It wasn’t pretty at times for the Kansas City Chiefs, but nonetheless they will leave Philadelphia tonight with a 26-16 victory over the Eagles. The Chiefs again struggled in pass protection and had a couple more potential problematic injuries occur. However, after three games Kansas City is still undefeated and has already surpassed its win total from 2012.
The Chiefs’ offense was able to hold onto the ball for 19 minutes longer than the Eagles had possession. This was highlighted by a fourth quarter drive that took just more than eight minutes off the clock directly after the Eagles made the game a one-score affair. Donnie Avery had one of the best games of his career, catching seven passes for 141 yards. Alex Smith finished the game 22 of 35 for 273 yards.
The Chiefs’ defense had a solid night, highlighted by five turnovers and five sacks. Eric Berry returned a Michael Vick interception for a touchdown and Justin Houston registered 3.5 sacks to push his season total up to six. Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson also registered in the sack column and Sean Smith joined Berry in intercepting a Vick pass.
The Chiefs were able to convert just six of 18 third downs and Dwayne Bowe registered only one catch for four yards. Smith was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season. Kansas City scored on only one of its six red zone possessions.
Despite surrendering only 16 points and getting the sacks and turnovers, the Kansas City defense allowed the Eagles to make some big plays and put up some yardage. The Eagles put up 431 total yards of offense including 260 on the ground.
Smith was under constant pressure which led to five Eagles sacks. The Chiefs lost two starters to injury during the game, left guard Jeff Allen and cornerback Brandon Flowers. Flowers is pivotal to defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s high-pressure scheme, as it relies on the secondary to handle covering the opposition’s backs, receivers and tight ends without much help from the front seven.
Losing Allen for any length of time would be an injury the Chiefs could ill-afford as well. An already suspect offensive line would become even more questionable as depth at the position is not a strength for Kansas City.
Kansas City will now have ten days to heal up and prepare for their second home game of the season against the New York Giants. If the Chiefs can continue to get sacks and turnovers on defense and grind the clock on offense, they will have a shot at 4-0. Improving the pass protection and getting healthy should be priority number one for the Chiefs in the meantime.