The Chiefs are hosting the Eagles in a Super Bowl rematch on Monday Night Football. Follow along with The Athletic’s NFL experts and insiders.
Jamie Squire / Getty Images
What you missed in the first half on Monday Night Football
- After three-and-outs by both teams to open the game, the Chiefs (3-yard TD pass from Patrick Mahomes to Justin Watson) and the Eagles (3-yard rush TD by D’Andre Swift) each scored touchdowns on their second possession. KC is looking to win its 18th straight regular-season game after taking the first lead, currently the longest active NFL streak.
- In the second quarter the Chiefs came after Eagles QB Jalen Hurts and Hurts was picked off by Kansas City CB L’Jarius Sneed. Hurts has now thrown an NFL-high six interceptions against the blitz this season, three more than any other player.
- Kansas City moved the ball on the ensuing drive inside the 20-yard line, but Mahomes was picked off by Eagles S Kevin Byard in the end zone. Byard, who was acquired from the Titans ahead of the trade deadline, is tied for second among safeties with 10 interceptions over the last three seasons.
- The Chiefs took a 14-7 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to TE Travis Kelce with 1:45 to play in the half, their 51st touchdown connection. That matches Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham for the third most by a QB-TE duo in NFL history. Only Tom Brady–Rob Gronkowski (90) and Philip Rivers-Antonio Gates (89) have more.
- The Chiefs added a 43-yard FG by Harrison Butker to close the half with a 17-7 lead. Kansas City has now scored an NFL-high 60 points this season in the final two minutes of the first half and its +50 edge in scoring margin during that stretch (60-10) also leads the NFL.
Reasonable halftime point spread
The Chiefs were a 2.5-point favorite at kickoff, so being up by a 17-7 score could justify a double-digit point spread, but that isn’t the case as Kansas City is listed at -7.5 points in live in-game betting at BetMGM.
Chiefs own the final 2 minutes before halftime
The Chiefs scored 10 points in the final two minutes of the half tonight:
- TD pass from Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce with 1:45 left
- FG by Harrison Butker as time expired
Kansas City has now scored an NFL-high 60 points this season in the final two minutes of the first half and its +50 edge in scoring margin during that stretch (60-10) also leads the NFL.
More fantasy scoring woes for the Eagles
Jalen Hurts isn’t the only Philadelphia player to have terrible first-half fantasy numbers in this contest, as DeVonta Smith has tallied only 5.1 PPR points and A.J. has generated only 1.8 PPR points.
That isn’t the case for Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes, as Kelce’s touchdown reception made up for seeing only two targets in the first two quarters and helped him generate 9.1 PPR points. Mahomes doesn’t have much yardage-wise (78) and has thrown a pick, but two touchdown throws have allowed him to rack up 12.02 points.
Chiefs’ defense is firing on all cylinders
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who is known for his aggressive style, has constantly generated pressure on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts through a plethora of blitzes. Often using nickel cornerback Trent McDuffie, who leads the team with five force fumbles, the Chiefs have collected five sacks before halftime.
Chris Jones, the Chiefs’ best pass rusher, sacked Hurts twice, each from the defensive tackle and defensive end positions. McDuffie had two sacks and defensive end George Karlaftis ended the Eagles’ final drive of the second quarter with a sack.
Worst first-half fantasy scoring performance of Jalen Hurts’ career
Jalen Hurts has scored 19+ points in every game this season sans the Week 1 matchup against the Patriots, so his fantasy managers are used to big point totals from him.
That has not been the case this evening, as Hurts has generated only 0.44 points against a stingy Kansas City defense. That is by far his lowest fantasy point total in the first half of a game that he started, as his previous low was 2.38 points against the Cowboys in Week 3 of the 2021 season.
Mahomes/Kelce match Brees/Graham
The 4-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce with 1:45 to play in the half was their 51st connection on a touchdown. That matches Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham for the third most by a QB-TE duo in NFL history.
Only Tom Brady-Rob Gronkowski (90) and Philip Rivers-Antonio Gates (89) have more.
Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco is having an impressive first half against the Eagles
With 12 carries, Pacheco has gained 66 yards, often moving forward after the first defender makes contact in an attempt to tackle him. In wet conditions, Pacheco’s contributions have helped give the offense the necessary balance it needed to combat the Eagles’ strong collection of pass rushers. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has used his leg to scramble for 29 rushing yards, too.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before
Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce. Four-yard touchdown pass gives the Chiefs a 14-7 lead with 1:45 to go before halftime.
Eagles have been stout on drives beginning in their own territory
After the 21-yard punt return by Kadarius Toney, the Chiefs opened their drive at the Eagles’ 45-yard line.
Philadelphia has held opponents scoreless on four of seven drives beginning in positive territory this season (57.1%), the highest rate in the NFL.
Back-to-back sacks for Chris Jones
Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones picks up his first two sacks since Week 6, giving him 7.5 for the season.
Kevin Byard picks off Patrick Mahomes in the red zone
Philadelphia safety Kevin Byard, who was acquired before the trade deadline, gets his first interception as an Eagle as Patrick Mahomes tries to force a pass into the end zone to Justin Watson. The Eagles take over possession with 6:45 remaining in the first half.
Chiefs moving the ball on the ground
The Chiefs have already rushed for 85 yards tonight, the most the Eagles have allowed in a single half (first or second) this season.
Philadelphia entered the night allowing a league-low 66.3 rush yards per game this season.
Chiefs pick off Jalen Hurts
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has now thrown nine interceptions in 2023. He’s tied his career high from 2021 in 10 games.
What you missed in the first quarter on Monday Night Football
- Both defenses came out flying in this Super Bowl rematch. Each unit recorded a sack and then forced a three-and-out on its respective opening drive.
- The Chiefs responded on their next drive, moving the ball 80 yards in 10 plays and took a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Justin Watson. KC has won 17 consecutive regular-season games in which it scored first, the longest active streak in the NFL.
- The Eagles answered with a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive of their own capped by a 3-yard rushing score by D’Andre Swift to tie the game 7-7. Swift ran for 33 yards on the drive (37 overall) and now has a career-high 651 on the season. Swift needed four rush yards tonight to top the 617 he had with the Lions in 2021.
Big drive for D’Andre Swift
The Eagles entered the weekend with a depreciating rushing attack that held several questions. They just answered the Chiefs with a 9-play, 70-yard touchdown drive in which they averaged 7.3 yards per carry. D’Andre Swift, who had five Carrie’s for 38 yards on the drive, broke a 17-yard run, then bounced for a 4-yard score.
The Eagles often ran behind left guard Cam Jurgens, who is starting for the first time since returning from IR. Philadelphia is also finding space in the passing game by using DeVonta Smith in the slot. He caught two passes for 31 yards in the drive.
D’Andre Swift sets career high
D’Andre Swift ran for 33 yards on the drive and now has 651 for the season, a career-high. Swift entered the night needing four rush yards to top the 617 he had in 2021 with the Lions.
D’Andre Swift looking to restart 10+ PPR point game streak
Prior to the Week 9 matchup against Dallas, Eagles RB D’Andre Swift had posted 10+ PPR points in seven straight games. That is tied for the second-longest streak of 10+ PPR points for a running back this season, but a 9.4-point total against the Cowboys ended it.
Swift’s rushing touchdown has already vaulted him to 9.7 PPR points in this contest, so he is already on his way to restarting this streak. It could also propel Swift to only his second game with 20+ PPR points, a feat he hasn’t achieved since Week 2.
Eagles tie the game at 7-7
The Eagles answered the Chiefs’ score with one of their own. D’Andre Swift carried the ball five times for 33 yards on that drive, including a 4-yard scamper into the end zone. The game is now tied 7-7 with 31 seconds left in the first quarter.
Long Pacheco rushes lead to TDs
Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco’s 24-yard rush earlier on the drive was his longest since Week 4 against the Jets (48-yard touchdown) and third longest of the season.
All three of Pacheco’s rushes of 24-plus yards this season came on drives that ended in touchdowns.