First and 10: Reid’s Chiefs Get the Best of Eagles
(973espn.com) — Sometimes you have to tip your cap toward the other sideline.
That was the case in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 27-20 loss in Kansas City on Sunday.
With the game deadlocked at 13 and in the balance, the Chiefs were threatening when Andy Reid went to a play design that has defined him as one of the 10 winningest coaches in NFL history: misdirection.
Alex Smith and the Kansas City offense has been dominated by Jim Schwartz and the talented Eagles front for the most part so Reid went deep into his bag of tricks for a brilliant call.
It was almost a breathtaking set of options on one play, all off of the misdirection Reid is so fond of. It began with a fake jet sweep to the fastest guy in football, Tyreek Hill, which was then complemented with a faux counter play to productive rookie running back Kareem Hunt.
From there, just as the defense was recovering from its missteps the real call came into focus, a shovel pass to the Chiefs' Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce, the younger brother of Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.
The K.C. Kelce rumbled up the middle for the 15-yard TD, the final five of which came with the explosive tight end hurdling over three Philadelphia defenders.
And 10 Things You Should Know:
-The final offensive numbers looked OK for Doug Pederson and the Eagles' offense. Philadelphia actually ended with over 400 total and even had a chance to tie it late after a Carson Wentz-to-Nelson Agholor touchdown with eight seconds left was followed by a brilliant onside kick attempt by new PK Jake Elliott (replacing the injured Caleb Sturgis) and an even better recovery by Trey Burton, who batted the ball to himself.
-Elliott, though, also pulled a 30-yard gimmee at the end of a half off a gift deflection that Zach Ertz took for a 53-yard gain. The problem with Elliott in Cincinnati was inconsistency, making just 4-of-7 field goal attempts in the preseason and losing out to Randy Bullock.
-Much was made about Hunt after the rookie exploded with nearly 250 yards of all-purpose yardage in his NFL debut. For most of the afternoon, it was the Eagles' front seven that was doing the hunting, bottling up the Toledo product. It only takes one lightning strike, however, and Kelce sealed Nigel Bradham as Laurent Duvernay-Tardif got a nice kick-out block as Hunt went 53 yards for a score late in the third quarter that put Kansas City on top at 13-10.
-The Eagles came in minus Ronald Darby in the secondary and then lost both Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins in-game due to hamstring issues. That threw rookie Rasul Douglas into the fire on the outside and Corey Graham, who is dealing with his own hamstring issue, into the mix at safety where he whiffed on Hunt's 53-yard touchdown run.
-The running-back-by-committee this week was just about all Darren Sproles as he got 10 carries for 48 yards. Wendell Smallwood was next with just three totes for four yards and LeGarrette Blount was the forgotten man.
-Sproles, usually one of the Eagles' most reliable players, had an uncharacteristic fumble on a punt return thanks to a form tackle By K.C. long snapper James Winchester.
-Rookie receiver Mack Hollins got involved with the offense for the first time as the fourth receiver, snaring his first three NFL receptions on three targets for 32 yards.
- A week after some hand-wringing to get Alshon Jeffery involved in the offense, the Eagles were able to do so in a big way as the WR1 caught seven passes for 92 yards and his first TD as an Eagle. The back-shoulder fade is ultimately going to turn into a big weapon for Wentz with Jeffery involved.
-Wentz was over 300 yards passing for the second straight week (333) and added 55 more yards on the ground. The two concerns are tipped balls at the line of scrimmage, which resulted in another interception that turned into the Kelce TD, and the fact he is getting hit too much.
-The vaunted Eagles offensive line gave up six sacks, three of them to Chris Jones and one to former Eagle Bennie Logan.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen