The Kansas City Chiefs took down the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-20, to win their home opener, Sunday, September 17, 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
The first half was a complete contrast to last week’s offensive show by the Chiefs. They took the opening kickoff and marched smartly down the field all the way to the Eagles 16 yard line. The defense held the Chiefs to a field goal and a lead of 3-0.
The Eagles took possession and drove the ball to the Chiefs 13 yard line. The defense stood tall this time and held the Eagles to a field goal and the game was tied at 3 apiece after one quarter.
The second quarter was a showcase for each defense, especially the Eagles defensive line. They planted Chiefs QB Alex Smith three times for sacks. The Chiefs run defense and good secondary play kept the Eagles scoreless. The Chiefs could not move the ball on their next series and punted. The punt was fumbled and the Chiefs took over at the Eagles 24. The Eagles held them to a field goal with only 17 seconds in the half.
However, the Eagles got a first down on a run by Darren Sproles, and a freaky lucky catch that bounced out of a defender’s hands and was completed to Zach Ertz for 53 yards. The field goal attempt from the 11 yard line was wide left. The half ended with the Chiefs leading 6-3.
The second half featured more offense by both teams as the halftime adjustments came into play. After both teams had to punt on their initial possessions, the Eagles struck first in the third quarter. Eagles QB Carson Wentz led them on a 7 play, 81 yard drive for a touchdown. That gave them the lead, 10-6 over the Chiefs.
The Chiefs responded on the next possession. Smith engineered a 5 play, 83 yard drive to retake the lead, 13-10, on a Kareem Hunt 53 yard run for a touchdown. That score ended the third quarter.
The final period began with the Eagles again driving for the end zone. This time they got to the Chiefs 22 yard line before the drive stalled. They settled for a game tying field goal to make it 13-13.
The Chiefs failed to advance the ball and had to punt. The Eagles began on their own 20 yard line. Wentz scrambled for a first down. Wentz then ran for a loss and had the next pass knocked down. On a third down play, Wentz was intercepted on a tipped ball, giving the Chiefs the ball on the Eagles 35 yard line. After two short passes, Smith pitched the ball to TE Travis Kelcie who leaped into the end zone for a touchdown. That gave the Chiefs a 20-13 lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
On the next Eagles possession, Wentz was sacked and had two passes fall incomplete. They punted to the Chiefs. Smith threw a beautiful 35 yard pass to Chris Conley to get them to the Eagles 21 yard line. Smith gave the ball to RB Kareem Hunt on the next four carries which resulted in a Chiefs touchdown to all but seal the game and take a 27-13 lead.
The Eagles managed a touchdown with just 8 seconds left to come within seven points. Improbably, they then recovered a perfect onside kick. With only 5 seconds remaining, Wentz tried a hail Mary pass that was knocked away, and the game ended with a hard-fought win for the Chiefs.
Wentz completed 25 out of 46 pass attempts for 333 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He was also the leading rusher for the Eagles with 55 yards on 4 attempts. Alshon Jeffery led the receivers for Philadelphia with 7 receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Smith was good for 21 receptions out of 28 attempts for 251 yards and 1 touchdown with no interceptions. Hunt led all running backs with 81 yards rushing on 13 attempts for 2 touchdowns. Kelcie was the Chiefs leading receiver, catching 8 balls for 103 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles will play their next game at home against the New York Giants on September 24. The Chiefs carry their 2-0 record to an away game against the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.
By D.T. Osborn
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of D.T. Osborn