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November 21, 2023

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Chiefs game

After the Eagles' comeback win over the Chiefs, Jimmy Kempski hands out his 10 awards.

Eagles NFL
112123KevinByard Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Byard and the Eagles defense frustrated Patrick Mahomes on Monday night.

The Philadelphia Eagles have beaten the Kansas City Chiefs. The stakes weren't quite as a high the last time these two teams played, but it was an important game nevertheless. As always, win, lose, or tie, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Shutout' Award 0️⃣: Sean Desai and the Eagles' second half defense

Remember in the Super Bowl when the Chiefs had four possessions that went like so:

  1. Touchdown
  2. Touchdown
  3. Touchdown
  4. Clock-draining walkoff field goal

On Monday night, the Chiefs' second half possessions went like this:

  1. Punt
  2. Punt
  3. Fumble
  4. Punt
  5. Punt
  6. Turnover on downs

Hmmm, I wonder if there was a difference between last year's defense and this year's defense. Hint: One defensive coordinator made adjustments at halftime, and the other just kept running the same bend-don't-break "death by a thousand paper cuts" scheme.

2) The 'Timely Plays' Award: Kevin Byard and Bradley Roby

The Eagles signed Roby off the street in October, four games into the season. They acquired Byard at the trade deadline. Both players made huge plays with the Chiefs poised to score points. First, Byard baited Patrick Mahomes into a bad decision in the end zone:

And Roby peanut-punched the ball out of Travis Kelce's hands for a fumble.

Kelce was cradling the ball with both arms and Roby still got it out. Great play. 

"I'm wearing 33 now, you know, Peanut Tillman, I had to watch some YouTube videos of Peanut Tillman," Roby said.

The Eagles' newcomers got the best of a couple of future Hall of Famers. 

3) The 'Thank You, Part I' Award 🙏: Andy Reid

With 8:56 left in the fourth quarter and clinging to a 3-point lead, Andy Reid made an insane decision to punt on 4th and 3 from the Eagles' 39 yard line. The punt ended up as a touchback, for a net of 19 yards.

On the ensuing drive, the Eagles marched 80 yards on 7 plays for the go-ahead touchdown.

Every coach, player, and water boy on the Eagles' sideline was no doubt thrilled to see the punter come out in that situation. That, in my opinion, was one of the strangest coaching decisions of the NFL season so far, and the Eagles made Reid pay for his mistake.

4) The 'Thank You, Part II' Award 🙏🙏: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

With under two minutes to go and the Eagles trying to close out the Chiefs' offense, Valdes-Scantling got behind the Eagles' defense, and... OH NO!


5) The 'Closer' Award 🙅‍♂️: Josh Sweat

On the Cowboys' final drive Week 9, with the Eagles' clinging to a four-point lead, and roughly 99.9 percent of Eagles fans expecting the game to end in a loss, Josh Sweat made the most consequential play of the game.


On Monday night, Sweat made another huge play late when he got to Mahomes and caused an intentional grounding penalty that put the Chiefs in a nearly impossible 4th and 25 situation. Of course, intentional grounding calls don't count as sacks, though they probably should. Sweat certainly thinks so.

"That's so b***s***," he said. I don't understand that. You know he's going down. Reward the guy for f***ing getting the s***. G**d***. Excuse my language, but f***ing like, it's the same yardage, same outcome, just give me the m*****f***ing sack. I work too hard for that s*** to just get the ball thrown."

Lol, preach!

6) The 'He's Good' Award 😇: DeVonta Smith

Eagles wide receivers make huge plays in every game. This season it has mostly been A.J. Brown, but it was Smith's turn on Monday night.

That catch is tougher than it looks. 

But the main takeaway here is that an Eagles' receiver made a big play when the opportunity was there, but a Chiefs' receiver did not.

7) The 'Bizzaro World' Award ⬆️⬇️: The Eagles strengths and weaknesses

The Eagles' secondary — or perhaps even more broadly their pass defense — has struggled for the better part of the season, but they were excellent against the best football player in the world.

On the flip side, the Eagles' run defense, their offensive line, and their passing offense has been great this season, but they struggled on Monday night.

If only they could could put it all together they might start winning some games. Oh wait.

8) The 'Smart Play' Award 🧠: Brandon Graham

On a 3rd and 7 on the Chiefs next-to-last drive, Graham jumped offsides, but he was able to get back onsides before a couple of Chiefs offensive linemen jumped out of their stances to draw a neutral zone infraction.

Because they didn't react quickly enough after Graham jumped, they were instead called for a false start, making the 3rd and 7 a 3rd and 12.

It was all part of the plan by Graham. OK, maybe not.

"I'm happy that I got back fast enough after I jumped and it didn't matter," he said. "I just knew I was about to get torn up. I just didn't want to be the reason we lost."

Graham also announced loudly to the media, "I’m glad I didn’t have to face y’all for an offsides penalty.”

9) The 'Gauntlet... Pfft' Award 💁‍♂️: The tough stretch of the Eagles' schedule

The Eagles are through the first two games of the nasty part of their schedule.

• Week 9: Cowboys: W
• Week 10: BYE
• Week 11: At Chiefs W
• Week 12: Bills
• Week 13: 49ers
• Week 14: At Cowboys
• Week 15: At Seahawks

Next up: The 6-5 Bills, who do not have a great record, but who have a point differential in the triple digits (+104).

10) The 'Holding Serve' Award 🎾: The Eagles' place atop the NFC

The Cowboys, 49ers, and Lions are all within striking distance of the 1 seed, and they all won their games this weekend, putting pressure on the Eagles to hold serve, which, you know, they did.

It must have been disheartening for those teams to watch the Eagles beat the reigning champs on the road.

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