The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-17, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday night in what turned out to be a defensive battle between two of the top teams in the NFL.
In fact, the Chiefs and Eagles – who combined for 73 points in Super Bowl LVII last February – dug in for a much different type of game amidst a rainy night on Monday, and while Kansas City possessed a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter, Philadelphia rallied to pull ahead late in the contest.
"Today, it was penalties and miscues," said quarterback Patrick Mahomes. "We've got to find ways to score at the end of the day. The defense is playing great football – it has been all year. Offensively, we've got to find ways to finish football games."
Indeed, a handful of self-inflicted mistakes – particularly in the second half – prevented Kansas City from putting the Eagles away on Monday night, the largest of which being a red zone giveaway early in the fourth quarter. It thwarted what was otherwise a strong start for the Chiefs, who amassed a 10-point lead prior to halftime.
Mahomes – who completed 24-of-43 passes for 177 yards and two scores on the night – found wide receiver Justin Watson and tight end Travis Kelce each for touchdowns in the first half to build that initial lead, but for the third-straight week, Kansas City didn't score in the second half.
Despite those offensive struggles, however, the Chiefs' defense managed to keep Kansas City in the game throughout. The Chiefs held Philadelphia – which entered the game as the No. 3 scoring offense in the NFL – to just 3-of-11 on third down and only 238 yards of offense. Kansas City also racked up five sacks on Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts, including two each by cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive tackle Chris Jones.
That defensive effort held the Eagles to just seven points in the first half, but to its credit, Philadelphia managed to rally for two scores – including a go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter – in the second half.
"[It was] self-inflicted plays," said safety Justin Reid. "We have to stop on the penalties. If we don't hurt ourselves over the course of the game, I don't think there is any team out there that can beat us. We just have to hone in and play football the way that the Chiefs know how to play football."
It all ultimately wrapped up into a disappointing night for Kansas City following a strong start, but while Monday's game didn't go the Chiefs' way, Mahomes reiterated his confidence in the locker room as the reigning Super Bowl champions enter the homestretch of the season.
"I don't have any concern because I'm going to do anything I can to play the best football I can, and if you have concern, then you don't win football games," Mahomes said. "I believe in the guys that we have in the locker room, and we will come to work with that mentality if we're going to find a way to fix it."
In terms of injuries, wide receiver Mecole Hardman (thumb) was the only player that Head Coach Andy Reid mentioned following the contest, but it's worth pointing out that Hardman returned to the game.
The Chiefs will now aim to get back on track on a short week with a matchup on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders coming up on Sunday.