PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Doug Pederson, it appears, has learned his lessons well from his mentor Andy Reid. The Reid-isms were there in abundance on Sunday in the Eagles’ 27-20 loss to Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs at rambunctious Arrowhead Stadium. The glaring foible it seems Pederson has inherited from Reid is the terrible imbalance in the run-pass ratio.
The Eagles threw the ball 46 times (50 called passes) against a Chiefs team that has a very good pass rush, while they ran just 17 times (13 called runs)—and four of those were Carson Wentz scrambles.
Reid, meanwhile, at least the one Eagles’ fans came to know over 14 years, didn’t really show up on Sunday playing his old team. The Reid-isms weren’t there. The Chiefs, who scored 10 points off turnovers, managed the clock well. There were no blown timeouts.
The Eagles stayed with one of the better teams in the NFL for the better part of three quarters before Kansas City’s superiority rose in the end. But where the Eagles appear destined to struggle to make the playoffs, Reid’s Chiefs appear ready for January in September.
Wentz, despite good protection, ran for his life most of the afternoon. He completed 25 of 46 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns, with one fluky interception that changed the course of the game.
The tipping point came on a deflected pass by Chiefs’ defensive lineman Chris Jones, which bounced off Justin Houston’s helmet and led to a Travis Kelce’s leaping 15-yard touchdown reception breaking a 13-13 tie with 6:25 left to play. It didn’t help that the Eagles allowed Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith’s 5-yard scramble two plays earlier on a third-and-4 at the Eagles’ 25.
Smith was able to elude Vinny Curry, who appeared to have Smith in his grasp.
Pederson knows where the corrections have to be made. It’s a matter of making them if the Eagles have any hopes of being competitive deep into this year.
Without a running game, Wentz has become terribly exposed. He was sacked six times by Kansas City and took a lot of punishment. Left guard Isaac Seumalo had a tough time, which manifested itself in the Eagles’ third-and-10 at their 25 with just over 3 minutes left in the half. Dee Ford bull rushed over Seumalo for a 9-yard loss.
The running game was first and foremost on Pederson’s mind afterward.
“It’s an area we have to address and fix offensively,” Pederson said. “Obviously I wasn’t pleased with how we ran the ball really the first two weeks. It’s not one individual. It’s a team effort, so we have to fix that going forward. We just have to get the whole thing fixed. When you play good defenses like we did, you have to have the ability to run the ball.
“This is two weeks in a row we struggled. It’s tough to always rely on the throw. It takes all 11 in the run game. We have to evaluate it and fix it. You hope your run game is on track and on point and it wasn’t. From that standpoint it was tough sledding later in the game when you have to rely on the run game. ”
The Chiefs went into halftime ahead, 6-3, but the Eagles actually outplayed them. The Eagles had 160 yards of total offense and 11 first downs, to Kansas City’s 130 yards and 5 first downs. The Eagles averaged 6.2 yards per play, to Kansas City’s 5-yard average.
The Eagles put a ton of pressure on Alex Smith, sacking him three times for minus-14 yards. The Eagles finished with four sacks for minus-19 yards.
“The mistakes cost us today,” Pederson said. “The middle part of the game is an area we have to address and fix. Third-and-long [which was often], you don’t want to be there.”