Eagles 37, Chiefs 31
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—By the look of things, all those aches and pains were getting to Donovan McNabb. Philadelphia’s first three drives yielded two punts and a blocked field goal, and the Eagles were suddenly down 17-0 in the second quarter at Kansas City.
Turns out McNabb is as good leading a comeback as he is at enduring pain.
In rallying the Eagles to a 37-31 victory over the crestfallen Chiefs, neither a painful sports hernia nor a determined Kansas City defense could stop McNabb from doing something Sunday that no other Philadelphia quarterback had before: pass for more than 300 yards in three straight games.
The Eagles (3-1) scored 31 straight points against the same defense that had nearly shut out the New York Jets a few weeks earlier on the same field.
McNabb, who was also playing with a chest bruise and a sore shin, completed 33 of 48 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
“I was just doing whatever I had to help my team win,” said McNabb, who was diagnosed last week with a painful strain in the lower abdomen known as a sports hernia.
“Nothing is easy in this game especially when your body is in a position where you feel like can’t do what you’re used to doing,” he said.
Terrell Owens fueled the comeback by consistently getting open and making 11 catches for 171 yards and a TD.
The Chiefs (2-2) closed to within six points with 1:24 left on Trent Green’s 15-yard TD pass to Hall, but the Eagles recovered the onside kick.
“He didn’t look like he was hurting one bit,” said Chiefs defensive lineman Lionel Dalton. “He looked like the normal McNabb, one of the greatest quarterbacks in this league.”
McNabb took a few pretty good whacks but nothing slowed him down.
“It felt like I tweaked it a little,” he said. “Nothing major. This is just something I have to get used to. My body’s reacting differently.”
Then Owens and McNabb awakened the defending NFC champs. After Sam Rayburn recovered a Larry Johnson fumble on the 50, McNabb hit Owens for 28 yards and then capped the quick drive with a 7-yard TD pass to the Eagles’ top receiver.
“It was like they got all the momentum right there,” said Chiefs guard Brian Waters. “But we just made too many mistakes, too many turnovers.”
Todd France, whose first NFL field goal attempt was blocked, made good on a 44-yarder to bring the Eagles to within 24-16.
Then McNabb hit Owens twice for a total of 58 yards in a 4-play, 60-yard drive capped by Mike Bartrum’s 3-yard TD catch.
A 2-point conversion pass to Brian Westbrook tied it 24-all with 1:54 left in the third and hushed the sellout crowd that had become almost deafening a few minutes before.
France put the Eagles ahead 27-24 with a 37-yarder in the fourth quarter. Then Hall fumbled away the ensuing kickoff and McNabb needed just six plays to cover 25 yards, hitting L.J. Smith with a 1-yard TD toss after Smith made a circus catch of a tipped ball on third and seven.
France added a 26-yard field goal with 3:22 to go.
“We couldn’t knock McNabb down even though we hit him,” said Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. “What a great football player!”
Trent Green completed his first eight passes and Priest Holmes scored on a 7-yard run on Kansas City’s opening possession. The next time the Chiefs got the ball, Green hit Eddie Kennison perfectly in stride for a 49-yard gain that set up Lawrence Tynes’ 38-yarder.
Six plays later, Kennison beat Hood in the end zone on an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Hall, who electrified the NFL in 2003 by returning kicks for touchdowns in four consecutive games, tied the NFL record with six kickoff returns for touchdowns.
But it’s McNabb that everybody went home talking about.
“He’s unbelievable, man,” said Chiefs cornerback Patrick Surtain. “The second half, they got on a roll and it was like they were doing anything they wanted.”
Eagles DE Jevon Kearse, held without a sack for the first three games of the season, picked up his first with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter. … Brown’s two-interception game was the first of his career. … The scoreboards and play clocks at Arrowhead Stadium went out for much of the second quarter. … Chiefs rookie Dustin Colquitt got off a 62-yard punt in the third quarter, his longest of the year. … Hicks has both of Kansas City’s blocked field goals this season. … Holmes became Kansas City’s career leader in attempts from scrimmage (rushes and receptions), with 1,466. Eagles defensive tackle Paul Grasmanis re-tore his Achilles’ tendon.