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 five times in the Chiefs’ 26-16 victory Thursday night.
“Yeah, it was different,” Reid said. “I was on the opposite side of the field than I normally am at. But I can’t tell you that I was caught up in that part of it.”
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.
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.
As Reid entered the stadium with the Chiefs just before kickoff Philly fans gave him a warm ovation, some standing in tribute to the man who won 140 games and six division titles for them, Reid walked briskly along the sideline, never turning his gaze toward the stands.
But he later said he recognized the tribute.
“I appreciate the fans and the support they gave me,” he said. “That was kind of them.”
He certainly had to like much of what he saw on the field from his defense, particularly linebacker Justin Houston.
The Chiefs forced four first-half turnovers and Houston had three of their four sacks. He had another half-sack to start the second half, off a bad snap to Vick, and forced Vick to fumble with 1:34 remaining. Houston has 6 1/2 sacks in three games.
Philadelphia (1-2) lost its eighth straight home game.
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, he 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.
The takeaways kept the Chiefs in front. And after Avery turned a short pass into a 51-yard gain thanks to sloppy Eagles tackling, Ryan Succop made a 31-yard field goal. He kicked a 34-yarder moments later after another turnover, Sean Smith’s interception, for a 16-6 halftime edge. Avery had a big night, finishing with seven catches for 141 yards.