October 4, 2023

Eagles make silly penalties, don’t execute in red zone in whooping from Chiefs


Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Patrick Mahomes vs. this defense is about as big a mis-match as you can imagine.

Mahomes had his way with the Eagles Sunday, but Jalen Hurts and the Eagles did keep things interesting for a while. This was a five-point game in the fourth quarter. 

Ultimately, too much Mahomes and too much Eagles defense. Andy Reid and the Chiefs left Lincoln Finnancial Field with a 42-30 win, and the Eagles left with a three-game losing streak.

Here’s a few takeaways.

Field goals don’t win games, must execute in red-zone

You can’t kick early field goals against the Chiefs and expect to win. It’s guaranteed they’ll come back to haunt you.

The Eagles had three more red zone drives that didn’t result in touchdowns Sunday, and each time Sirianni elected to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down.

Against most teams that makes sense, but against Pat Mahomes and this Chiefs offense, field goals get you beat and Sirianni has to know that. Those may be low percentage fourth downs, but if you settle for three, you simply are not going to win the football game.

This is an all-time historic offense you’re facing here and a Hall of Fame QB, you can’t just talk about being aggressive you have to be aggressive. And that means keeping your foot on the gas, no matter what.

Every time the Eagles scored three, they were one step closer to losing. The Eagles lost this game when Jake Elliott kept kicking field goals.

Much better game for Sirianni

Sirianni did call a much better game, at least between the 20s.

He helped Hurts get into a rhythm and gave him a chance to make plays, and the 23-year-old QB responded. He was really good. He spread the ball around, he was accurate, he showed good pocket awareness, he really employed the mid-range game as well as he has so far, and he avoided mistakes.

Yeah, he missed some guys, notably a wide open Zach Ertz in the end zone on the first drive. But he finished 32-for-48 for 387 yards, two TDs, no INTs and a 105.1 passer rating. He played very tough. He never stopped battling. I loved his effort. Considering the last two weeks, this was a really encouraging bounce-back performance. 

Great day for Smith

DeVonta Smith was very impressive Sunday. He really showed why the Eagles made him a top-10 pick.

Smith looked smooth and effortless catching a 37-yarder at the right sideline just before halftime and on the very next play made a lunging catch of a 12-yarder that Hurts overthrew.

He finished with career numbers — 7-for-122, making him the first Eagles rookie with a 100-yard game since Jordan Matthews.

This is a big-time wide receiver, a special kid.

O-line hung in there

Considering everything, the Eagles’ offensive line hung in there pretty well on Sunday.

Right tackle Jack Driscoll was making his fifth career start, right guard Nate Herbig was making his first start of the year, Landon Dickerson was making his first career start at left guard and third overall start, and Andre Dillard’s sixth career start.

I’m not sure how many teams can lose four starting offensive linemen — including two Pro Bowlers — and function at all, but for the offense to score 30 points and record 461 yards of offense and only allow three sacks in 51 drop-backs, that’s good stuff, and it speaks volumes about the job Jeff Stoutland does getting everybody on the roster ready to play.

Really, how bad was the defense?

This is only the fourth time in the franchise’s 89-year history the Eagles have allowed 40 points in consecutive games. It happened in 1943 — that was actually the Steagles — and it also happened in 1966 and 2015. So twice in the last half century. And only the fourth time they’ve ever given up 40 at the Linc.

This is really bad.

This team and this staff have a lot of work to do.

It’s scary just how accurate Mahomes is. Seeing how he delivers the football with anticipation in the right place is a beautiful thing.

It’s just you don’t want to see him do it against the Eagles.

He was 24-for-30 for 278 yards and five TDs Sunday with the one interception and a 131.0 passer rating. He’s the first QB ever to complete 80% of his passes with five TDs against the Eagles and only the 11th quarterback to do that against anybody on the road.

One quick note about Javon Hargrave. He continued his brilliant start with some disruptive play up front, finishing with six tackles, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and his fifth sack.

He’s by far the Eagles’ best defensive player, and honestly he’s doing the kind of things Fletcher Cox used to do. Hargrave is the Eagles’ first interior lineman with 5.0 sacks through four games since Jerome Brown in 1991, and that’s pretty good company.

His 5.0 sacks are sixth-most in Eagles history by anybody through five games. Only Jason Babin (7.0 in 2011), Hugh Douglas (6 ½ in 2000), Clyde Simmons (6 ½ in 1991, 5 ½ in 1992) and Reggie White (6.0 in 1990) have had more.

More penalties

Penalties, again. Nine more of them.

That’s a franchise-record 44 penalties in four games. Just inexcusable.

We’ve been saying it all year, this team is horribly undisciplined, and that’s a reflection on one person. His name Nick Sirianni.

The sad thing is that nine penalties is the Eagles’ second-fewest in a game this year. This team isn’t good enough to overcome these kind of self-inflicted mistakes. 

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