In the first half of the Super Bowl rematch between the Eagles and Chiefs on Monday Night Football, Philadelphia defensive tackle Jalen Carter nearly made what would have been an incredible interception when he dove at the feet of Patrick Mahomes with three seconds left in a bid to catch an intentional spike by the superstar quarterback. Carter, who said his interception attempt was inspired by a play he saw a high school player make on YouTube, got his hands on the ball Mahomes threw, but couldn’t quite come up with the catch.
Mahomes saw one of his intentional passes get dropped later in the game, this time in the fourth quarter with the Chiefs trailing 21-17 after Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts got into the end zone with his second rushing touchdown of the night for Philadelphia, who are now the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
With less than two minutes remaining on the clock, Mahomes tossed a dime that should have gone for a 51-yard touchdown and given the Chiefs the lead, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was wide open, couldn’t hold onto a ball that hit him in the hands. It wasn’t as bad, but Justin Watson dropped another pass two plays later that would have given the Chiefs a first down on what ended up being Kansas City’s final offensive play of the night.
Dropped passes are nothing new to the Chiefs as they kicked off the season with a case of butter fingers in a Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions. With sure-handed Travis Kelce out with a knee injury, Kansas City had eight dropped passes, led by former Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who had four. What happened in Week 1 was a preview of what was to come in Week 11 and every week in between as the Chiefs lead the NFL with 26 dropped passes this season.
Though he clearly could have shifted the blame elsewhere, Mahomes took responsibility for his team’s failure following Monday’s loss. “They know I’m gonna keep firing it,” he said. “Usually they’re going to make the plays. It happens. That didn’t just lose the game, there was a lot of stuff that happened. It starts with me. I’ve got to make better throws at certain times. I didn’t make good enough passes in certain situations.”
It’s classy for Mahomes to take the fall for his teammates dropping balls, but something needs to change in Kansas City as Monday was the third straight time the Chiefs were shut out in the second half of a game. They’ve scored an NFL-worst 53 points in the second half of games this season, an average of just over five points per game.
Perhaps Valdes-Scantling was made aware of that stat following Monday’s loss.
At least he held onto the helmet.
In order for the Chiefs to have any real shot at getting back to the Super Bowl, let alone winning it, someone on the Chiefs other than Kelce is going to have to start catching the ball on a consistent basis because, to paraphrase what Gisele Bündchen once said of her ex-husband Tom Brady after Patriots receivers including Wes Welker dropped passes during New England’s second Super Bowl loss to the Giants, Mahomes can’t throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.
In Week 12, the Chiefs (7-3) will look to get back on track against the Raiders while the Eagles (9-1) will ty to keep things rolling against the Bills. Looking back at Philly’s history, there’s reason to believe that they will as the previous six times the Eagles started off 9-1, they made it to the championship game (including last year when they lost Super Bowl LVII to the Chiefs.)
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