KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Patrick Mahomes interception early in the third quarter may have invoked ghosts of back-to-back losses for Chiefs Kingdom, but Kansas City managed to close out the Eagles in Philadelphia.
Mahomes finished with five touchdowns in delivering coach Andy Reid his 100th career victory, including the postseason, as head coach of the Chiefs — a 42-30 win on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
“You’re in a profession where winning is very important,” Reid said. “These guys take that personally and they understand that. They’ve had success and want to get back doing the things that they know are correct.”
There are, however, still concerns for Kansas City (2-2), especially on defense.
The Eagles (1-3) had two touchdowns overturned by penalties, or the game could have been much closer, and the Chiefs still coughed up 461 yards and 6.6 yards per play.
“It was an offensive day on both sides of the field,” Reid said.
If there’s good news, Kansas City forced three field-goal attempts on five Philadelphia trips into the red zone.
The Chiefs’ defense, which entered the game allowing an NFL-worst 7.0 yards per play, had allowed 12 touchdowns on 13 red-zone trips during the first three weeks.
“We’ve been working at it,” said defensive end Mike Danna. “It’s been a point of emphasis for us in practice.”
Kansas City also stopped Jalen Hurts and company on a key fourth-and-long inside the final 5 minutes to protect a two-score lead late, which stood in stark contrast to fourth-down failings in losses to Baltimore and the Los Angeles Chargers the last two weeks.
Reid, who won 140 games overall with the Eagles from 1999-2012, improved to 100-45 in nine seasons with the Chiefs, including a 93-39 record in the regular season.
Mahomes’ fourth touchdown — a 12-yard dart to wide receiver Tyreek Hill midway through the fourth quarter — proved to be the dagger.
Mahomes joined Steve Young (1998), Kurt Warner (1999) and Tom Brady (2007) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least three touchdowns in his team’s first four games of the season.
“At the end of the day, we have to find ways to continue to win,” said Mahomes, who has thrown for five or more touchdowns in four career games. “We have a nice test next week against the Bills with how well they’re playing. ... There’s still a long way to go. This is a long season. We started in the right direction by battling (today).”
Leading 21-13 at halftime, Kansas City missed a chance to put the hammer down when Mahomes forced a third-down pass to tight end Travis Kelce, which was intercepted by linebacker Eric Wilson.
The Chiefs’ defense managed to force one of Jake Elliott’s three field goals on the drive.
Kansas City answered with a 1-yard Darrel Williams touchdown run.
The two teams then traded touchdowns — a 7-yard Kenneth Gainwell run for the Eagles and the first of two fourth-quarter touchdowns for Hill — before Mahomes’ fifth and final touchdown, a 44-yard heave to Hill with 2:36 remaining, iced the win.
“It was Cover 0 and the safety turned his back to me,” said Hill, who caught 11 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. “It was a double move for me and, you know what, Coach Reid, he let them hang a little bit — Coach Reid and Pat. They both let them hang.”
Philadelphia added a cosmetic touchdown with four seconds left, but Kansas City’s offense had already served notice.
Mahomes finished 24 of 30 for 278 yards with those five TD tosses and an interception.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire posted his second straight 100-yard game and the fourth of his career, finishing with 102 yards on 14 carries behind a dominant performance by the interior of Kansas City’s rebuilt offensive line.
Defensively, Danna, who started the second straight week for Frank Clark, notched two sacks. It's his first career multi-sack game.
“He was around the quarterback most of the day, and that was great,” Reid said.
Still, Kansas City’s defensive struggles continued, particularly in the first half.
The Eagles totaled 216 yards on 33 plays on the first three drives — netting two field goals and a 3-yard touchdown from Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert.
In between, Philadelphia’s offense struggled every bit as much.
The Chiefs marched up and down the field at will and managed to unlock Hill, who had been bottled up by double teams in losses to Baltimore and the Los Angeles Chargers.
Hill had five catches for 85 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown, which put Kansas City in front 14-10 early in the second quarter.
He also had a 36-yard catch and run to set up Mahomes’ 1-yard underhand flip to Edwards-Helaire for the game’s first TD on the previous drive.
Hill moved into a tie for fifth place in Chiefs history with 49 touchdowns receptions (Stephone Paige) and 60 total touchdowns (Otis Taylor).
He finished the game with 51 touchdowns receptions, which is tied with Travis Kelce for fourth in team history, and also passed Larry Johnson with 62 career touchdowns, which also ranks fourth.
Still leading 14-13, Mahomes added a 2-yard touchdown to Jody Fortson for a 21-13 halftime lead after a L’Jarius Sneed sack short-circuited a promising Eagles drive in the closing minute.