There was a team flying around Lincoln Financial Field at a frenetic pace, making big plays left and right. And, no, it wasn’t Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense, but instead Andy Reid’s attacking defense.
An impressive defensive effort from the Kansas City Chiefs led the team to a 26-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles and just the eighth 3-0 start in franchise history. Six of the first seven teams to achieve that feat made the playoffs and Reid’s squad is now in perfect position to be the seventh.
Things started out about as well as they could for Kansas City. A 57-yard kick return for Quintin Demps was followed by a quick three and out for the Chiefs. However, the momentum quickly swung the Chiefs way after the Eagles muffed a punt at their own eight yard line.
Though the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal, they quickly added to their early lead thanks to a pick-six by Eric Berry, with an assist from Derrick Johnson.
The Kansas City defense did end up surrendering several big plays to Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy, but never wavered from their game plan to put constant pressure on the Eagles. It’s that pressure that led to five Philadelphia turnovers.
Vick was battered all night long, with Justin Houston leading a pass rush that finished with five sacks and twice as many hits that put the quarterback on the ground. The linebacker’s final hit on Vick would have knocked him out of the game if a fumble didn’t take the ball from Philadelphia for good.
Now Houston and the undefeated Chiefs will squarely be in the national spotlight as they get ready to continue their NFC East tour next week against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium.
Before we move onto next weekend, here is a look at the three players that stood out for the Chiefs.
Offense: Donnie Avery
With the Chiefs top two tight ends out, the Eagles weren’t going to let Dwayne Bowe beat them, which opened things up for the speedster.
The wide receiver didn’t have any of the Chiefs three touchdowns, but no offensive player had a bigger impact on the game Thursday night than Avery.
He finished with a game-high seven catches for 141 yards, including four third down conversions (the Kansas City offense had six total). Three of those drives Avery helped extend ended in points for the Chiefs.
Defense: Justin Houston
I’m pretty sure Vick is going to have nightmares about Houston the rest of the season. The linebacker was hitting the quarterback all night long and ended up with 3.5 sacks. He also delivered a monstrous blind side hit that left the Eagles signal caller on the ground grabbing at his back.
It was Houston’s final sack of the game that finally kept Vick down and likely forced him out of the game (he fumbled on the play and the Eagles never touched the ball again, but backup Nick Foles was warming up).
After his huge game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston said he was eying the NFL single-season sack record of 22.5. After three weeks he now has 6.5 and will only need to average a little more than one a game the rest of the way to tie the record.
Special Teams: Ryan Succop
With the Chiefs offense stalling far too often, it was Succop there to pick up the slack, hitting on four field goals. Outside of a 51-yard miss in the second quarter, there wasn’t much to dislike about the kicker’s night.
Even on the miss, he was only pushed past 50 yards because of a penalty on rookie right tackle Eric Fisher. And as we saw on Eagles kicker Alex Henery’s 48-yard miss, that stadium wasn’t going to be friendly to anything in the 40s.