Spags has them in a blender - issues in protection, no quick answers for Hurts. 5 completions on 5 possessions— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) November 21, 2023
Eagles ability to adjust will determine whether they can make a game of this.
- The Eagles began the second half with two runs to bring up third down. Facing 3rd-and-7, the Chiefs totally sniffed out a QB draw to take Hurts down in the backfield. Three run plays, one yard ... three-and-out. Weaksauce.
The Eagles' last three drives combined have netted -1 yard.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) November 21, 2023
Was that a QB draw on 3rd-and-7 vs. Cover-1 when the QB is playing with a knee injury and you have AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith on your team?— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) November 21, 2023
- Reddick drew a holding penalty on a run to the right side. With Cox trying to take him down, Mahomes overthrew an open Kelce on third down to bring up a punt.
- Needing to really do SOMETHING on offense, the Eagles couldn’t. Hurts threw a deep shot to Brown that was placed a bit too close to the sideline where the receiver couldn’t get both feet in and bobbled the ball anyway. Swift took a screen to 3rd-and-1. Facing that situation, Swift was tackled for a loss to force another punt. Awful. Why no Brotherly Shove there?! You can go for it again (likely closer) on fourth down if you don’t get it?!
Looked like the Eagles had something going on the screen to Swift on 2nd down, but he abandoned his convoy for no good reason.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) November 21, 2023
Eagles losing in the trenches. Both sides of the ball. It is as simple as that.— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) November 21, 2023
#Eagles offense on its last 5 possessions:— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 21, 2023
17 plays, 18 yards, 2 first downs, 0 points.
- The Chiefs went three-and-out after Mahomes and Watson had a third down miscommunication that bailed out a trailing James Bradberry.
- The Eagles got to 3rd-and-1 with a Hurts completion to DeVonta. And they actually ran a Brotherly Shove to get their first third down conversion of the night! Hooray! Swift then broke a 35-yard run on a nicely designed handoff. Facing 3rd-and-5 at the 10-yard line, Hurts took off running up the middle basically untouched for a touchdown! MUCH-NEEEDED SCORING DRIVE. Signs of life! EAGLES 14, CHIEFS 17.
- Slay got called for pass interference to turn 2nd-and-14 into a first down. Desai dialed up a blitz to bring up third down. Facing 3rd-and-8, Mahomes’ pass to Toney was incomplete ... but there was an illegal contact penalty on Eli Ricks. Why was the rookie on the field instead of Bradley Roby in a high leverage situation? Facing 3rd-and-3, the Chiefs opened up another big hole for Jerick McKinnon to run through. A Reddick TFL brought up the end of the third quarter.
Jalen Carter gets held on almost every play.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 21, 2023
- Facing 3rd-and-6, Byard tackled Toney just short of the marker. Andy Reid naturally decided to go for it on fourth down ... and the Chiefs converted with Pacheco up the middle. Trey Smith got good push on Jordan Davis. Next play, Roby punched the ball out of Travis Kelce’s possession for a Morrow recovery! Another HUGE red zone takeaway by the Birds.
- The Eagles took over at their own 10-yard line. Hurts almost got picked off again with Sneed hitting DeVonta to knock the ball into the air but it fell incomplete. The Eagles ran a similar looking horizontal play to Julio Jones on the other side of the field and he was tackled for no gain. Maybe pass the ball ... vertically?! Hurts took off running short of the marker on third down. Inept offense. Three-and-out. Big time squandered opportunity.
- Facing 3rd-and-9, Desai brought a blitz but Mahomes made a perfect throw to Watson by dropping it right in the bucket to beat a trailing Sydney Brown. Just a really good player. Facing 3rd-and-4, Mahomes’ pass went RIGHT through Watson’s hands. Another break for the Eagles’ defense.
- The Chiefs nearly had an opportunity to pin the Eagles at their own 1-yard line but the punt bounced into the end zone instead. With KC having punted from the Eagles’ 39-yard line, that was just a 19-yard difference. Conservative decision from Andy Reid was a gift to the Eagles. Another screen to Swift picked up a chunk gain. Hurts failed to see a wide open DeVonta deep to bring up third down. Facing 3rd-and-5, Hurts actually found DeVonta open over the middle for a huge first down into Chiefs territory. Then Hurts found DeVonta AGAIN for a deep shot down the right sideline. With the ball slightly underthrown, DeVonta was ruled down at the 1-yard line ... but the Eagles ran the Brotherly Shove to get into the end zone! AN EAGLES LEAD WITH 6:20 TO PLAY! EAGLES 21, CHIEFS 17.
This is exactly why I want no part of the Eagles. They’re unflappable. Doesn’t matter how they’ve played, what’s happened, or what the weather is.— Rob “Stats” Guerrera (@StatsOnFire) November 21, 2023
When it comes time to make a play, they make it. Again and again and again.
- Facing 3rd-and-8, Brandon Graham jumped offside. Or not! It was actually ruled a false start. Wow. The refs ruled Graham got back in time before Taylor reacted at right tackle. Facing 3rd-and-13, Mahomes almost got a creative pass off but Zach Cunningham knocked it down. Pretty crucial time to come up with a three-and-out!
- After a 19-yard Britain Covey punt return, the Eagles took over at their own 44-yard line with 5:28 on the clock. Hurts ran for nine and then the Eagles Brotherly Shoved for a first down. Swift got tackled for a loss and then Jordan Mailata got called for holding to stop the clock. Facing 2nd-and-22, Hurts slid for a loss and KC called their first timeout. Facing 3rd-and-23, Swift could’ve had a big gain on the angle route but got tackled for just a two-yard gain. KC took their second timeout.
- Josh Jobe had a great special teams tackle on Toney to force the Chiefs to start at their own 9-yard line with 2:49 left. Facing 3rd-and-2, Kelce simply dropped the third down catch. Facing 4th-and-2, Kelce made a catch just past the marker. Mahomes to Kelce went for another conversion and then a generous personal foul on Cox drew another 15 yards. Refs rewarded a whiny Mahomes. I mean, Mahomes’ forward momentum took him into Cox. Mahomes aired it out deep to Marquez Valdez-Scantling, who DROPPED a would-be touchdown pass. WOW. ANOTHER big break for the Birds’ defense. Facing 3rd-and-10, Sweat forced Mahomes into an intentional grounding penalty. Facing 4th-and-25, the Eagles called their first timeout to get a look at KC’s formation. Facing 4th-and-25 for real, Watson had the ball go through his hands yet again! Would’ve been a first down if it was caught! But it wasn’t! Eagles win!!!!!!!!
Chiefs second-half possessions:— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) November 21, 2023
Shut out. Drop after drop. Mistake after mistake. And Eagles take advantage. They're now 23-2 in Jalen Hurts' last 25 regular-season starts.
- Victory formation!
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 21 to 17
EAGLES LINEUP NOTES
- Bradley Roby was first up at nickel cornerback, as expected.
EAGLES INJURY NEWS
- Grant Calcaterra (ankle) visited the locker room in the third quarter. He was ruled questionable to return, leaving the Eagles with just Jack Stoll and Albert Okwuegbunam at tight end.
- Milton Williams (concussion) went down on the first play of the fourth quarter. He collided helmet-to-helmet with teammate Nicholas Morrow. William was eventually able to jog off on his own power. Williams was later ruled out.