By Dylan MacKinnon
A third straight loss. But even though the Eagles fell to the Chiefs 42-30, there were actually some positives. Anything would look good compared to last week. The game plan was much better. Jalen Hurts looked closer to how he did in week 1. The defense still struggled, but they did finally force an interception, so that is something. It is still a loss, and they are now 1-3 and in danger of many more losses. But at least we can hang our hats on some things they did well this week. Here are the 5 numbers that tell the story of Eagles vs Chiefs.
The Eagles had three touchdowns negated by penalties. An Ertz penalty due to a questionable offensive pass interference call against JJ Arcega Whiteside. A Goedert TD because of an Andre Dillard Ineligible man downfield penalty. And then Devonta Smith for Illegal Touching after he stepped out of bounds before catching the TD. Penalties have killed this team all year. This time it literally took 13 points off the board. They settled for an FG twice after these, and the third time they turned it over on downs. They lost by 12 points. I’m not saying they win if they don’t make those mistakes, but they would have at least made it a game.
The Eagles scored a TD on only 25% of their red-zone trips. Three times they settled for a field goal. You do not beat the Chiefs with FGs. If you score TDs on those three trips that is 12 more points. Again, that’s is what they lost by. The Eagles could move up and down the field at ease, but then their drives would stall nearly every time they got close to the end zone. They also had an issue with the Red Zone a few weeks ago vs the 49ers. It’s a rookie coach and a Qb in his first year as a starter. But that is no excuse. They need to be better in the red zone.
Gainwell had 9 touches for 76 yards, 1 TD, for a per touch average of 8.4 yards per touch. Miles Sanders had 10 touches for 47 yards, 4.7 yards per touch. A difference of 3.7 yards per touch. All I have heard is how the Eagles need to get Miles Sanders more touches. Maybe it is the other running back they need to get more touches. In case you think it is just this game, Gainwell has 198 total yards all season with 2 TDS and 8.6 yards per touch. Miles Sanders has 274 total yards, no TDS, on 41 touches, 6.7 yards per touch.
Eagles are not going to run the ball more. We have been asking them to run more going all the way back to the Reid years. That is not going to change. So if you want Miles Sanders to get more touches, they will come from Gainwell. And right now, Gainwell has been more productive, so that would not be a good idea. Almost every player who touched the ball today was more productive per touch. If Sanders is the “most explosive” player on the Eagles, as many love to say, he needs to start showing it.
The Eagles’ defense prevented a TD on exactly one drive this game. The Chiefs scored a TD on 6 of their 7 drives. A Success rate of only 14.3%. They didn’t force a single punt. Their only stop was an interception to open up the 2nd half. It is hard to put up a worse defensive performance. The Chiefs ran for 200 yards today. That is two straight weeks of allowing more than 150 yards on the ground. They have allowed TDs on 11 of the last 18 drives. The defense has been unforgivably bad the last couple of weeks. Is it a coincidence that comes after the Brandon Graham injury? It’s for sure not unrelated. They were facing two very good offenses, but allowing a TD almost every drive is unacceptable no matter who you play.
Jalen Hurts eclipsed 300 passing yards for the 4th time in his career today. That is across 7 full games. That’s not bad production for someone playing his first games in the NFL. He has had bad moments, and there are definitely holes in his game, but he is still more productive than most QBs in their first 7 games. He needs to get better at making certain thr0ows, and he even missed a few today. But these numbers suggest he can play at this level. Especially when his coach gives him a game plan that plays to his strengths like Nick Sirianni did today.