Eagles rally to beat Chiefs in Super Bowl rematch
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles insisted that their Super Bowl rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs had nothing to do with revenge.
They got a little bit of it anyway.
After allowing the Chiefs to methodically build a 10-point halftime lead Monday night, the Eagles shut out Patrick Mahomes and Co. over the final 30 minutes. Jalen Hurts overcame a poor start in a cold, driving rain to run for a pair of touchdowns, and his go-ahead tush-push in the fourth quarter allowed the Eagles to walk away with a 21-17 victory.
"We weren't thinking, 'Hey, we're coming up here to avenge a loss,'" Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said afterward. "That's a different magnitude of game. That was for everything. So we’re just pleased to get the win tonight."
Besides, Sirianni said, "they ain't giving us the rings back. I know that."
Still, the Eagles (9-1) became the first team to win at least nine of their first 10 games in consecutive seasons since the Colts in 2005-06, and they did it by beating former coach Andy Reid for the first time in five tries since he landed in Kansas City.
Eagles center Jason Kelce also got the best of little brother Travis Kelce for the first time. The Chiefs tight end could have used some luck from pop star and love interest Taylor Swift, who had to miss the game — he fumbled the ball away in the red zone in the fourth quarter, when Kansas City was trying to extend a 17-14 lead.
The Chiefs still had a chance with less than two minutes to go, converting on fourth down and getting help from a roughing-the-passer penalty. But a perfectly placed ball from Mahomes went right through the hands of Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a would-be 51-yard touchdown, and the Eagles stopped Kansas City on fourth down to put the game away.
"This is a growing moment for us as a team, overall," Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said.
Hurts threw for just 150 yards with a pick, but he made the plays Mahomes could not in the second half. He also got some help from D'Andre Swift, who ran for 76 yards and a score, and DeVonta Smith, who caught six balls for 99 yards.
"I don't think we played clean tonight. I don't think we played to our standard," Hurts said. "But I think the one thing you can't quantify is the resilience that a team has, and the ability to see through things, and this team has that."
It was only the ninth time that two teams that played in the Super Bowl met in the regular season the following year, and the champion had won the previous four matchups. The last to lose was Dallas against Buffalo during the 1993 season.
Mahomes was held to 177 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception in the end zone. Isiah Pacheco added 89 yards rushing for the Chiefs, who couldn’t overcome their two red-zone turnovers and a plethora of penalties.
"I think offensively," Mahomes said, "I'm just not where I want to be at this point in the season."
Unlike the Super Bowl, when the Eagles blew a 10-point halftime lead, the Chiefs took a 17-7 lead to the break Monday night.
It was knotted 7-all after Hurts and Mahomes traded first-quarter touchdown throws, and it was still tied when Mahomes hit Kelce on third down for the go-ahead TD with 1:45 left. And when the Eagles got the ball back, sacks by Trent McDuffie and George Karlaftis made them give it right back with 44 seconds remaining.
Plenty of time for Mahomes to get the Chiefs within range for Harrison Butker to add a 43-yard field goal.
But for all the praise the Chiefs get for their prolific offense, they’ve been abysmal in the second half this season, scoring a league-low 53 points entering Monday night. And after two quick punts to start the half, Philadelphia finally capitalized on the good field position, marching downfield before Hurts finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.
The Chiefs kept beating themselves — and the Eagles kept taking advantage.
Along with penalties that derailed their first two drives of the second half, Kelce fumbled the ball away at the Philadelphia 8 early in the fourth quarter. And when the Chiefs got the ball back and had to punt a few minutes later, Justin Watson was unable to down the ball at the Philadelphia 1, resulting in a touchback that gave Hurts and Co. some breathing room.
They proceeded to go 80 yards the other way, and Hurts' sneak gave Philadelphia the lead for good in the fourth quarter.
"It's the resiliency and togetherness that really stood out to me tonight," Sirianni said, "and I can't say enough about the defense. I can't say enough about the job our defense and our defensive staff did."
Eagles TE Grant Calcaterra hurt his ankle in the third quarter. DT Fletcher Cox briefly left after a hard collision on a tackle.
Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman left in the first quarter with a thumb injury but returned to the game.
Eagles: Host Buffalo on Sunday.
Chiefs: At Las Vegas on Sunday.