A closer look at the ballers and fallers in Eagles tightly contested loss to Chiefs

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The Eagles gave it all they had in a tightly contested loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Doug Pederson’s team was eventually outplayed by a team that’s rapidly becoming a dominant force in the AFC, but while some Eagles shined, others simply saw their light begin to fade.

 

Ballers

Rasul Douglas:
Making his NFL debut against some of the fastest receivers in the league is certainly a challenge, but the WVU star did more than enough against the Chiefs. With four tackles to his name, Douglas also broke up a crucial pass on third down to force a Chiefs fourth down. Douglas kept plays ahead of him and more importantly, held his nerve against an Offense that has the ability to turn a dead play into a touchdown. We’ve seen many cornerbacks drown in the deep end once dropped in, but Douglas began the swim to safety onto his own Island, giving the team a level of confidence that may not have been there in the days after Darby’s injury.

 

Alshon Jeffery:
After a quiet season opener, Alshon Jeffery performed like a number one receiver. Wentz gave him plenty of opportunities to make something happen, targeting Jeffery 13 times. The former Bear caught 7 of those passes for 92 yards and his first touchdown as an Eagle. Not only that, but Jeffery really helped spread the Offense once again, combining with Trey Burton for some interesting looks and keeping a weakened secondary on their toes. The sheer presence of Jeffery is intimidating enough, but when he’s verging on a 100-yard gain, that’s exactly why the Eagles paid him.

 

Mychal Kendricks:
Not much needs to be said about the restoration of Mychal Kendricks. After an offseason of trade and window shop speculation, Kendricks hit preseason HARD. The former Cal linebacker was relegated to a minimal role last year but appears to have found his niche. Kendricks was a force in rushing the passer, his ace during his time in a 3-4, but was even more impressive in coverage…surprisingly. Kendricks showed incredible play-recognition when getting into the backfield and was able to wrap up the Cheifs rushing attack cleanly and effectively. Kendricks is giving the Eagles linebacker dragon a third head and the chip on the shoulder is clear.

 

Fallers:

LeGarrette Blount
For the first time in what seems like forever, LeGarrette Blount didn’t receive a single carry. While being very modest about it in his postgame interviews with the media, it’s safe to say that Pederson was aware of how much he appeared to slow the Offense down in week one.

The problem was that the run-game hardly blew up when the Eagles moved on from Blount. The team’s leading rusher was a quarterback who threw 46 passes and the rest of the carries were largely dominated by 35-year old Darren Sproles. If the Eagles are comfortable in allowing Sproles to be the workhorse and STILL suffer such a drop in production, it doesn’t bode well for the man who led the league in rushing touchdowns last year.

 

Isaac Seumalo:
Seumalo simply didn’t have a good game. Allowing two sacks in the first half, what followed later in the game was hardly a comeback. The Eagles recently promoted Seumalo to starting left guard, but the Chiefs flooded his view with dominant pass-rushers and largely overwhelmed the versatile lineman, leading to plenty of scrambles, sacks, QB hits, and blown up rushing plays. The Chiefs almost began to orchestrate their rush in the knowledge that the left side would collapse far sooner than the right…which is a worrying sign.

The Eagles paid Chance Warmack for a reason but we’re yet to see him even active this season…just how much more is Seumalo’s slow-growth going to haunt what could be an elite line if they had a competent C/LG pairing?

 

Vinny Curry:
Jim Schwartz spoke extremely highly of Vinny Curry during the offseason, but alluded to the fact that the DE does all the right things when it comes to pressure, but simply struggled to finish. Not much has changed. The team have registered eight sacks so far, the most since 2011 where they registered nine in the opening two games. Not one has come from Vinny Curry. Curry missed a HUGE sack on Alex Smith that could well have tilted the balance of the game. With Derek Barnett flashing each and every week, Curry’s opportunities may well be fading, especially after Chris Long burst onto the scene with his first sack as an Eagle.

 

Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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