Pat Mahomes vs. this defense is about as big a mis-match as you can imagine.
Mahomes had his way with the Eagles Sunday, but Jalen Hurts and the Eagles did keep things interesting for a while. This was a five-point game in the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, too much Mahomes and too much Eagles defense. Andy Reid and the Chiefs left the Linc with a 42-30 win, and the Eagles left with a three-game losing streak.
Here's our 10 Instant Observations:
1. You can’t kick early field goals against the Chiefs and expect to win. You just can’t. It’s guaranteed they will come back to haunt you. The Eagles had three more red zone drives that didn’t result in touchdowns Sunday, and each time Sirianni elected to kick a field goal instead of going for it on 4th down. Against most teams that makes sense. But against Pat Mahomes? Against this offense? Field goals get you beat and Sirianni has to know that. Those may be low percentage 4th downs, but if you settle for three, you simply are not going to win the football game. This is an all-time historic offense you’re facing here and a Hall of Fame QB. You can’t just talk about being aggressive you have to be aggressive, and that means keeping your foot on the gas, no matter what. Every time the Eagles scored three, they were one step closer to losing. The Eagles lost this game when Jake Elliott kept kicking field goals.
2. Sirianni did call a much better game, at least between the 20s. He helped Hurts get into a rhythm and gave him a chance to make plays, and the 23-year-old QB responded. He was really good. He spread the ball around, he was accurate, he showed good pocket awareness, he really employed the miud-range game as well as he has so far, and he avoided mistakes. Yeah, he missed some guys, notably a wide open Ertz in the end zone on the first drive. But he finished 32-for-48 for 387 yards, two TDs, no INTs and a 105.1 passer rating. He played very tough. He never stopped battling. I loved his effort. Considering the last two weeks, this was a really encouraging bounce-back performance.
3. Defensively? Yeah, the Chiefs do this to a lot of people, but this was just embarrassing. Again. When you’re giving up uncontested 44-yard touchdowns in garbage time, that’s inexcusable. This defense is just not good enough to slow down this sort of offense. They don’t have the players. They don’t have the personnel. They don’t have the coaches. The Chiefs had seven drives and scored touchdowns on six of them. That ought to be impossible. Yeah, Mahomes is an all-timer, but the Chiefs ran for 200 yards in addition to his five TD passes. The Eagles have now allowed 41 and 42 points the last two points. Yikes. The Chiefs piled up 472 yards and 31 first downs and converted 9 of 10 third downs. Just brutal.
4. This didn’t just happen. The Eagles have drafted poorly on defense for a decade now, and they’re so far from being a good defense right now. Yeah, it’s a new staff and a lot of new players, but they have maybe two impact players – Javon Hargrave is playing lights out and Josh Sweat has been pretty good. They’re not going to give up 40 points every week, but until this team finds a way to draft young defensive talent, this isn’t going to be a top defense.
5. Considering everything, the Eagles’ latest offensive line hung in there pretty well. Right tackle Jack Driscoll was making his fifth career start, right guard Nate Herbig was making his first start of the year, Landon Dickerson was making his first career start at left guard and third overall start and Andre Dillard his sixth career start. I don’t know how many teams can lose four starting offensive linemen – including two Pro Bowlers – and function at all, but for the offense to score 30 points and record 461 yards of offense and only allow three sacks in 51 drop-backs, that’s good stuff, and it speaks volumes about the job Jeff Stoutland does getting everybody on the roster ready to play. The Eagles have the best o-line coach in the business.
6. Very impressive stuff today from DeVonta Smith, who really showed why the Eagles made him a top-10 pick. Smith looked smooth and effortless catching a 37-yarder at the right sideline just before halftime and on the very next play made a lunging catch of a 12-yarder that Hurts overthrew. He finished with career numbers - 7-for-122, making him the first Eagles rookie with a 100-yard game since Jordan Matthews had three in 2014. This is a big-time wide receiver, a special kid.
7. Penalties. Again. Nine more. Same old story. That’s a franchise-record 44 penalties in four games. Just inexcusable. We’ve been saying it all year. This team is horribly undisciplined, and that’s a reflection on one person. Nick Sirianni. The sad thing is that nine penalties is the Eagles’ second-fewest in a game this year. This team isn’t good enough to overcome these kind of self-inflicted mistakes.
8. Kenny Gainwell is so darn good. This is a rookie 5th-round pick. It’s crazy he lasted that long. Gainwell is such a slick receiver. He had 6-for-58 yards Sunday and is now 13-for-114 receiving in his first four NFL games, and those 13 catches equal the most ever by an Eagles rookie running back - Lee Bouggess had 13 in 1970. But the thing that’s really impressive about Gainwell is how he catches the ball looking down the field and has a real knack for picking up yards after the catch like a receiver. Which is why he’s averaging close to 10 yards per catch. He also had three carries for 31 yards Sunday, including a seven-yard TD through traffic. The kid is a real playmaker. What a steal.
9. How bad is all this? This is only the 4th time in the franchise’s 89-year history the Eagles have allowed 40 points in consecutive games. It happened in 1943 – that was actually the Steagles – and it also happened in 1966 and 2015. So twice in the last half century. And only the 4th time they’ve ever given up 40 at the Linc. This is really bad. This team and this staff have a lot of work to do.
10. It’s scary just how accurate Mahomes is. Seeing him in person and seeing how he delivers the football with anticipation in precisely the right place, it’s a beautiful thing. You just don’t want to see him do it against the Eagles. He was 24-for-30 for 278 yards and five TDs Sunday with the one interception and a 131.0 passer rating. He’s the first QB ever to complete 80 percent of his passes with five TDs against the Eagles and only the 11th quarterback to do that against anybody on the road. I’ll be surprised if Mahomes doesn’t win Big Red another Super Bowl or two before he’s done.
11. One quick note about Hargrave. He continued his brilliant start with some disruptive play up front, finishing with six tackles, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and his fifth sack. He’s by far the Eagles’ best defensive player, and honestly he’s doing the kind of things Fletcher Cox used to do. Hargrave is the Eagles’ first interior lineman with 5.0 sacks through four games since Jerome Brown in 1991, and that’s pretty good company. His 5.0 sacks are 6th-most in Eagles history by anybody through five games. Only Jason Babin (7.0 in 2011), Hugh Douglas (6 ½ in 2000), Clyde Simmons (6 ½ in 1991, 5 ½ in 1992) and Reggie White (6.0 in 1990) have had more. Now if the Eagles only had 10 more guys who were performing at that level.
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