You're not dreaming. The Eagles bounced back for an epic 21-17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football to improve to a league-best 9-1 on the year. Before you dig into the Morning Roundup, presented by DraftKings, feast on Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's 12 takeaways from the prime-time classic as well as Owen Boyle's instant game recap.
Nick Sirianni praises resiliency after comeback win
When asked about what he learned about his team following a 21-17 road victory against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni used one word.
"I feel really confident in our team because they find ways to be resilient," Sirianni said. "That speaks to the character of the men in that locker room."
That character has shown all season, as the Eagles are 6-1 in one-score games.
While many highlighted the Week 11 matchup as a Super Bowl LVII rematch, Sirianni felt differently.
"It was good to get a win," Sirianni said. "We were not thinking we were coming up here to avenge a loss because it was a different magnitude of a game. That was for everything. We are just pleased to get the win tonight. Was this a sweet win? Yeah, all wins in the NFL are sweet. It is tough to win on the road against a good team."
In his third season as Philadelphia's head coach, Sirianni remains undefeated coming off the regular-season bye week.
He also beat Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid for the first time in his career. The former Eagles head coach was beaten by Philadelphia for the first time in five meetings since Reid left following the 2012 season.
"I am just honored to share the field with one of the greatest coaches of all time, Andy Reid. It is an honor," Sirianni said. "I have so much respect for him and the job he has done. What I find unbelievable about him is the consistency he has done it over two teams and so many different things. He has just been awesome. It was an honor to share the field with him."
Sirianni noted after the game that the Eagles were able to win in a hostile environment.
GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, is known for being one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL with some of the rowdiest fans.
"There was a lot of energy," Sirianni said. "It was a playoff atmosphere. It was loud. It was rowdy and we knew it would be. A lot of our guys have played here in the past. I can't say enough about how loud it was. Communication was needed. I am happy we spent a lot of time during the week with the crowd noise up as loud as we possibly could. That helped us prepare for this."
Backed by a defensive shutout in the second half and two rushing touchdowns from quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Eagles came away from the hostile atmosphere with a 21-17 win.
Sirianni's team is now 9-1 after another razor-thin win.
"Whoever was going to win that game, was going to win it gritty, grimy, and nasty. All those adjectives," Sirianni said. "It was not pretty on either side. It was going to be that way. The guys just stayed together and kept grinding it out. We were able to come out on top." – Written by Owen Boyle
Jalen Hurts comes alive in the clutch
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts once again showed his star power in a 21-17 comeback win over the Chiefs.
Going into halftime, the Eagles had allowed 10 points following the two-minute warning, the offense had just two first downs in the second quarter, and Hurts was sacked five times.
After a three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half, the outlook was bleak for the Eagles' offense.
The offensive struggles and 10-point deficit did not phase QB1, and it rarely does.
"I try to never get too high and never get too low," Hurts said. "Obviously, the standard is the standard. You want to play to a high standard all the time."
When trailing by double digits, Hurts has won seven straight games. That is the most by any quarterback in the NFL since the stat was first tracked in 1991. No other quarterback has more than four straight wins.
Coming into the game, Hurts was the highest-graded quarterback (87.0) in the league when trailing, per Pro Football Focus.
How did he get that seventh win?
Using his versatility as a passer and runner.
With 4:09 left in the third quarter, on third-and-5 from the Kansas City 10-yard line, Hurts used his legs, taking a designed quarterback draw right up the gut and into the end zone.
"It is truly a game of inches, whether it be hitting a block, hitting a crease, or finding a hole; we found a way," Hurts said.
After multiple defensive stands by the Eagles' defense, another major third-down play came the way of Hurts, this time with 6:23 left in the game
Hurts found wide receiver DeVonta Smith across the middle for a gain of 13 yards and the first down.
On the very next play, from the Kansas City 42-yard line, Hurts aired it out to Smith on the right side of the field for a gain of 41 yards, placing the ball on the Kansas City 1-yard line.
"It was a great catch by him," Hurts said. "Timely play in the game. You make those plays when you need to make those plays."
You know what happened next – The Brotherly Shove.
Hurts once again used his legs to power across the goal line to give the Eagles the lead for the first time all night.
They held that lead for good, thanks to strong defensive play, helping Hurts get his seventh straight win when trailing by double digits.
Hurts turned it on in the fourth quarter, going 6-of-9 for 81 yards and a quarterback rating of 95.1. He added four rushes for 14 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes came into the game 34-1 when leading by 10 or more points at halftime. Hurts became just the second quarterback to beat the reigning NFL MVP in this scenario.
