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September 17, 2017

First half observations: Chiefs 6, Eagles 3

Eagles NFL

Only nine points were scored on the first half of this one, but there was plenty going on. Here's a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the first 30 minutes of action between the Eagles and the Chiefs:

GOOD

–  There's no category here for luck, so we'll put this under "good." 

Unfortunately, the Eagles couldn't tie the game as new kicker Jake Elliott missed a chip-shot from inside 30 yards. More on him in a bit.

— Carson in September…

– He started the game, 5-for-5, but even his first incompletion was a good a throw, one that probably should’ve been a touchdown catch by Torrey Smith.

Wentz finished the half 9-of-15 for 134 yards (89.3 passer rating) and was sacked twice. 

– It was obvious the Eagles were trying to get Alshon Jeffrey involved early…

Jeffery had two catches, both for first downs, on the Eagles opening drive.

Unfortunately, he finished the first half with just those two catches for 23 yards.

–  Prior to the missed field goal at the end of the first half, Jake Elliott got off to a good start in Eagles debut, drilling a 34-yard field goal to put the Eagles on the board. He also put the opening kickoff five yards deep in the end zone and his second nine yards deep, but the first half didn't end well as he missed a chip shot that would've tied the game at 6-6. Instead, the Eagles trailed at the half.

–  Jordan Hicks: man.

Late in the second quarter, Hicks put a hit on Smith that hurt his shoulder, causing KC to take a timeout. 

– Jim Schwartz dialed up a few nice blitzes in the first half, including a big one in the second quarter that essentially ended a Chiefs’ drive and led to Mychal Kendricks’ first sack in nearly two years.

On a related note, Kendricks has been sick and had a 100-degree fever as of Saturday.

BAD

– After a huge series by the defense that included several hits on Alex Smith, the Chiefs were forced to punt. And on the ensuing punt, Darren Sproles broke a few tackles and then fumbled. Kansas City recovered, in field goal range, and were able to capitalize with a field goal.

That's been the difference in this game so far.

— It was looking Travis Kelce was going to be a big problem for the birds – he got the first two first downs of the game for the Chiefs.

Jenkins did, however, make up for it with nice coverage on a third-and-four attempt to Kelce and forced K.C. to settle for a field goal. Jenkins got some help on that play thanks to a well-timed blitz call from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz that forced Smith to get the ball out quickly.

Kelce finished with 5 receptions for 71 yards.

– An already depleted secondary took another hit late in the first quarter…

… and then another in the second.

To recap.

That meant rookie Rasul Douglas was forced into action. And on the first play, the Chiefs went right at him. He looked up to the task.

–  I mentioned earlier that Smith dropped a would-be touchdown pass from Wentz, but that wasn’t his only drop of the day. He dropped another potential big gain in the second quarter as well.

–  The Eagles are lucky to only have given up 6 points so far... 

UGLY

– Jaylen Watkins vs. Tyreek Hill.

But that didn't last too long after Watkins' injury.

- The Eagles offensive line was terrible on the run. They were much better in pass protection, with the glaring exception that was Isaac Seumalo.

That was just the appetizer. The second-year lineman allowed an even worse looking sack on 3rd and 10 late in the second quarter that ended the drive and stripped the Birds of any chance to add to the score before halftime.


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