Pardon the cheap shot in the title… but a big reason the Eagles lost to the Chiefs last night is our pass-pro could not contain OLB Justin Houston, who ended up with 4.5 sacks on Mike Vick…and all 4.5 of them crucial to the stoppage of any comeback momentum for the Birds.
And pardon my French— but the "exciting" fast-tempo offense of Chip Kelly is no longer "exciting"… in fact, it has become downright predictable… as teams around the league have absorbed the tape from the Game 1 Redskins win, and are obviously comparing notes.
We may be witnessing the beginning of the end for the Chip Kelly era in Philly.
But not so fast— the Eagles are still very much alive in the NFC East, due to the fact that the Redskins, Giants and Cowboys may have bigger problems than ours.
Reid's homecoming was a smashing success for the new Kansas City coach thanks to a dynamic defense that forced five turnovers and sacked a harried Michael Vick five times in the Chiefs' 26-16 victory Thursday night.
"Yeah, it was different," Reid said. "I was on the opposite side of the field than I normally am at. But I can't tell you that I was caught up in that part of it."
Vick even limped off with 1:07 to go after fumbling, but stayed around to hug Reid following the final play — just after Donnie Avery gave Reid a Gatorade shower on the sideline.
Kansas City, which has not had a giveaway in opening 3-0, has won one more game already than it did in 2012 — when it earned the first overall draft pick, then hired Reid days after he was fired on the heels of Philly's 4-12 finish. The usually stoic Reid showed some fire to match his bright red outfit late in the first half when he thought the Chiefs got a bad spot. He came out to the hash mark to yell at the officials, then walked off at halftime still gesturing his displeasure.
That was far more emotion than he displayed when he entered the stadium with the Chiefs just before kickoff. Although the Philly fans gave him a warm ovation, some standing in tribute to the man who won 140 games and six division titles for them, Reid walked briskly along the sideline, never turning his gaze toward the stands.
But he later said he recognized the tribute.
"I appreciate the fans and the support they gave me," he said. "That was kind of them."
He certainly had to like much of what he saw on the field from his defense, particularly Justin Houston.
It was offensive master Reid's defense and special teams that set the tone and put his team ahead early, silencing the sea of green at the Linc. The Chiefs forced four first-half turnovers and Houston had three of their four sacks. He had another half-sack to start the second half, off a bad snap to Vick, and forced Vick to fumble with 1:34 remaining. Houston has 6 1/2 sacks in three games.
"We got the push from the guys inside and that made it easier for the guys outside to get in there and get after him," Houston said.
Damaris Johnson's muffed punt return gave Kansas City the ball at the Eagles 8, leading to Ryan Succop's 33-yard field goal for a quick 3-0 lead. Derrick Johnson then deflected Vick's ill-advised throw into the flat and Eric Berry picked it off, going 38 yards with the first interception of the year for the Philly quarterback.
There would be more mistakes as Philadelphia (1-2) lost its eighth straight home game. But first, after falling behind 10-0, Vick got the Eagles' no-huddle, fast-tempo offense going with the longest run of his 12-year career. He burst up the middle, shook off two attempted tackles and sped 61 yards. Two plays later, it was his arm doing the damage. Under a heavy rush, he stood in and led Jason Avant perfectly in the left corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score.
That three-play, 87-yard spurt epitomized the fast-paced offense coach Chip Kelly brought from Oregon in replacing Reid. But Kelly got cute, going for a 2-point conversion on tight end Zach Ertz's run that failed.
Advantage: Kansas City…
The takeaways kept the Chiefs in front. And after Avery turned a short pass into a 51-yard gain thanks to sloppy Eagles tackling, Succop made a 31-yard field goal. He kicked a 34-yarder moments later after another turnover, Sean Smith's interception, for a 16-6 halftime edge.
Avery had a big night, finishing with seven catches for 141 yards.
Alex Henery's 29-yard field goal was the only scoring of an ugly third period, and when Jamaal Charles surged around right end for a 3-yard TD early in the fourth quarter, Reid's return was a rousing success. Not even LeSean McCoy's 41-yard TD run with 11:36 remaining could spoil that.
DEFENSIVE HERO: Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston had a career day. Houston had four-and-a-half sacks, recovered a fumble and batted down two passes.
DEFENSIVE ZERO: Let’s give it collectively to the Eagles safeties— Patrick Chung, Nate Allen and Earl Wolff.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Chiefs safety Eric Berry took a Vick pass deflected by linebacker Derrick Johnson and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to give K.C. an early 10-0 lead.
The Chiefs also took DeSean Jackson out of the game early, and for most of the rest of the game, to be honest. It was a nice game plan by the Chiefs' defensive coaches.
TURNING POINT: The Eagles had cut the lead to 23-16 with 11:31 left and had the Chiefs pinned at their 5 yardline. On 3rd-and-10, Alex Smith found Avery for 15 yards and first down. That led to a field goal drive and a 10-point lead with 3:21 to go.
HARD TO BELIEVE: Down 10-0 in the first quarter, the Eagles scored a touchdown and inexplicably went for two.
Aside from two long runs, Vick was unable to move the ball and get the offense into any kind of rhythm. "I tried to do something outside of the box," Vick said. "And it didn't work out for me."
Vick threw two interceptions- one of which was returned for a touchdown- and completed less than 50% of his passes. He finished the night 13-30 for 201 yards and one touchdown to go along with the two interceptions. He was outplayed by Chiefs' quarterback Alex Smith, who managed the game and more importantly, didn't turn the ball over.
"I tried to take the easy way out- if I just throw the fade route on the other side it never happens," Vick said of the pick-six interception in the first quarter. "I made a poor decision and it's something I'll learn from. I'll never second guess myself again."
That doesn't mean it might not be time for others to start second-guessing him. Gone was the player that looked Pro-Bowl worthy against Washington and San Diego. Instead, Vick looked every bit the quarterback that was on his way out of the door last season.
"I don't think the scheme was that complicated," Vick said of the Chiefs defense. "They didn't blitz, they just sat back and played the way they always played— the way they've been playing other teams. They do it and they do it well."
That might be the most troubling thing about Vick and the offense's performance. According to Vick, it didn't take a game-changing defensive scheme to slow down Chip Kelly and the Eagles offense. It was simply a matter of sitting there and letting Vick and the Eagles beat themselves—
"The Eagles have been very clear that their goal this season is the win, not rebuild. Vick would not even be here if that wasn't the case. If Vick isn't helping them do that, however, you have to wonder how long of a leash he will have. Watching Vick make mistakes is not the same as watching a young quarterback like Nick Foles or Matt Barkley do it. "— Eliot Shorr-Parks, NJ.com
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.1||6.8|
Comp – Att
Yards per pass
Sacks – Yards Lost
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-6||0-1|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|
|Kansas City Passing|
|Kansas City Rushing|
|Kansas City Receiving|
|Kansas City Kicking|