Hurts became the first passer in NFL history to lead his team back from a double-digit halftime deficit to win while being the only player on either team to score a touchdown or field goal in the second half.
The fourth-year quarterback continues to shine in the bright lights, leading his team to a 9-1 record.
"In the end, winning is the only thing that matters," Hurts said. "We continue to find ways to do that. I just want to continue to grow, and there is an eagerness to do so." – Written by Owen Boyle
It's a Super Bowl rematch as the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles travel to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium to take on the 7-2 Kansas City Chiefs. It's the NFC's top team against the AFC's in front of a nationally televised audience on Monday Night Football!
Midseason additions on defense key clutch turnovers
Here is the latest reminder that Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman and his team don't just rely on free agency ... they don't just rely on the draft ... they are always looking for ways to upgrade the team.
Hence, the following roster moves:
• On October 4th, the Eagles signed cornerback Bradley Roby to the practice squad
• On October 23rd, the Eagles agreed to a trade to acquire safety Kevin Byard from the Titans
Roby and Byard, both familiar with the Chiefs from their AFC days, were instrumental in Monday night's win over the Chiefs that featured a second-half shutout by the defense.
Byard drew the task of working against All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. The Eagles varied the looks and coverages on the All-Pro center's younger brother, but Byard – No. 31 – was constantly around him. And when he wasn't, it proved to be huge.
With the game tied at 7-7 in the second quarter, the Chiefs were driving after getting the ball off an interception by cornerback L'Jarius Sneed. From the Eagles' 14-yard line, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes lofted the ball in the middle of the end zone for wide receiver Justin Watson, who scored the first touchdown for Kansas City. Byard read the route and undercut it, to snag his first pick as an Eagle.
Roby, who played 44 snaps on defense in his return from a shoulder injury, came up with a red zone turnover of his own later in the game.
The Chiefs were up 17-14 early in the fourth quarter and looking to pad the lead. Mahomes hit Kelce on a short pass over the middle to the 9-yard line when Roby perfectly timed his punch to get the ball out. Linebacker Nicholas Morrow jumped on the ball for the fumble recovery.
"Two veterans, guys who have been playing a long time. Bringing Byard along, the ball magnet, he caught a pick. He did a great job on Kelce today. He made a lot of plays on him today. We appreciate him," cornerback Darius Slay said. "Robe bringing his veteran presence on the inside. He has done an amazing job, as well. He is helping out young guys get better. We will continue to keep building off of this and get ready for this coming week."
Byard continued to make his presence felt as he finished with a game-high eight tackles and two pass deflections to go along with the interception. Kelce had a costly drop on a third down on the Chiefs' final offensive possession with Byard in tow. Kelce atoned for the mistake with a move-the-chains catch on fourth down to keep the drive alive and another grab on the following play for 13 yards, but that was it. Kelce posted 44 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown, which came on a pick play to negate Byard.
"We know their offense runs through Kelce and obviously Mahomes ... making scramble plays, off-script plays," Byard said. "I think we had a really good game plan as far as trying to take Kelce away. Obviously, he's going to make plays. He's a Hall of Fame tight end. He did score a touchdown there. I think we did a good job of neutralizing him. It was catch – tackle, catch – tackle. He really wasn't getting those big gains. I think we had a really good game plan." – Written by Chris McPherson
DeVonta Smith gets Chiefs to crack in fourth quarter
Chip away. Chip away. The Eagles knew that there was a big play to be had against a Kansas City defense that entered the game allowing just 15.9 points per game, good for second best in the league, and was swarming Jalen Hurts and the offense to the tune of five sacks and just seven points allowed in the first half.
"We just know it was never about them, it was always us," wide receiver DeVonta Smith said. "Everything that was going wrong, it was us. It was us not communicating, not being on the same page, and things like that. It had nothing to do with them."
Finally, with 6:55 left in the game, Smith ran down the right sideline out of the slot. Quarterback Jalen Hurts took the shotgun snap, looked to his left, then his right, and aired out the ball to Smith, who was covered by safety Mike Edwards. Smith cradled the ball in and was ruled down at the 1-yard line.
You should know by now what play came next to put the Eagles ahead 21-17 for the first time all night.
On a night when A.J. Brown was held in check to the tune of one catch for 8 yards and tight end Dallas Goedert sidelined with a forearm injury, Smith proved once again that he's a threat in his own right. For the second time in three games, Smith came 1 yard shy of 100, totaling 99 on six receptions.
