alex smith

Roob Stats: A deeper look inside Zach Ertz's tear

Roob Stats: A deeper look inside Zach Ertz's tear

Following Sunday's 27-20 Eagles loss to the Chiefs, Reuben Frank has crunched the numbers like only he can to come up with the following stats you would have never even known existed.

• Zach Ertz had a 53-yard catch for the Eagles, and Travis Kelce had a 44-yard catch for the Chiefs. That made this the first Eagles game in at least 27 years where tight ends from both teams had receptions of 40 yards or more. Available records for longest catch only go back to 1981.

• Ertz reached 3,000 receiving yards in just his 63rd career game, tying Tony Gonzalez for the ninth-fastest tight end to reach that milestone. Only Kellen Winslow Sr. (45), Rob Gronkowski (47), Jimmy Graham (49), Kellen Winslow Jr. (55), Antonio Gates (56), Mark Bavaro (60), Bob Tucker (60) and Jeremy Shockey (62) reached 3,000 yards faster.

• Carson Wentz is only the fifth quarterback 24 or younger in NFL history to open a season with two 300-yard passing games. The others are Drew Bledsoe in 1994, Cam Newton in 2011, Robert Griffin III in 2013 and Blake Bortles in 2016. With six 300-yard games, Wentz has the fourth-most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first 18 games. Kurt Warner had 10, Marc Bulger seven and Andrew Luck seven.

• Wentz has completed 430 passes in his career, by far the most in NFL history by a quarterback after 18 games. Sam Bradford, his former teammate, completed 393, followed by Bulger with 390. His 692 attempts are second-most ever after 18 games (Andrew Luck had 693) and his 4,423 passing yards are sixth-most ever (behind Luck, Warner, Bulger, Cam Newton and Jameis Winston).

• This is the first time in 28 years no Eagle running back has rushed for 50 yards in a game in the Eagles’ first two games. In 1989, the Eagles opened the season against Seattle, where their leading rusher was Mark Higgs with 44 yards, and in Week 2 in Washington, their leading rusher was Anthony Toney, with 24 yards. That was the great Randall 447-yard, five-TD comeback.

• Alex Smith became only the third quarterback ever to post a passer rating of 110 or higher against the Eagles while playing for two different teams (minimum of 20 passes). Smith, who had a 113.8 passer rating Sunday, had a 112.1 rating against the Eagles while playing for the 49ers in a 24-23 win in 2011. The only other QBs with a 110 rating or higher for two different teams against the Eagles: Fran Tarkenton, who did it for the Giants in 1967 and Vikings in 1973, and Peyton Manning, who did it for the Colts in 1999 and 2002 and the Broncos in 2013.

• Jake Elliott’s 30-yard field goal miss was only the fifth by an Eagles kicker since 1994 from 30 yards or less. The others were by Gary Anderson (from 29 yards vs. Cowboys in 1996), Norm Johnson (26 yards vs. Buccaneers in 1999), David Akers (23 yards vs. Falcons in 2006) and Alex Henery (28 yards vs. Giants in 2012). Before Elliott’s miss, Eagles kickers had made 223 of their previous 227 attempts from 30 yards and in (98.2 percent).

• Speaking of kickers, former Eagle Cody Parkey, in his first game as a Dolphin, made a 54-yard field goal Sunday against the Buccaneers, making him 6 for 6 in his career from 50 yards and up. He has the most 50-yard attempts without a miss in NFL history. And only one other kicker — current Raiders rookie Giorgio Tavecchio — has made more than one career 50-yarder without a miss. Tavecchio was 2 for 2 from 50 and out in his first NFL game, against Tennessee last week. Parkey was 4 for 4 from 50 and out with the Eagles in 2014 and 1 for 1 with the Browns last year.

• Kareem Hunt’s 53-yard touchdown was only the second rushing TD of 50 yards or more the Eagles have allowed in the last decade. The only other one was a first-quarter 72-yard touchdown by C.J. Prosise of the Seahawks in Seattle last year. Before that you have to go back to Travis Henry’s 70-yarder for the Titans at the Linc in 2006. Hunt’s TD was only the seventh of 50 yards or more the Eagles have allowed in their last 379 games going back to 1993.

