The Chiefs were the first team the Eagles faced to have an answer for Chip Kelly’s offense. The Eagles were unable to overcome five turnovers despite a solid defensive effort.
The Eagles spent most of the first half shooting themselves in the foot. Michael Vick threw a pick six and a second interception, Damaris Johnson muffed a punt, Jason Kelce botched a snap. The offensive line gave up four first half sack, but despite these miscues, the defense came through with some huge stops and held the lead to 10 going into the break. The offense struggled to move the ball, especially through the air. While the defense made as many stops as could be expected of them, they ultimately faltered in the clutch, surrendering a back-breaking Chiefs drive that ate up a huge portion of the fourth quarter. Here are the individual notes:
- QB Michael Vick looked rattled at times and never found his rhythm. He completed only 13-of-30 passes, but made some big-time plays with both his feet and his arm. He rushed for almost 100 yards, but threw a pair of costly interceptions.
- RB LeSean McCoy went down with a scary-looking leg injury in the second quarter, but returned early in the third and went on to explode for 158 yards and a score. He’s a big reason why the Eagles gashed Kansas City for 260 yards.
- WR DeSean Jackson was less involved against Kansas City than he has been. He caught only three passes, but hauled in an impressive 40-yard reception. He lined up in the backfield a fair amount in the first half, but as a decoy. He’s still a much more dangerous weapon
- OT Lane Johnson was beaten like a drum, giving up 3.5 sacks to Justin Houston.
- One of the season’s biggest mysteries has been RG Todd Herremans’ implosion. A reliable veteran starter, Herremans has been a major liability at guard for the Eagles.
- C Jason Kelce has had difficulty snapping the ball, once causing a turnover and once a sack, but he was an outstanding run blocker throughout the game.
- OT Jason Peters is no longer the best left tackle in football. He was beaten in pass protection once in a while and was whistled for a penalty.
- LG Evan Mathis has been an absolute rock at guard for yet another season. He’s got a near-flawless game and is playing at an all-pro level.
- DE Cedric Thornton has quietly emerged as a solid run stopper. He doesn’t offer much in the pass rush department but has been the stoutest Eagle at the point of attack.
- DE Vinny Curry was excellent in limited action, drawing a holding penalty and wrestling Alex Smith down for a sack. He’s the team’s top interior pass rusher and should have a role on the defense going forward.
- OLB Connor Barwin was all over the field, but was usually a half-step late. He’s active in all phases – coverage, pass rush, and run defense – but doesn’t excel in any one area. He predictably struggled to match up with Jamaal Charles in the flats.
- OLB Trent Cole made a few splash plays and is proving that he can penetrate and disrupt plays even from his stand-up alignment. Even Brandon Graham came alive against the Chiefs, beating the left tackle around the edge for a sack.
- ILB Mychal Kendricks led the team with 9 tackles, and is the team’s most active and rangy run defender. However, he’s not a very good downhill player and, as usual, missed a few tackles that he should have made.
- S Nate Allen wasn’t as terrible as usual. He came up with a big sack of Alex Smith early and wasn’t exploited in coverage, which is major progress for him. In fact, fellow safeties Patrick Chung and Earl Wolff were the main culprits when the Eagles missed tackles on the back end.
- The secondary was generally good in coverage, but they were carved up by WR Donnie Avery to the tune of 141 yards. They are particularly poor when Billy Davis only rushes three men or calls for an outside technique from his corners out of a cover 3 look.
- K Alex Henery missed another long field goal that the Eagles needed. He’s reliable from short range but is extremely shaky from beyond 40 to 45 yards.