"Take advantage of the matchup that we had," Smith said of the big play. "We saw it the whole game, and we felt like it was time to attack that matchup."
Smith had two catches for 31 yards on the Eagles' first scoring drive in the opening quarter to answer Kansas City's touchdown. He had two catches for 19 yards on the second touchdown drive, which was capped off early in the fourth quarter by Hurts' 10-yard touchdown run. Right before the 41-yard dagger that everyone will remember, Smith converted a third-and-5 with a 13-yard reception.
If a big play was needed, Smith was there to deliver.
"The fight that this team has, no matter what the situation is, everyone is always going to be ready for it," Smith said. "When we do put it all together, it's going to look good." – Written by Chris McPherson
Jason Kelce finally beats his younger brother in sibling rivalry
When the Eagles play the Chiefs, the Kelce brothers storyline is going to be at the forefront, but none more than ever this time around when you factor in what was happening on the field – both teams atop their respective conferences – and off the field.
Jason, the older brother, had never beaten the Chiefs in four previous tries, most recently, well, you know what happened in February.
That changed Monday night as the Eagles overcame a 17-7 halftime deficit with two Jalen Hurts rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to get the 21-17 victory and improve to a league-best 9-1 this season.
"I'm definitely happy that we got the win," Kelce said. "It's not the cleanest game, it's not my cleanest game – frustrated with a lot of things in the first half. It's hard to come in here and win. The atmosphere is electric. The place is loud. They threw us off in the first half quite a bit. I'm happy that we keep winning, but it's not our best performance offensively. Not too happy, but I'll take the win."
The Eagles struggled with the Chiefs' pressure packages as they gained just 78 total yards of offense and were 0-of-3 on third down. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was sacked five times in the first half. But when it mattered most, the Eagles went 61 yards in seven plays to make it 17-14, then, buoyed by wide receiver DeVonta Smith's 41-yard reception, marched 80 yards in seven plays for the go-ahead score.
"I really think we play smart football at the end of games," Kelce said. "That's when we play our best, and that's a big reason why we have closed out a lot of close games."
All eyes were on the brothers after the game, but there wasn't much of an interaction. Fans will have to wait for the next episode of their hit podcast, New Heights.
"I didn't really say nothing. I knew he was frustrated. Especially down the stretch, I'm sure there are some plays that he's beating himself up over," Kelce said. "I didn't really know what to say. He said, 'Happy belated birthday.' He didn't get me a gift, so I guess that counts. He's not too happy. Obviously, I'll talk to him this week." – Written by Chris McPherson
D'Andre Swift reignites the rushing attack
There was plenty of Swift on the television screen Monday night to no one's surprise, but thankfully for Eagles fans, it was one who was able to put up points against the Chiefs.
Running back D'Andre Swift had 76 rushing yards and a touchdown as well as another 31 yards receiving in the win over Kansas City.
In Weeks 2 and 3, Swift gobbled up 305 rushing yards and a touchdown in the wins over the Vikings and the Buccaneers. Swift earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 175-yard rushing output in prime-time home opener against Minnesota.
Swift's best performance since was a 108-yard offensive showing (70 rushing, 38 receiving) in the win at Los Angeles. With the passing game unable to get on track early and often Monday night, it was Swift who was the catalyst of the offense.
"We got the win and that's the most important thing," said Swift, rushing behind the original starting offensive line with right guard Cam Jurgens back from Injured Reserve. "We've got a lot of stuff to clean up, but getting a win against a team like that, is always good in this league."
Swift got the Eagles on the board in the first quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run. He touched the ball six times for 35 with a run of 17 yards right before the scoring play.
Until there was 5:42 left in the third quarter, Swift touched the ball just four times, but the next opportunity was the dam-breaker. Swift ran in motion pre-snap from right to left, took the handoff from quarterback Jalen Hurts, and dashed down the left side for a 35-yard gain, weaving his way through would-be defenders.
"It was a great opportunity, and it was a great call," Swift said. "I was just trying to make the play happen."
The Eagles scored on that drive as Hurts used his legs to cut the Kansas City lead to 17-14 with a 10-yard run. On the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter, Swift sparked it once again by taking a screen pass for a 20-yard gain on second-and-10.
Philadelphia has won four straight games now, three of those against winning teams and two against division leaders.
"That's a sign of a good team, especially when you're facing adversity like that," Swift said. "We had some opportunities throughout the game but found a way to win in the end." – Written by Chris McPherson