• With five more catches Sunday, Ertz increased his career total to 260. That’s the sixth-most in NFL history by a tight end after 63 games, behind only Kellen Winslow Sr. (339), Kellen Winslow Jr. (307), Jimmy Graham (300), Gronk (299), Gates (281), Mike Ditka (274) and Pettigrew (263). Ertz is the first NFC tight end with 90 or more yards in each of the first two weeks of a season since Jason Witten in 2011. ‘

• With 139 yards on the last day of last season against the Cowboys and 93 and 97 yards the first two games this year, Ertz is the first Eagle with 90 or more receiving yards in three straight games since Terrell Owens had five straight 100-yard games from Week 3 through Week 7 of 2004. Before that you have to go back to Irving Fryar in 1996, Fred Barnett in 1991 and Mike Quick in 1983 and 1985. Ertz's streak is the longest current streak in the NFL.

• With 406 yards Sunday, the Eagles now have 13 games since opening day 2011 with 400 or more yards but 20 or fewer points. No other team has more than nine such during that same span.

Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith help Chiefs stun champion Patriots in NFL opener

ap-chiefs-kareem-hunt.jpg
AP Images

Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith help Chiefs stun champion Patriots in NFL opener

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Winning at New England when the Patriots are coming off an historic Super Bowl victory is worth getting a little wild over.

That's not the Kansas City Chiefs' style. Not even when a rookie is setting records.

Kareem Hunt, after fumbling on his first NFL carry, scored three times and set an NFL mark in a 42-27 stunner Thursday night to open the NFL season. Hunt's 246 yards in his pro debut were a record since the 1970 merger.

"We're going to enjoy the heck out of it," coach Andy Reid said after a superb second half carried his team. "It's one of 16 and something to build on."

Judging by how they won, it certainly is. There were big plays all over the field. The Chiefs, not the Patriots, were making them. Particularly Hunt.

"It started out just a little bit shaky, but it was all heart," Reid said of the third-round draft pick. "He was trying too hard."

Alex Smith threw two long touchdown passes and became the first quarterback with 300-plus yards, four TDs and no interceptions against coach Bill Belichick. The 42 points were the most the Patriots have allowed in Belichick's 17-plus seasons.

Coming off their sensational Super Bowl rally to a fifth Lombardi Trophy, the Patriots faded badly in the second half. A raucous sold-out crowd of 65,878 celebrated the unveiling of yet another championship banner, and there was plenty of talk about Tom Brady leading them to a 19-0 record.

After Week 1, though, they are winless.

"I just think we need to have more urgency and go out there and perform a lot better," Brady said "It's a winning attitude, a championship attitude you have to bring every day. We had it handed to us on our own field."

It was the first time the Patriots lost at Gillette Stadium when leading at halftime, a span of 82 games. They were no match for the Chiefs in the last two periods.

Tyreek Hill scored on a 75-yarder and Hunt put the Chiefs in front with a 78-yarder to punctuate Kansas City's charge after trailing 17-14 at halftime. Hunt also had a 58-yard scamper and finished with 148 yards rushing and 98 receiving. Hill had 133 yards through the air, and Smith went 28 for 35 for 368 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.

"To start on your first carry like that and have it go like that, it would be hard to overcome for a lot of guys," Smith said of Hunt, from Toledo. "I thought it was awesome coach coming right back to him.

"There was a good chunk there where we were going as Kareem was going. He was really a big chunk of the offense tonight. For a young guy, we put a lot on him, in all facets of the offense tonight, and he was able to handle it.'

Brady, the 13th quarterback to start an NFL game at age 40, didn't look too spry. He struggled mightily in the second half and didn't throw for a touchdown, finishing 16 for 36 for 267 yards.

"Just a very poor effort and we'll have to do a lot better," Brady said. "Didn't make a lot of plays tonight, actually."

Patriots newcomer Mike Gillislee scored on three short runs, becoming the first player since Terrell Owens of Philadelphia in 2004 to score three touchdowns in his debut with a new team.

And Kansas City aided the Patriots' cause with 15 penalties for 139 yards. Yet, in the end, the Chiefs looked like world-beaters.

At the beginning, it seemed like an extension of February's Super Bowl. Riled up, Brady and the Patriots tore through the opposing defense as if it belonged to, well, the Falcons, scoring in nine plays, with Gillislee surging in from the 2.

One play later, they were at it again as Hunt fumbled. The Patriots took over at the Kansas City 32 and appeared to go up 14-0 on Rob Gronkowski's diving catch. Then a replay review overturned the score, with NFL headquarters -- which now makes final decisions on such reviews -- determining the ball hit the ground as Gronk came down in the end zone.

Gillislee was stopped on fourth-and-inches at the KC 10 and the Chiefs, looking very much like the host team, marched 90 yards in 12 plays. Hunt made up for his early gaffe by gaining 25 yards on the tying drive, which Smith capped with a sharp 8-yard pass to Demetrius Harris.

