Chiefs Take Care of Business vs. Eagles, Win 42-30: FULL BREAKDOWN - 10 Observations, Play of the Game, Chance at FREE TICKETS

Monday's always feel better after a win.

After dropping two in a row heading into Sunday afternoon’s matchup with Andy Reid’s former team of 14 years (1999-2012), and in his former place of employment, the Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) got back on the winning track as they beat the Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) by a score of 42-30 in the City of Brotherly Love.

While some of the offensive numbers put up by Patrick Mahomes (5 TD passes) and Tyreek Hill (11 REC, 186 YDS, 3 TDs) were ridiculous, the Chiefs’ defense didn’t do anything to alleviate those concerns.

So, let’s get to it …

Here are ten observations from Sunday’s win against the Eagles.

Andy Reid gets #100

When it’s all said and done, Andy Reid’s career will be defined by the immense success he is having — and will continue to have — in Kansas City. He celebrates his 100th win as head coach of the Chiefs in the place where his career started. 

Tyreek Hill is special

A shocking development I know, but Hill’s ability to outrun the defense all the way to the pylon on the Chiefs’ first drive of the game was special. He caught a simple curl and found what angle there was to get his team all the way to the goal line. After a couple quiet weeks, he put together an 11 catch, 186 yard, three touchdown performance.

The defense struggled with tempo

The Chiefs still had their struggles trying to get in position early in the game — leading to the Eagles first touchdown. This has been a consistent issue with this team — the communication needs to be better or opponents will continue to try and attack them with quick snaps. 

The Eagles’ first TD shouldn’t have counted

The inability to defend tempo early hurt double because the Chiefs forced a red zone fumble right before the score — only the referees missed the call and the Eagles snapped the ball before the Chiefs had a chance to challenge. 

Jody Forston is a touchdown machine

Back-to-back weeks, the wide receiver convert has found paydirt. It’s cool to see a player who was done everything the organization has asked him to do in his stint on Kansas City’s practice squad to finally get a chance on the 53-man roster — and make it count the way he has.

Pass rush is a problem

The Eagles were missing four starting offensive lineman and the Chiefs still couldn’t get to the quarterback effectively. This game was teed up for the defensive line to tee up and they really couldn’t generate much pressure until late in the game when the game script got more predictable.

The run game was dominant

The Chiefs established the run with great aggression. They averaged 6.3 yards per carry, and 200 total yards on the ground en route to victory. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had one of his best performances in his two year career — running the football well and getting involved in the pass game with a red zone touchdown. 

The game was won in the red zone

The Chiefs’ defense tightened up to force field goals in the red zone. The Eagles kicked three field goals in the first five possessions of the game. This team wasn’t able to stop the Eagles much between the twenties, but forcing field goals proved to be a big factor in the Chiefs’ victory. 

Little mistakes keep adding up

Chris Lammons jumped offsides on a field goal attempt. A late hit by Alex Okafor negated an Eagles penalty. Byron Pringle fumbled on special teams. Small mistakes keep hurting this team — and it’s uncharacteristic to see so many avoidable, self-inflicted errors occurring. 

The quietest five touchdown performance ever

Kent: “That’s his fifth touchdown pass today.”

BJ: “He has five?!”

It kind of snuck up on everyone, but Mahomes put together an exceptional day — despite one interception. The Chiefs scored 42 points — capped off by a 44 yard touchdown from Mahomes to Hill. 

The best player in the world put together a big game when his team needed it the most. 

Matt’s Play of the Game

There wasn’t a massive momentum shifting play in the Chiefs victory over the Eagles. It was a relatively steady game with the Chiefs moving the ball with ease and the Eagles doing much of the same only with just slightly lesser execution, and that was ultimately the difference in the game.

With the Chiefs leading by 5 points after an early 4th Quarter TD from the Eagles, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs marched down the field and into the redzone. Seven out of the first ten plays of the drive were run plays which helped lead to the drive capping TD pass from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill.

The Chiefs have been stellar with their Slant-Flat type RPOs all season now but there was a little twist added in this game vs the Eagles. Rather than running the Slant as a traditional 3 step stem and ~45 degree angle break to the middle of the field, they appeared to borrow some principles from Steve Sarkarsian’s Glance RPO.

For Sarkisian, the Glance RPO is a 4 to 8 step stem to the outside but the key is the break. It’s coached as simply “breaking to daylight” which means exactly what it sounds like it does. Oftentimes this makes the route resemble a short version of a Skinny Post route. 

While Tyreek Hill doesn’t stem his route in the same manner as coached for a Slant-RPO, it’s the more vertical break coming out of the slant - breaking to daylight - that looks to be a small adaptation. Rather than flattening the route out and simply trying to run into the endzone, his upfield angle leads him directly in as he catches the ball.

Now the route and concept are cool enough, but we have to give more than a little credit to the OL and run-action throughout this entire drive. The Chiefs OL had been dominating the Eagles DL in the second half and quite easily moved the ball down the field on the ground. That’s why you see the second level players for the Eagles bite so hard on the run-action opening up the throwing lane for Mahomes to squeeze the ball into.

This Slant-Flat RPO increased the Chiefs lead from 5 points to 12 points and from that point, they never looked back on their way to the 42-30 win.

31.6 - Average Points Scored when Patrick Mahomes starts in regular season

Much will be made of the defense’s inability to stop the opposition, but don’t let that overshadow yet another terrific performance out of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. The fact that a 42 point outing — the eighth such performance Mahomes’ regular season career — seemed so “ho-hum” is a testament to the reliability of this offense to put points on the board. While the narrative will (and should) be focused on the stress put on the offense by its defense, the fact that Mahomes and company continuously help expand the margins this team plays in should not be overlooked.

28.5% - Percentage of games where Steve Spagnuolo’s Chiefs defense allowed 30+ points

Going into the 2021 season, the hope was that the Chiefs defense would take strides and help the offense extend early leads, allowing the Chiefs (seemingly quite good) rushing offense to impose their will and close out games. Thus far, they’ve struggled to keep the opposition off of the scoreboard, allowing three of their four opponents to score 30 points or higher. The only game under 30 this year was just barely — at 29 points.

Spagnuolo’s unit allowed 30+ in 21.8% of their games his first two years with the Chiefs, but that number has ballooned by another ~7% already. Going with the Chiefs offense averaging 30+ under Mahomes, the hope would be that Spagnuolo’s defense could do just enough to keep the opposition in check. To date, the 2021 unit has struggled to do that — and there are still some dangerous offenses on the horizon for this team to face.

$45,882 - Tommy Townsend’s game check

Chiefs fans will gladly take Townsend making his money as a holder — and zero punts — this week if it means this kind of offensive output. The Chiefs punter gig is great work if you can get it.

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