Eagles soar to win over Chiefs in Super Bowl rematch: How Philadelphia’s defense limited Patrick Mahomes

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The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 21-17 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Monday night. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Trailing 17-14 with 8:56 left, the Eagles finished a seven-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a “tush push” rushing touchdown by QB Jalen Hurts.
  • The Chiefs, down 21-17 with 2:49 remaining, nearly won the game on a perfect 50-yard pass by Patrick Mahomes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling but it was dropped as he fell into the end zone. They failed to score any points in the second half.
  • Hurts was 14-of-22 passing for 150 yards, one interception and two rushing touchdowns, including the game winner. It was the 11th career game for Hurts with two or more scores on the ground.
  • Mahomes finished 24-of-43 for 177 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. TE Travis Kelce had one of those scores but also fumbled in the red zone in the fourth quarter and also had a crucial third-down drop on the final drive.

How the Eagles found a way

The Eagles don’t die easy. This is their fourth win of 2023 in which they trailed at halftime. The Chiefs led 17-7 at the break, and it seemed like the Eagles and their then-lifeless offense were headed back to Philadelphia with their second loss. But Hurts, who was 5-of-7 passing for 46 yards and an interception at the break, completed a 41-yard pass to DeVonta Smith near the goal line that eventually produced their go-ahead score.

The Eagles defense shut out Mahomes and the Chiefs in the second half, and they forced two critical red-zone turnovers that may have prevented scores that would’ve created an insurmountable Chiefs lead. Safety Kevin Byard’s interception and nickel Bradley Roby’s forced fumbles were perhaps the biggest plays of the game. — Brooks Kubena, Eagles beat writer

Eagles run game rebounds

An Eagles run game that had been depreciating rebounded in Kansas City. D’Andre Swift rushed for 76 yards on 12 Carrie’s and a touchdown, and Jalen Hurts rushed for two more scores, including a 5-yard touchdown on a designed draw during a critical third down in the first half. — Kubena

Chiefs offense remains a big issue

The Chiefs have Andy Reid, a future Hall of Fame coach known for his offensive innovations, and Mahomes, the league’s most talented quarterback. And yet, the Chiefs’ biggest issue is their offense. Entering Monday’s game, the Chiefs were averaging 23.1 points per game.

But in a trend that has gotten worse, the Chiefs have one of the league’s weakest offenses in the second half. The Chiefs had two drives in the third quarter to create more distance on the scoreboard after building a 10-point lead.

But Mahomes couldn’t connect on deep passes to his receivers, tight end Kelce fumbled in the red zone and multiple penalties from several players stalled other possessions, leading to an embarrassing result: a scoreless second half. — Nate Taylor, Chiefs beat writer

Chiefs receivers haven’t developed into consistent options

One of the issues within the Chiefs’ main problem is they haven’t developed one of their receivers into an effective, consistent and reliable secondary option for Mahomes behind Kelce, the top pass catcher. Although rookie Rashee Rice has been a nice contributor, Mahomes targeted him just five times. Kadarius Toney, perhaps the Chiefs’ most dynamic receiver, was more effective on special teams as a punt returner than on offense, as he finished with just two receptions for 12 yards. Justin Watson dropped multiple passes despite being targeted 11 times.

And Valdes-Scantling, who is known for his speed, dropped a potential game-winning, 51-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter when he was behind the Eagles’ secondary and near the end zone. Against a worthy opponent in the Eagles, the Chiefs were never able to get into rhythm on offense in the second half because Mahomes’ connection with his receivers hasn’t improved as the season has progressed. — Taylor

Highlight of the game

Key stat

With the win, the Eagles improved to 9-1 for the second straight season. Monday’s win was Philly’s fourth after trailing at halftime this season (4-0), the most such wins and best such record in the NFL.

Required reading

(Photo: Denny Medley / USA Today)

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