Lodi News-Sentinel



offenses and it didn’t take long into the game for the Chiefs and Eagles to remind everyone why they finished the regular season ranked as the No. 1 and No. 3 offenses, respective­ly.

Philadelph­ia took the opening kickoff and cut through the Chiefs’ defense with a methodical 11-play, 75-yard drive. Hurts and wide receiver DeVonta Smith connected three times on the drive for 41 yards, and Hurts capped off the drive with 1-yard quarterbac­k sneak to give the Eagles a short-lived 7-0 lead.

The Chiefs responded in kind, rolling over the vaunted Eagles defense with a rapid strike 6-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Mahomes finished the possession with an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce, who got behind Eagles safety Marcus Epps with a slick double move. Epps slipped on the first cut, and Mahomes threw a gorgeous pass over Kelce’s left shoulder to tie the game at 7-7. Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco contribute­d three carries for 29 yards, including a bruising 24-yard run, during the drive.

Kansas City took over after a stalled Eagles drive and embarked on a promising drive, but Butker missed a 42-yard field goal, which would’ve given the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.

Hurts and the Eagles offense made the Chiefs pay for the missed field goal, which gave Philadelph­ia good field position. The Eagles needed just six plays to get in the end zone, as Hurts threw a 45-yard pass to wide receiver A.J. Brown in the end zone. Brown beat rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie on the play to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead.

The Chiefs offense sputtered on their next possession, going three-and-out. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton put some life back in the team after he scooped up a Hurts fumble and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown to tie the game once again at 14-14.

The Chiefs offense, however, sputtered throughout the first half, while the Eagles closed out the first half with a 10-point scoring burst.

Hurts shredded the Chiefs with his legs on the Eagles’ fifth possession, breaking through the Chiefs’ defensive line with a 28-yard gain on a fourth-and-5 play to put the Eagles at the Chiefs’ 16-yard line. Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi was flagged for a neutral zone infraction with the Eagles facing a fourth-and-2 at the 8-yard line to give the Eagles a first down, and Hurts punched it in on the next play from 4 yards out to push Philadelph­ia’s lead to 21-14 lead.

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott’s 35-yard field goal provided Philadelph­ia a 24-14 halftime lead.

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