Kansas City, Mo. – How did the Eagles win that game?
Oh, 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 of the NFC.
Monday nights aren’t always pretty. For much of the game, the offense threw the defense on the field at times. But they made enough plays on the road to knock off the defending Super Bowl champions.
Jalen Hurts: 14/22, 150 yards, 1 INT; 12 rushes, 29 yards, 2 TDs
It wasn’t a repeat of Hurts’ masterful Super Bowl performance. On Monday, he didn’t light up the scoreboard and had moments of serious sloppiness in offensive production. But he got Devonta Smith to hit that deep ball. And he showed some potential with his legs after recovering from a bye week. He rushed for a couple of touchdowns in this one. Hurts’ passer rating of 64.6 is pretty ugly, but this is a game where stats for a QB don’t tell the whole story.
I run back
De’Andre Swift: 12 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD; 3 receptions, 31 yards
At least one swift showed up Monday night. It’s been a while since an Eagles running back has had a performance like the one we saw against the Chiefs. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry and his 35-yarder on a sweep was one of the biggest plays of the entire game. The rest of the running backs didn’t contribute much, but in a relatively low-scoring game, Swift did his part.
Devonta Smith: 6 catches on 8 targets, 99 yards
AJ Brown had his worst outing of the season as L’Jarius Sneed followed him on Monday. He was targeted four times and had just 1 catch for 8 yards. But Smith was there to make plays. The Eagles’ other No. 1 receiver finished with 99 yards — yes, that bothered him — for the second time in three games. His 41-yard go-ahead touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the play of the game. We saw a lot of WR screens not work in this game, but that could be more of a play calling.
At tight end
Jack Stoll: 1 catch for 3 yards
The Eagles played their first game of the 2023 season without Dallas Goedert on Monday. Goedert has a fractured forearm and the team hopes to return within the next month. For this game, it’s Jack Stoll, Grant Calcadera and Albert Okwegbunam. The Eagles are going to miss Goedert’s playmaking ability. Stoll’s 3-yarder was the only catch of the game by tight ends. And Calcaterra injured his ankle in this game. But the tight ends were asked to block, and that’s pretty good for Stoll.
It wasn’t a clean game for the Eagles’ offensive line. The Birds gave the Chiefs five sacks for 26 yards, but it’s also important to point out that all five of those sacks came in the first half. The Eagles ran the ball well in this game, going 114 on the ground.
Hassan Reddick: 1 sack, 3 QB hits, 1 TFL
It was a different game for the Eagles’ defensive line. Redick started the game with a sack on Mahomes on the second play of the game, but they never got him back. However … an intentional grounder forced by Josh Sweat in the fourth quarter was essentially a sack. After giving up 121 rushing yards in the first half, the Eagles gave up just 47 in the second half. Overall, it was a solid performance from the guys, and they seemed to tire out the Chiefs offense.
Zach Cunningham: 7 tackles, 1 PBU
The Eagles will have to move forward without Nagob Dean, who is back on IR after Lisfranc surgery. The good news is that Cunningham and Nicholas Morrow have been playing well all season. Cunningham was second on the team in tackles, and Morrow added five tackles of his own and a Travis Kelce fumble in the second half.
Kevin Byard: 8 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU
Of course, there was a miscommunication on that first-quarter touchdown pass from Mahomes to Justin Watson. But after that? The Eagles’ defensive backs made some big plays in the red zone with two takeaways. One came with a Kevin Byard interception and the other came when Bradley punched the football out of Robbie Kells’ hands. Mahomes attempted 43 passes Monday night and finished with 177 total yards.
Britton Covey: 3 punt returns, 53 yards, 26 long
It wasn’t a perfect day for the Eagles special teams unit. Katarious Toney had a 21-yard punt return injury and a bad punt from Braden Mann. But Mann finished with a length of 63, averaging 47.7 off seven putts. Britton Covey averaged 17.7 and Long had 3 punt returns for 26. And Josh Jobe tackled the ball late in the fourth quarter. Chiefs at their own 9-yard line. It was one of the biggest plays in the game.
For much of this game, I was most confused by Brian Johnson’s obscene play-calling. He seemed to focus on the horizontal passing game and the Eagles’ offense was mired in mud. But in the end, he called some plays that worked and helped him get out of a hole. Generally, it is a well-coached team. To be down 10 points and halftime and never show panic speaks volumes about coaching and leadership. Nick Siriani’s team continues to win and he deserves some credit for that.