Instant analysis: Eagles fight to the bitter end with odds stacked against them in loss to Chiefs

USATSI_10287655_168382939_lowres

We said before the game that this one would be ugly. A coaching chess match between apprentice and master that will be decided by a shining moment from a star on either team. That’s exactly what we saw in the Chiefs’ 27-20 win over Philadelphia, but there is plenty to take from a loss that can be regarded a win in so many other ways.

Character:
The Eagles came into the game without Ronald Darby and lost both Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins early on. But still, they kept pounding. Frustration built as once again pressure piled on Carson Wentz, but still, they kept pounding. The Eagles were down two scores with next to no time left on the clock. But still, they kept pounding. A recovered onside kick and a near hail-mary almost tilted the game in a shocking manner, but put the result aside. This is a team that fights. For every yard. Every play. Regardless of what came their way, this team pushed and pushed against a Chiefs side that dethroned the Patriots just one week ago. That’s all you can ask from a team on the rise.

 

Abandoning the run:
Pederson was well aware that Blount slowed down the Eagles Offense, but nothing changed. The Eagles abandoned the run early and allowed Wentz to throw for 46 passing attempts, despite being within three points for most of the game. Sproles had 10 rushing attempts for 48 yards and didn’t even lead the team in rushing. That honor fell to none other than Carson Wentz. Something’s got to give…seriously.

 

A changing of the guard?
Isaac Seumalo didn’t exactly have an excellent game. He allowed 1.5 sacks in the first half and continued to get mauled by the Chiefs pass rush. While Lane Johnson mauled Dee Ford on one side, Seumalo was often overwhelmed with little support from Jason Kelce or Jason Peters. Chance Warmack was signed to an extension before even playing a regular season snap and is still yet to play one. Pederson may have a tricky decision or two to make.

 

Rasul Douglas shines:
Dropped in the deep end in the absence of Ronald Darby, rookie cornerback Rasul Douglas was brilliant given the circumstance. With four tackles to his name and a crucial pass breakup on third down, Douglas was called upon early and often but rarely disappointed. Some big plays were given up elsewhere, but the WVU standout did well to keep the ball in front of him.

 

Eagles pass rush is the real deal:
Whether it was the thriller dance from Fletcher Cox, or a team effort from Tim Jernigan and Brandon Graham, the Eagles front four was simply unrelenting today. Chris Long registered his first sack as an Eagle and Derek Barnett soon found his feet at the next level. If not for some late heroics from Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs rushing total would have been very different. What felt like a bottle of Coca Cola being shaken to the point of explosion, the Eagles simply refused to let anything past the first few yards after scrimmage until exhaustion. Expect big things from the Eagles front four this year.

 

Jake Elliott is a threat:
He may have missed a field goal in his NFL debut, but a perfectly placed onside kick and ticking all the boxes elsewhere left Elliott in good stead after his first taste of Eagles action. With Sturgis sidelined, one has to wonder just how threatening Elliott’s presence truly is.

 

Mack attack:
Mack Hollins made his first NFL catch and then some today, catching three passes for 32 yards. The UNC special teams captain made sure that he becomes much more than that at the NFL level, showcasing his route-running and soft hands. As the Eagles continue to roll through their receiving core, there’s no doubting that Hollins will see more action.

 

Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

More from our Sister Sites