The teams traded long touchdown drives, New England going 82 yards to Gillislee's second TD, the Chiefs covering 92 yards at the end of the half before Hunt ran in with a 3-yard swing pass.

Stephen Gostkowski's 25-yard field goal was the margin for New England's halftime edge.

But the crowd's fervor was silenced with Hill's long touchdown on which prized free agent addition cornerback Stephon Gilmore was torched. Hunt sped down the middle behind linebacker Kyle Van Noy and DE/LB Cassius Marsh to put Kansas City in front for good.

Short yardage
New England failed twice in the first quarter on short-yardage runs, by Gillislee and Super Bowl hero James White, and again in the fourth period, by Gillislee. If anyone proclaimed the Patriots were missing RB LeGarrette Blount, who scored 18 TDs last season and was a beast in such situations, well, Gillislee, who came from Buffalo as a restricted free agent, ran in for a pair of 2-yard touchdowns and a 1-yarder.

Roger, Roger
Not only did the crowd revel in the video highlights from the Super Bowl, the fans booed vigorously when Commissioner Roger Goodell was shown talking on the sideline Chiefs owner Clark Hunt during warmups. A website distributed thousands of towels featuring Goodell's face adorned with a clown nose, and many fans also had T-shirts with the caricature. Goodell watched the game from a suite, but not with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Injuries
Kansas City's star safety Eric Berry was carted off with 4:56 remaining with an Achilles tendon injury that Reid feared was a tear that would sideline Berry for the season.

The Patriots lost perhaps their best defensive player, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, in the third quarter with a knee injury. His absence showed on Hunt's long TD reception. ... WR Danny Amendola left in the fourth quarter with a head injury. He's projected as New England's slot receiver with Julian Edelman out for the season.

Up next
Chiefs: Host Philadelphia on Sept. 17.

Patriots: Visit New Orleans on Sept. 17.

Norv Turner: Sam Bradford's 'vision as good as any QB I've ever coached'

Norv Turner: Sam Bradford's 'vision as good as any QB I've ever coached'

Vikings OC Norv Turner has been around a while. He's been an NFL coach for the last 31 years and has spent the last 26 as either a head coach or offensive coordinator. 

He's worked with quarterbacks in the "great" tier (Troy Aikman), "very good" tier (Philip Rivers) and "solid" tier (Alex Smith). 

And yet Turner recently said Sam Bradford's vision "is as good as any QB I've ever coached."

"I just think you get excited about a guy and you make that statement," Turner said, per the Vikings' official site. "I believe it’s true. That doesn’t take away from someone else and the way they play the game. Sam, he can anticipate. He sees what’s happening out in front of people. He can relate back to you what he sees and most of the time he’s pretty accurate.”

High praise for the former Eagles signal-caller, who brings a 5-0 Vikings team into his return to the Linc this Sunday.

Bradford has carried last season's late success into 2016. He leads the NFL with a 70.4 percent completion rate. He's thrown six TDs in four games and averaged 247.5 yards. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts, only Bradford and Chicago's Brian Hoyer have yet to throw an interception. 

"It's pretty remarkable," Turner said. "Everyone knows the story. It’s really a tribute to him. His ability to prepare, his experiences. I think his past experiences in the league help him in this situation. And then I think it’s a lot of people that have helped to contribute to his success, whether it be coaches or other players."

Turner has been especially impressed by Bradford's arm strength and ability to anticipate throws. The Vikings are missing Adrian Peterson and starting left tackle Matt Kalil, and yet Bradford has this offense humming more than Teddy Bridgewater did the last two years. Vikings fans thought their season was crumbling when Bridgewater tore up his knee right before Week 1. Turned out the Vikings may have gotten better.

"He’s very good at (throwing receivers open) because, as I’ve said, I think he sees the big picture awfully well," Turner said of Bradford. "Sometimes guys don’t have the ability to throw a guy open because they don’t know what’s happening somewhere else. They don’t see enough, a wide enough scope. So they’re afraid to get themselves in trouble throwing it to different spots."

Bradford hasn't been. He has some decent skill players in Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph, but he's also bringing the best out of them.

Bradford is under contract next season as well. That was an important factor in Minnesota's trade for him because the organization doesn't know how quickly Bridgewater will be able to return, or whether he'll even win the starting job back next summer. If Bradford keeps playing like this, perhaps he turns out to be the Vikings' QB of the future. And he's still just 28 years old.