3 Up and 3 Down in Home Loss to Chiefs
After the Philadelphia Eagles defense gave up 41 points in their Monday night loss to Dallas, they came back and gave up 42 at home to Kansas City.
It wasn't all bad, as the offense showed some signs of life, with Jalen Hurts completing 32-of-48 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 against the Chiefs and rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith eclipsing the 100 yard barrier for the first time as a pro with seven catches for 122 yards.
"I kind of talked to somebody in there. I just said, ‘That's one of the better quarterback performances I've seen.’ And I've been around a lot of good quarterbacks, Phillip Rivers and Andrew Luck. He battled. He made good decisions with the football. He got out of trouble when there was trouble. He made good checks. He made good reads. That's the best I've seen him in practice. That's the best I've seen him in a game since I've been here. Hats off to Jalen, he battled. That's going to be important for us moving forward."
Here are 3 up and 3 down from the loss:
1. Jalen Hurts: As mentioned above, Hurts played one of his best games as the Eagles starting quarterback, with 387 yards and 32 completions. He was also the teams leading rusher in the game, adding 47 yards on the ground. He didn't turn the ball over but was sacked three times. While head coach Nick Sirianni thought this was the best game he played, Hurts wasn't satisfied with the result.
“Look, we lost. We lost. We lost the game," highlighted Hurts. "Have to do more, have to do better. And this is what I will say. You have every opportunity to learn, every opportunity, everything that you do, you learn from it. And we are clearly not there as a football team because we lost. But, we are this close, we are this close. And that is something that I believe. Something I believe. We have to continue to grow, continue to learn, continue to be one percent better every day. Continue to clock in and buy into that and believe in that. That’s what it’s going to take. We are not a finished product. No player on this team is a finished product. But it’s about believing in that and continuing to grow. And learn from everything that you do. We played a good football team out there today. A team that many say is generationally one of the best. Great quarterback, great players, all that. We have great players, too. We have to put it together and we will. We are not a finished product.”
2. Javon Hargrave: Hargrave continues to be a beast in the middle of the Eagles defense.
“I just come and try to give my best every game," said Hargraves. "I rely on my technique and try to keep getting better every week.”
He added another six tackles to his ledger, with another sack, tackle for loss and a QB hit. His totals on the season are now an eye-popping 24 tackles, six for loss with five sacks on the season.
Hargrave is the first defensive tackle in league history to put up 20 tackles and five sacks in the first four games of a season.
3. Eagles Tight Ends: The duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert finally had a larger role in the Eagles offense. Eagles tight ends hauled in 11 passes for 116 yards and a score on Sunday. Ertz caught six passes and Goedert hauled in five, plus a touchdown, and also had a second touchdown called back on a penalty.
“I feel like we were moving the ball pretty well," Goedert said. "We have to score touchdowns in the red zone. That’s really the main thing."
1. Red Zone Offense: The team really struggled in the redzone, which could have really changed the game. After a fast start to the season against Atlanta, the team has stalled inside the 20-yard line, going just 3-of-6 in the game against the Chiefs on Sunday.
"I think we were 5-6 before this game today," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni stated. "We had the one in San Francisco where we weren't good enough on. Today three of six. When you're playing a team like that, you have to convert there.
It’s everything. It's the plays I'm calling. It's the lack of execution. I'll always have it start with me. When the plays don't work, that's on me. I have to call better plays. I have to put our guys in better positions to win.
Everyone is going to look at themselves on all those plays too and say, ‘I could have done that better on this play. I could have done this better on this play.’ It’s the greatest team sport there is. It starts with me. The plays that didn't work, that's on me. I have to come up with a better scheme and put the guys in position to make a play."
If the Eagles get six instead of three in this game, it might have been a different outcome.
2. Defense: It's no secret the Eagles defense has struggled, giving up a combined 83 points over the past two games. Is it a lack of talent or a poor game plan?
The Chiefs ran for 200 yards on the ground and Tyreek Hill was able to have a field day, catching 11 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
“I mean, typically yeah," Eagles cornerback Darius Slay said when asked if he thought these are growing pains with a new defensive scheme. "As you know, with a new staff, you have to learn. It’s still early in the season, that’s a good thing, but we have to start that now though. We have to figure that out now. We aren’t going to have too much time. We have to figure that out now, but people are still learning. I’m still learning myself, so we will continue to keep learning as a group and get better.”
The Chiefs did not punt at all on Sunday and were 9-of-10 converting third-downs and went 5 for 5 in the Red Zone.
Six instead of three could have been the difference in the game.
3. Penalties: Penalties continue to be a major issue with this team. Three penalties wiped out three Eagles touchdowns on the day.
"The self-inflicted wounds have to stop," admitted Sirianni. "I know I sound the same, but it's still true. We have to stop the self-inflicted wounds of putting ourselves in holes with penalties."
The team was penalized nine times for 49 yards, including another big one from Derek Barnett that extended a drive late in the second quarter, resulting in a Chiefs touchdown that made the score 21-13 right before the half.
Philadelphia continues to play this Sunday in Charlotte against the Panthers. Radio broadcast coverage from the Eagles Radio Network begins at noon with Merrill Reese and Mick Quick will be on 97.3 ESPN at 1 p.m.
Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday Oct 3 2021