Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Chiefs
The Philadelphia Eagles trailed by ten at the half and came back to beat the Chiefs 21-17. It is the first time they beat Andy Reid since he took over as Head Coach in 2013.
The defense deserves a lot of credit for shutting out the Chiefs in the second half. They forced two turnovers in the red zone to help keep the Chiefs from scoring. The Eagles run defense was torched for more than 120 rushing yards in the first half, but settled down in the second half allowing just 47 yards on the ground.
The Eagles offense struggled before using some big plays to help move down the field and ultimately find the endzone. Those big plays were to D'Andre Swift and DaVonte Smith with Smith hauling in a deep ball at the one yard line.
We are starting to realize this team's identity just might be how tough and resilient they are. They don't panic when trailing by double digits. They never believe they are out of it and while they may not play a crisp game, they can still win and that will make beating them very difficult.
Here is the latest issue of Grayson's Grades:
D'Andre Swift - Swift was a big reason the Eagles won the game. He started with some solid runs and later in the game was a factor through the air on screens and short passes. Swift scored his second rushing touchdown in the last three games. The Eagles got him in open space and that allowed his speed and vision to lead to some big gains. Swift averaged 6.3 yards per carry rushing it 12 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 31 yards.
DeVonta Smith - Smith was the primary target for Jalen Hurts in this game. His biggest catch was in the second half where he secured a catch at the one yard line setting up a tush push for the touchdown. Smith was targeted eight times. He did a good job of finding open space and securing the catch when given the opportunity. Smith finished with six catches for 99 yards.
Haason Reddick - Reddick set a tone early in the game showing blazing speed off the edge and sacking Patrick Mahomes on the Chiefs opening possession. Reddick continued to do a good job on the outside and pressured Mahomes occasionally. He finished with four tackles, one sack, one tackle for a loss and three quarterback hits.
Josh Sweat - Sweat was opposite Reddick creating havoc on the other side. He too was getting a great jump off the edge and pressuring Mahomes. It forced him to move around and break the pocket. Sweat had four tackles and three quarterback hits.
Bradley Roby - Roby returned from injury and overall played pretty well. He made a huge play immediately following a completion to Travis Kelce at the Eagles ten yard line. Roby closed on Kelce and punched the ball loose forcing a fumble that Nicholas Morrow recovered. Turning the Chiefs away there without any points was huge. Roby did get lucky late in the game with the Eagles trying to protect a four-point lead. Mahomes went deep and Marquez Valdes-Scantling beat Roby; however, Valdez-Scantling dropped what would have been the go-ahead touchdown. Roby finished with five tackles.
Kevin Byard - Byard had a pretty solid game. His biggest play involved jumping in front of a route in the end zone and leaping to pick off a pass. It was huge to see the Chiefs get in the red zone but fail to score. Byard also did a decent job on occasion shadowing Travis Kelce. Byard did get confused on one play and lost his man who ended up catching a touchdown. Overall, he has been a great addition to the team since he was traded to the Eagles about a month ago. Byard tied for the team lead with eight tackles. He also successfully defended two passes.
Zach Cunningham - Cunningham has been pretty consistent this season. He does a good job floating around and tends to be around the ball. One of his biggest plays happened late when Mahomes broke the pocket and scrambled toward the sideline. Cunningham followed him out there and managed to get a hand up just as Mahomes looked for his man around the first down marker. It was a big incompletion and ultimately led to a punt. Cunningham had seven tackles and successfully defended that one pass.
Nicholas Morrow - Morrow has also done a decent job at Linebacker. His biggest contribution was seeing Travis Kelce's fumble almost immediately and pouncing on the ball before anyone else had the chance. That takeaway was huge and part of the reason they won the game. Morrow finished the game with five tackles.
Nick Sirianni - Sirianni did a good job of trying to keep his team from buying into the 'Super Bowl Rematch' aspect of the game. He acknowledged the players and staff had to watch that game film and that it did bring up some emotions. However, Sirianni seemed to do a good job of having his team focused on this game for what it was and not any shot at redemption. In parsing words during his post-game news conference you got the sense that he tried to help Brian Johnson a bit with some of the play calls and adjustments in the second half.
Offensive Line - This offensive line is stout and extremely talented. That being said, they did struggle in the first half. The Chiefs appeared to stack the line of scrimmage disguising who was rushing and who was dropping back in coverage. That looked to confuse the Eagles. However, clearly adjustments were made at halftime and they did a much better job of picking up the pass rush. The Eagles allowed five sacks in the first half but none in the second half. That adjustment was a huge factor in allowing the Eagles to give Jalen Hurts more of an opportunity to pass the ball.
Sean DeSai - DeSai's defense deserves a ton of credit for two things, forcing a pair of red zone turnovers and holding the Chiefs scoreless in the second half. His defense got torched for 121 rush yards in the first half, but made some big adjustments to hold the Chiefs to just 47 yards rushing in the second half. The first down runs of five or more yards by the Chiefs in the first half dropped to one or two yard gains in the second half. That changed the complexion of the possession. This 'C' grade is essentially the result of a poor first half married with a great second half.
Brian Johnson - Johnson continues to struggle to get this offense into a rhythm. However, the Eagles did get another win and did score at least 21 points as they have in all nine of their wins this season. The only time they scored less than that was when they lost to the Jets 20-14. I fail to understand how the run game can look good and Swift seems to build off his touches. Then suddenly he goes a while without touches and the offense seems to stall out. This offense has too many weapons and at times seems predictable with the short passes. Stick with the run, expand to downfield passes and then pick apart the intermediate routes after stretching out the defense.