Let’s get to the initial reaction from the game:
The Chiefs’ offense has a second-half problem.
For the third consecutive game, the Chiefs could not score a single point in the second half.
In Week 8, Kansas City finished the game with nine points, losing 24-9 in Denver. In Week 9, Kansas City scored 21 in the first half in Germany before scoring no points after halftime; the defense did enough for the 21-14 win. And then after the bye on Week 11’s Monday night, Kansas City scored 17 in the first half, allowing a 14-0 Eagles run to take the game.
This lack of second-half scoring cannot continue.
The Chiefs can’t make this many mistakes and expect to win against a good team.
Kansas City had two red-zone turnovers in the game, both of which took place at the Philadelphia 14-yard line.
In the second quarter, quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw an end-zone interception. Then in the fourth quarter, tight end Travis Kelce had the ball punched out, ending a promising drive that could have given the Chiefs a 10-point lead.
Kansas City also took seven penalties that cost it 55 yards. And yet — despite all that — the Chiefs could have won the game if wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling hadn’t blatantly dropped a perfect pass in the fourth quarter.
His drop was just one of 26 accumulated by Kansas City’s pass-catchers this season.
The Chiefs wasted another outstanding performance by the defense.
The Chiefs should be sick, considering the defensive performance they wasted against the league’s fifth-ranked scoring offense.
It started with defensive tackle Chris Jones, who began his 2023 campaign with 5.5 sacks in his first five games before having none in the three games after that. It could be argued that sacks are more important to Jones in 2023 than they have been at any time in his NFL career. Following a lengthy holdout that led to no new deal, Jones needs sacks in order to earn money back.
Pressed about those sack numbers this week, Jones was direct with reporters. He said that he doesn’t worry about hitting his numbers — believing that with eight games to play, he would get there. He got off to a good start on Monday night, recording two sacks and tackling Jalen Hurts for a loss in the backfield.
Behind Jones, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed played a significant role in holding wide receiver A.J. Brown to just one catch for eight yards. His partner in crime, Trent McDuffie, had one of the better games of his career. McDuffie earned two sacks on timely defensive back blitzes called by Spagnuolo — and he made a couple of other heads-up plays, including a pass defended and a near-interception. McDuffie is playing like an All-Pro — and he still has room to grow.
The performances of Jones, Sneed and McDuffie should have led a win on Monday night. But the offense continues to hold the Chiefs back.