KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was exciting for a while. You could feel an upset brewing. And then the Chiefs just overwhelmed the Eagles. They solved the Eagles' pressure, finally got their running game on track, forced a huge turnover and got two late fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Bad game for the Eagles' offensive line, which allowed six sacks and generated just 52 rushing yards from the running backs.
Carson Wentz did everything he could humanly do, passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns — one of them with eight seconds left in the game — and running for a team-high 55 more. But his fourth-quarter interception deep in Eagles territory in a tie game was damaging.
So here we go with 10 observations off the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium (see breakdown):
1. Kareem Hunt's 53-yard go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter really illustrates what a dynamic running back can do for a team. That's something the Eagles haven't had since LeSean McCoy, and it's something they really miss. I love Darren Sproles. Don't get me wrong. Seeing him do what he's done since joining the Eagles at his size is inspirational. He's been a tremendous Eagle the last few years. And he's still productive. He ran 10 times for 48 yards Sunday in K.C. But what does it say about the roster you've built when a 34-year-old running back who's already announced that he's likely retiring after this season is your best option as a ball carrier? LeGarrette Blount hasn't shown himself to be anything special this year and actually didn't get a single carry Sunday, fourth-round rookie Donnel Pumphrey is out for the year but wasn't going to play anyway, second-year running back Wendell Smallwood has been a non-factor so far and had three yards on four carries Sunday. Two games in, it just looks like a bad group of running backs.
2. By halftime Sunday, the Eagles were down three defensive backs from the start of opening day — Ronald Darby, who got hurt last week, and then Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins, who got hurt in the second quarter Sunday. So they're out there minus three guys and still acquitted themselves as well as you could hope for, considering that they were getting tons of reps from Rasul Douglas, in his first NFL game, and Corey Graham, who didn't join the team until after training camp began. It really speaks volumes about secondary coach Cory Undlin that this patchwork group was able to perform as well as it did.
3. For the second straight week, the Eagles' biggest offensive play was a broken play. Last week, it was Carson Wentz's scramble bomb to Nelson Agholor, and this week it was Wentz's bomb that Chiefs cornerback Terrance Mitchell deflected into the air that Zach Ertz controlled for a 53-yard gain. Really heads-up play and great focus and concentration by Ertz, who finished with five catches for 97 yards and now has 13 catches for 190 yards in two games. Ertz and Wentz have such an uncanny connection now. It's just going to be fun to see where this goes as they continue to play together.
4. How about rookie Mack Hollins with the first three catches of his career for 32 yards, including two for first downs? Very nice start for Hollins, who didn't play much on offense in Washington. Hollins is just so smooth (see rookie report). He does everything so effortlessly. You never see any wasted motion or movement. He just catches the ball cleanly and runs. It really seemed that once Wentz started throwing to Hollins, the offense found some rhythm.
5. Vinny Curry has been playing better and has even been a factor against the run this year. But the problem last year showed up again Sunday. He's not finishing when he gets his arms around the quarterback. He had Alex Smith wrapped up on a crucial 3rd-and-4 in the middle of the fourth quarter Sunday but couldn't bring him down and Smith ran for a first down. Two plays later, Smith's TD pass to Travis Kelce gave the Chiefs the lead for good. Curry has six sacks in his last 36 games. He has to be better.
6. Let's talk Wentz. There's a lot to be excited about with him, but his Achilles' heel has been interceptions, in particular, untimely ones. I think it's partly a product of him trying to do too much sometimes, and that's understandable when things are breaking down around him. But Sunday's INT, deep in Eagles territory in the fourth quarter was awfully costly, leading to the Chiefs' winning touchdown. Wentz now has 16 INTs in his first 18 games, second-most in Eagles history by any quarterback in his first 18 games (Mike Boryla had 23 in the 1970s). Wentz played well much of the day Sunday and he did it playing in one of the loudest stadiums in the country and despite poor protection at times and a few drops — two by Torrey Smith, one by Nelson Agholor. He got the Eagles out of trouble with athletic runs and he was very good on third down. But he's got to cut down on the interceptions. He now has 15 INTs in his last 13 games going back to last year, and at least one in eight of his last nine games. I love Wentz and his toughness, his spirit, his flair. I can't think of another young quarterback I'd rather build around. But he's got to reduce those turnovers.
7. The Eagles need to consider a change at left guard (see report card). Isaac Seumalo struggled in Washington, gave up three sacks Sunday and it was his missed block on a Daniel Sorensen blitz that led to Wentz's fourth-quarter interception. Obviously, Chance Warmack hasn't done much to impress the Eagles — he's been inactive the first couple games — but Stefen Wisniewski was solid in six starts in place of injured Allen Barbre last year at left guard. If it were my call, I'd get Wiz in there.
8. Looked like the Eagles' defensive line wore as the game went on. It was a very hot, humid day in Kansas City, and it may have had an effect on some of the big guys. But in the first half, they had four sacks and allowed 2.8 yards per rush, and in the second half, they had one sack and allowed 8.8 yards per carry. The Chiefs netted 130 yards in the first half and 214 yards in the second half and scored touchdowns on their last two real drives. And that's even with Jim Schwartz rotating the second group on and off the field. The Eagles pride themselves on being one of the best-conditioned teams in the league, and they certainly spend a lot of time and resources on conditioning. But at least this week, they weren't the fittest team on the field.
9. How about Blount with zero carries for only the fourth time in his career and first time since 2014 when he was with the Steelers. I understand Pederson wanted to give Sproles a healthy workload, but Blount didn't get a single carry Sunday after being the Eagles' featured back in Washington and getting 14 carries along with a TD catch. I understand that the running back rotation is going to change week by week, but not a single carry for a guy who had 18 touchdowns for a Super Bowl winner last year? I never liked the signing in the first place, but how does he go from the featured back seven days ago to zero carries this week? I just don't get the concept at running back (see video). And I want to see Corey Clement with the football in his hands.
10. Finally this: The Eagles have scored two or fewer offensive touchdowns in 14 of their last 15 games, with the Dallas game on the last day of last season — when the Cowboys played their scrubs most of the second half — the only exception. So the last time the Eagles scored three offensive touchdowns against an opponent's starting defense was Week 3 of last year vs. the Steelers. That's not good.