PHILADELPHIA – The look was strange: Andy Reid in all red on the visitors’ sideline.
The result was similar to what he gave Philadelphia in his 14 years in charge of the Eagles.
Reid’s homecoming was a smashing success for the new Kansas City coach thanks to a dynamic defense that forced five turnovers and sacked a harried Michael Vick six times in the Chiefs’ 26-16 victory Thursday night.
Vick even limped off with 1:07 to go after the final sack and fumble, but stayed around to hug Reid following the final play – just after Donnie Avery gave Reid a Gatorade shower on the sideline.
Kansas City, which has not had a giveaway in opening 3-0, has won one more game already than it did in 2012 – when it earned the first overall draft pick, then hired Reid days after he was fired on the heels of Philly’s 4-12 finish.
The usually stoic Reid showed some fire late in the first half when he thought the Chiefs got a bad spot. He came out to the hash mark to yell at the officials, then walked off at halftime still gesturing his displeasure.
That was more emotion than he displayed when he entered the stadium just before kickoff. Although the Philly fans gave him a warm ovation, Reid never turned his gaze toward the stands.
The Chiefs forced four first-half turnovers, and Justin Houston had three of their four sacks. He has 7˝ sacks in three games.
Damaris Johnson’s muffed punt return gave Kansas City the ball at the Eagles 8, leading to Ryan Succop’s 33-yard field goal for a quick 3-0 lead. Derrick Johnson then deflected Vick’s ill-advised throw into the flat and Eric Berry picked it off, going 38 yards with the first interception of the year for the Philly quarterback.
After falling behind 10-0, Vick got the Eagles’ no-huddle, fast-tempo offense going with the longest run of his 12-year career. He burst up the middle, shook off two attempted tackles and sped 61 yards. Two plays later, it was his arm doing the damage. Under a heavy rush, he stood in and led Jason Avant perfectly in the left corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score.
That three-play, 87-yard spurt epitomized the fast-paced offense coach Chip Kelly brought from Oregon in replacing Reid. But Kelly got cute, going for a 2-point conversion on tight end Zach Ertz’s run that failed.
Two Succop field goals gave the Chiefs a 16-6 halftime edge.
Alex Henery’s 29-yard field goal was the only scoring of a sloppy third period, and when Jamaal Charles surged around right end for a 3-yard TD early in the fourth quarter, Reid’s return was a rousing success.