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November 20, 2023

Final observations: Eagles 21, Chiefs 17

Final observations from the Eagles-Chiefs Monday Night Football matchup.

Eagles NFL
DAndre-Swift-TD-Celebration-Eagles-Chiefs-Week-11-NFL-2023.jpg Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles RB D'Andre Swift shushes the Kansas City crowd following his first-quarter touchdown Monday night.

In what will go down as one of the most memorable Eagles regular season games in franchise history, the Eagles erased a 10-point halftime deficit, fought back with everything they had against the best quarterback in the NFL and beat the Chiefs 21-17. The Super Bowl rematch goes the Birds' way.

Final observations from a bonkers game that has the Eagles towering over the rest of the NFL at 9-1....

(First half observations can be found here)

The Highs

• With the Eagles' offense in quicksand, a jet sweep to D'Andre Swift gave them a sign of life late in the third quarter. The 35-yard run showcased some great open-field moves from Swift and put the Birds into the red zone for the first time since the game's opening quarter. Shortly after a Jalen Hurts QB draw had the quarterback strolling into the end zone to cut into Kansas City's former double-digit lead:

"It doesn't feel like a three-point game," ESPN broadcaster Joe Buck said on the ensuing Chiefs drive, echoing everyone throughout the Delaware Valley at the time.

• It'll get lost in the shuffle, but Kevin Byard made an incredible effort on a diving stop on Kendarius Toney on a third and six that forced a fourth and one in the fourth quarter. Kansas City converted (shortly before fumbling...), but the vibes were in shambles and Byard played his best game yet in midnight green. 

• Britain Covey might end up being a Pro Bowl punt returner, a deserving choice at that. He's been a legitimate weapon for them on special teams in a way this team hasn't had since Darren Sproles. 

• The pass defense, the one facet of this Eagles team I had the least confidence in coming into Week 11, played better than anyone. If Patrick Mahomes is averaging 4.1 yards per pass against your defense, you'd bank on that being a loss, right? 4.1!

• The "It Doesn't Feel Like They're Losing by 30 Anymore" Play of the Game:

One "Tush Push" later and the Eagles were up 20-17! 

In what had been a miserable evening, the Eagles were somehow up, after all the nonsense that transpired, with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. When the team needed him to make one Herculean pass, even when it was a poor, poor night from him, Hurts rose to the occasion. 

• On what looked like an archetypal Mahomes back-breaking scramble on the following drive, Haason Reddick flew down upon the Kansas City QB, who narrowly did a classic little flip pass that Zach Cunningham whacked on a third down.

• A late punt Kadarius Toney's way? Eagles fans were likely queasy. With under three minutes remaining, however, Josh Jobe made a hell of a tackle on him to pin Kansas City back at their own four-yard line. 

• They actually won. Wild. 

The Lows

• Though it wasn't officially ruled a sack, the Eagles' second half began much like their first half ended, with Hurts on the ground in the backfield. A three-and-out to kick off the third quarter after a dismal first 30 minutes of play was so uninspiring. They're down 10 on the road in prime time to the team who just beat them in the Super Bowl. The first play of the half being a handoff to the third-string running back was as bland as anything in Brian Johnson's playbook. It wasn't even a terrible play, as Boston Scott picked up four yards, but it just sums up the state of affairs, to the spark that is out of this offense's grasp. A loss of yard to D'Andre Swift came next before a two-yard loss for Hurts. 

In what could've been a time to gather themselves together, drive down field and make it a three-point game at that juncture, the Eagles were rudderless. 

• The Eagles entered Monday night allowing the fewest yards per game on the ground of any team in the NFL with a mark of 66.3 yards. Kansas City torched them on scoring drives in the first half and got that number all the way up to 168 on the night, by far the highest total they've allowed this season and the most yards on the ground surrendered since Week 9 of last season in Houston. Mahomes wasn't the one beating them all night! 

• During a game where nothing seemed to go right, it felt apt that the Eagles could fall back on their "Tush Push" if the situation presented itself. It didn't until the third quarter when the Eagles faced a third and one. Understandably, it was a long one yard, but with the way things had transpired, it was a necessity for the Birds to pull out their nearly unstoppable play. They didn't. A handoff to Swift went sideways for a three-yard loss. It was third down. Even if you don't get all the way across the first down mark, just go for it again on fourth down! The Birds punted. 

• A second and 10 screen to approximately 48-year-old Julio Jones while down three and backed up near your own end zone in the fourth quarter was a sight to behold. Jones has a role here as a red zone threat at this stage of his career, but on a night full of them, this was the most head-scratching Eagles play call out there. It conjured up brutal images of Ronnie Brown throwing a football while being tackled. Luckily for Eagles fans, it will soon be a forgotten moment. 

The Whoas

• The city of Philadelphia hung in the balance while this ball was in the air:

It should've been six. It should've been an Eagles loss. Sorry, football world. The "cocky-distraught" meter in Philadelphia has swung so wildly that it broke outright. 

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