KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have scored an NFL-worst 53 points in the second half of games this season, which works out to just over five per game, and they certainly could have used that measly total against the Eagles on Monday night.
Instead, they got none.
The Chiefs were shut out in the second half for the third straight game, this time by Philadelphia in their highly anticipated Super Bowl rematch, allowing Jalen Hurts and Co. to rally from a 10-point deficit for a 21-17 victory in the Arrowhead Stadium. .
Whether it was penalties, red zone turnovers or two dropped passes in the final minutes, the Chiefs (7-3) made the kind of offensive mistakes that have been rare since Andy Reid, who had never lost in four attempts against his ex. team: He took over as coach in 2013 and Patrick Mahomes began his prolific career as his starting quarterback in 2018.
“All season long,” Mahomes said, “we haven’t played good football in the second half. We have to keep working. Obviously, we had a pretty good first half handling the ball, but we have to find ways to finish games offensively.”
Mahomes was limited to 177 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the end zone. Travis Kelce was his main target, catching seven passes for 44 yards and a score, but he also fumbled in the red zone with a fumble in the fourth quarter.
“I’m just not playing at the level I have in the past,” Kelce said afterward. “I have to be better.”
Had he held the ball, the Chiefs could have turned a 17-14 lead into a two-possession game. Instead, the Eagles drove 80 yards the other way, and Hurts broke through to score the go-ahead touchdown with about six minutes left.
After the teams exchanged punts, the Chiefs had one last chance with the ball at their own 9-yard line with 2:49 remaining. But while that would have been enough time in previous years, it seemed like no amount would have done them any good on Monday night.
Their final drive began with a fourth-down conversion, and a roughing the passer penalty pushed them near midfield. But then came the disappointment: Mahomes threw a ball perfectly to Márquez Valdés-Scantling for a possible 51-yard touchdown that went through the receiver’s hands. Then, after Mahomes was called for an intentional penalty, he threw one last incomplete pass to a ball that Justin Watson could have caught and that would have kept the Chiefs alive with a first down.
Instead, the Eagles ran out of time.
“The game certainly doesn’t come down to a single play. As much as someone wants to say that, it’s not like that,” Watson said. “I’ve seen Márquez make that play 99 times out of a hundred. That was just one he didn’t do. And he is a phenomenal player and he will do it for us next week or the next time it is necessary.”
The last attack was a microcosm of what the second half was like for Kansas City, which had gone into halftime with a 17-7 lead. His first drive was derailed by a holding penalty on Donovan Smith, his second drive by a false start on Jawaan Taylor and his third nearly went out of bounds by a holding call on Kelce, who fumbled later in the move forward anyway.
Standout center Creed Humphrey was also penalized for a false start that led to another punt later in the fourth quarter.
The result of red zone turnovers, seven penalties for 55 yards and dropped passes and missed assignments was the Chiefs’ second loss in their last three games, one that knocked them from their position atop the the AFC.
“Offensively we’re just not where I want to be at this point in the season,” Mahomes said. “It starts with me. I have to make better throws at certain times. “We have to keep moving the ball downfield and be more consistent throughout the game.”
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