The second-half shutout kept the Chiefs' second-half scoring at 53 total points for the season, a measly 5.3 per contest. As in the Week 8 loss to Denver and the Week 9 win over Miami in Germany, the second-half freeze was a combination of disjointed play, a brutal turnover and missed opportunities by a lackluster receiving corps.
Kansas City's six second-half possessions went punt (four plays), punt (three plays), red-zone fumble, punt (six plays), punt (three plays) and turnover on downs. That's how you turn a 10-point halftime lead into a loss.
"Simple as we just have to get better at the second half," Mahomes said, via the official transcript. "I mean all season long we haven't played great football in the second half so we have to continue to work. Obviously (we) had a pretty good first half running the football but (we've) got to find a way to finish games offensively."
Penalties and missed opportunities -- with drops that plagued K.C. in their Week 1 loss to Detroit rearing their heads again -- cost the Chiefs a chance to close out a win over the NFC's top team.
"We're kind of shooting ourselves in the foot," head coach Andy Reid said after the game. "I've got to do a better job helping out with that and then my guys have got to do the same thing. So, we've all got to pick it up a notch there in the second half. (We're) just not as sharp there. We'll work on that."
On its lone sustained drive, leading 17-14 early in the fourth quarter, K.C. drove into the red zone for a chance to respond to the Eagles' touchdown drive. Instead, star tight end Travis Kelce got the ball punched out. It marked the Chiefs' second red-zone turnover after Mahomes tossed a woeful INT in the first half. K.C. doesn't have the horses on offense to overcome times when its best two players make errors to wipe points off the board.
"Just not playing up to the level I have in the past," Kelce said. "I've got to be better."
Kansas City jumped out to a first-half lead on the strength of the ground attack, generating 121 rushing yards through two quarters, led by Isiah Pacheco's 66 on 12 totes. In the second half, the Chiefs generated just 47 rush yards -- Pacheco 23 on seven carries.
"We probably didn't sustain our control of their defensive line that second half," Reid said of the run-game reversal. "We didn't have as good of run production. It wasn't really anything that they did necessarily other than us just executing better."
With the ground game slowed Reid turned to Mahomes, who spun some magic but got little help from his receivers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling dropped a potential game-winning bomb, and on fourth-and-25, Justin Watson couldn't squeeze a would-be first down. For the game, the Chiefs were charted with four drops, per Next Gen Stats (Watson two, Kelce one and MVS 1), but it sure felt like more.
With the trade deadline passed, this is the WR crew the Chiefs will need to make work in 2023. It can move the ball when everything clicks, like most of Monday night's first half. But it puts a ton of pressure on Mahomes (and Kelce) to play perfect football.
As expected, Mahomes wasn't pointing the finger at anyone but the man in the mirror for the Chiefs' second-half struggles.
"Offensively, we're just not where I want to be at his point in the season," Mahomes said. "It starts with me. I have to make better throws at certain times. We have to continue to move the ball downfield and just be more consistent throughout the game."
Despite the struggles, the Chiefs will probably still hit the 12-win plateau for the sixth straight season, but Reid and Mahomes will need to find a way to be more consistent to find themselves playing in Las Vegas in February.