Nate Allen can't bring down Jamaal Charles on a three-yard score in the Eagles' 26-16 loss to the Chiefs. (AP)
Andy Reid has outsmarted plenty of coaches while standing on the sidelines at Lincoln Financial Field.
On Thursday, he did it again. Except this one left Eagles fans as furious and fed up as they were for some of Big Red’s worst losses.
Reid, the former 14-year Eagles head coach, returned to the Linc cloaked in red, coaching the undefeated Chiefs and greeted by the home crowd’s standing ovation. He left with Kansas City improving to 3-0 -- already more wins than the Chiefs had last year -- after a 26-16 victory over the coach who replaced him.
Chip Kelly’s offense hit the skids for the first time this season, limited to just one touchdown and plagued by turnovers. They coughed up the ball five times, once on special teams with a muffed punt.
The Eagles (1-2) didn’t score at least 30 points for the first time this year and lost for the second straight time. They’ve lost eight straight at home going back to a September win over the Giants in Week 4 last season.
Michael Vick, coming off arguably his best game as a pro, struggled against a Chiefs defense that knocked him around like a pinata on the night that Donovan McNabb had his jersey retired and was honored at halftime (see story).
The Eagles came within seven in the fourth on a LeSean McCoy touchdown run and had the Chiefs staked deep inside their own territory but couldn’t come up with a stop and eventually fell down by 10.
Vick, who was sacked five times in his first two games, was sacked five times just against Kansas City, which came into the game tied for the league lead in sacks. Justin Houston got him 3.5 times. On Houston’s last sack, late in the fourth, Vick limped off the field and would have been replaced by Nick Foles until replays showed Vick fumbled.
Coming off a 428-yard passing effort against San Diego, the second-most of his career, he managed a season-low 185 yards. He was also picked off twice after taking a streak of 95 straight passes without an interception into the game. Chiefs safety Eric Berry returned his first pick for a touchdown.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was just OK but came up big in the fourth quarter after the Eagles had cut the Kansas City lead to 23-16. Staked to his own 5-yard line, Smith marched the Chiefs into Eagles territory, where Ryan Succop’s fourth field goal put the game away.
Smith didn’t toss a touchdown for the first time this season, but his 273 yards were a season-high.
Chiefs wideout Donnie Avery was this game’s version of Eddie Royal. He scorched the Eagles from the slot, going for 141 yards on seven catches. He came 22 yards shy of tying a career mark. His 51-yarder was his longest since 2008, his rookie season.
The offensive line really struggled, especially center Jason Kelce, who had two bad snaps. Lane Johnson also got beat a few times. In general, Vick wasn’t protected well and McCoy’s rushing yards were mostly on his power.
Tie between the Chiefs' Berry and Houston. Berry picked off a pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. He also broke up consecutive passes to Brent Celek and Jason Avant near the goal line in the third to keep the Eagles out of the end zone.
It was Patrick Chung’s turn to miss tackles and struggle in coverage at the safety position for the Eagles. Chung was a non-factor for a defense that badly needed someone from the second level to make a play.
McCoy left just before halftime to get his leg X-rayed after what looked like a scary injury, but he returned a few snaps into the third quarter and carried the Eagles’ rushing offense. Chung left in the fourth with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. Vick limped off the field in the fourth but seemed to able to jog back to the lockers after the game.
Did you know?
Chiefs safety Eric Berry told the NFL Network earlier this week that Mike Vick was the quarterback he most wanted to intercept. And then he did it.
“I think that would be a big statement, a big deal for me, because I grew up watching him in Atlanta,” Berry said. “He was a lot of people’s idol back home, so I definitely feel like that would be something special.”
Smart decision/Not smart decision
Kelly pulled out one of his gimmicky Oregon tricks after the Eagles’ first touchdown with an odd formation on a two-point conversion attempt. With kicker Alex Henery barking cadences behind an unbalanced line with several lineman and receivers split left, the ball was snapped laterally to tight end Zach Ertz, who was tackled by Tamba Hali well short of the goal line.
Kelly atoned for the goofy call by wisely accepting a 3rd-and-3 holding penalty in the second quarter at the Eagles’ 30-yard line instead of declining, pushing Kansas City back to the 40. The drive ended when Ryan Succop missed a 51-yard field goal.
QB Matt Barkley, DL Damion Sqaure, CB Jordan Poyer, OT Matt Tobin, OT Dennis Kelly, TE Emil Igwenagu.
After becoming the first team in NFL history to open the season with three games in 11 days, the Eagles won’t play again until next Sunday, when they play the Broncos in Denver. The Eagles haven’t played in Denver since Oct. 30, 2005, a 49-21 loss that marked Terrell Owens’ final game with the team.