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Eagles aiming to clean up “self-inflicted wounds” following Chiefs loss

The Philadelphia Eagles went toe-to-toe with a Super Bowl contender on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, but came out on the losing end. While many teams will be happy with their performance, Nick Sirianni and his players are disappointed after failing to take advantage of their opportunities against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Eagles fought hard, but eventually lost 42-30 to Andy Reid’s Chiefs, falling to 1-3 in the 2021 regular season. Despite totaling 461 total offensive yards and showing excellent ball security in the game, the Eagles fell just short after seeing three offensive touchdowns negated due to penalties.

“You’re upset,” Sirianni said about the result. “You’re furious that you go to 1-3. But we can also see there are some things that are to build on there. The self-inflicted wounds have to stop. I know I sound the same, but it’s still true. We have to stop the self-inflicted wounds of putting ourselves in holes with penalties.

“The guys did a good job,” Sirianni said. “We won the turnover battle. Our defense took it away; we didn’t give it away. They forced another fumble on special teams. There are some good things obviously right there. There are a lot of guys that battled their tails off today. There are a lot of guys that played good football today. You’re happy with that. But obviously you’re never satisfied, and you’re always upset when you lose.”

Jalen Hurts arguably delivered the best performance of his young career, throwing for 381 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss. The second-year quarterback made smart decisions with the football and did not force anything, but the Eagles eventually collapsed defensively and saw Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill connect for three of the quarterback’s five passing scores.

Linebacker Eric Wilson intercepted Mahomes also in the game, which proved to be the only turnover by either team. However, Hill’s big-play ability was on full display after halftime as the star wideout’s final touchdown in the fourth quarter proved to be the final nail in the coffin.

“Look, we lost,” Hurts said postgame. “We lost. We lost the game. Have to do more, have to do better. And this is what I will say. You have every opportunity to learn, every opportunity, everything that you do, you learn from it. And we are clearly not there as a football team because we lost. But, we are this close, we are this close. And that is something that I believe. Something I believe. We have to continue to grow, continue to learn, continue to be one percent better every day.”

“Continue to clock in and buy into that and believe in that,” Hurts said. “That’s what it’s going to take. We are not a finished product. No player on this team is a finished product. But it’s about believing in that and continuing to grow. And learn from everything that you do. We played a good football team out there today. A team that many say is generationally one of the best. Great quarterback, great players, all that. We have great players, too. We have to put it together and we will. We are not a finished product.”

Six Eagles offensive players registered two receptions or more in the game, with 2021 first round draft pick DeVonta Smith leading the way. Smith registered 122 yards on seven catches, but also saw a touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone negated due to an illegal touching penalty.

Zach Ertz and Kenneth Gainwell followed just behind Smith on the receiving chart in Sunday’s game, but the rest of the wideouts only totaled 57 yards and a touchdown between them. Hurts will need more help from his fellow wideouts if the Eagles want to become more dynamic with the ball in their hands.

“We are close because everything we do, we control it,” Hurts said. “We control the penalties, we control the little things. It’s all magnifying in games against good football teams and we’ve played good football teams to this point every game. And it’s magnified. So it’s on us. It’s on us to execute and do the things we need to do. A lack of commitment, I never questioned that about anybody. A lack of effort, I never questioned that about anybody because we are going to fight. We are going to fight. We are this close to putting it together.”

“We are a good team,” Smith said. “We still have things we have to clean up. We are still right there. The mistakes we made, the things we have to do. It is all credit to the team getting better each week. The little things we leave out there, we need to correct. We are a good team.”

Taking down the 2020 Super Bowl champions was always going to be tough, and add in the fact that Kansas City needed a victory to avoid a 1-3 start themselves, just made Sunday’s game even tougher for the Eagles. However, with upcoming games against Carolina and Tampa Bay on the horizon, the 1-3 Eagles cannot hang their heads and need to show the same consistency from Sunday’s game if they want to earn their second win of the season.

“I mean, it’s the NFL,” Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said. “We’re going through a little adversity. We were in some games. We got another chance next week to show up and bounce back. A little adversity but it’s still early in the season, so we still got a long way to go.”

The Eagles visit Carolina in Week 5 before returning to the Linc for a clash with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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