The Kansas City Chiefs' 10th game of the 2023-24 season is in the books, with Andy Reid's bunch boasting a 7-3 record and sitting atop the AFC West standings. Despite that, things seem far less than ideal in Kansas City after a Week 11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
While the hosts carried a double-digit lead into the halftime break, they weren't able to parlay that success into a favorable outcome in the end. Philadelphia came storming back in the second frame and shut down a Chiefs offense that has the same questions surrounding it now as it did before. Several players did enough to contribute to a win, although those efforts were ultimately extinguished.
With that in mind, let's point out some of the Chiefs' biggest winners and losers from the 11th week of the NFL season.
Winner: Trent McDuffie
There haven't been many better players on the 2023 Chiefs roster than cornerback Trent McDuffie. The second-year man had a pair of sacks in the first half, including another forced fumble to help maintain his current league lead in that category with five. He also batted down a Jalen Hurts pass on first down in the fourth quarter. As the Chiefs continue to put McDuffie in different roles, he's passing every test. His proficiency in coverage, as a blitzer and in tackling is still fantastic.
Loser: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
For someone in their second year in the system and their sixth in the league, Marquez Valdes-Scantling sure makes a lot of rookie mistakes. Not only is he not running or finishing some routes how his quarterback would prefer, but he dropped what could have been a game-winning touchdown pass on Monday night. The veteran vows to be better but in a season filled with underwhelming performances, it's worth seriously questioning whether he actually will be.
Winner: Chris Jones
Defensive tackle Chris Jones said in the days leading up to Week 11 that he'd hit the incentives in his contract. By notching a pair of sacks on Hurts, he got a good bit closer to reaching his ultimate financial goal by the end of the season. The All-Pro set a season-high mark in tackles with five and finished tied for the Chiefs lead with four pressures on Monday, bouncing back after multiple quiet games in a row. That was a much-needed performance for the 'CEO of Sack Nation.'
Losers: Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor
The Chiefs' bookend duo of Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor kept the same trend of penalties and inconsistency going against the Eagles. The former was credited by Pro Football Focus with a team-high seven pressures allowed and was called for a holding penalty, and the latter got flagged for a false start twice and still needs chip help. Smith's price point likely makes him somewhat worth his inexpensive contract, but Taylor is getting paid too much to be merely a solid-at-best tackle.
Winner: Kadarius Toney
Kadarius Toney's workload and involvement in the Chiefs' offense dwindled once Mecole Hardman got acquired via trade, but Hardman nursing an injury during Monday's game allowed Toney to climb back into a decent role. The third-year wideout was a factor on the ground and hauled in a pair of passes, also breaking off some nice punt returns. This was a good return-to-form game for Toney — time will tell if it's a launching pad for something to come.
Loser: Tommy Townsend
To be fair to Tommy Townsend, the conditions on Monday weren't necessarily conducive to punting the football well. With that said, Braden Mann didn't seem to have much trouble with it at all. Of Townsend's six boots, half of them were for less than 40 yards. One of them was an intentional pin deep in Philadelphia territory and the All-Pro punter did have a couple of nice efforts, but his level of performance was far below the bar he's set since the beginning of last season.
Winner: Isiah Pacheco
Isiah Pacheco is far from a perfect player in his second season, but he's a markedly better one than he was in 2022. His solid play continued on Monday, as he toted the ball 19 times for 89 yards and had a 24-yard rush in the first half to provide some energy to the Chiefs' offense. The issue for Kansas City is that 12 of those carries came in the first half. In the third and fourth frames combined, Pacheco's seven rush attempts went for just 23 yards. Fifteen of them stemmed from a single run. Pacheco is still a winner for Week 11, although more of a balance is needed.
Loser: Andy Reid
Speaking of a need for balance, Reid admitted after the game that he probably should have done a better job of helping his offense in the second half. The first 30 minutes of game time saw the dynamic usage of Toney, as well as motion to keep the defense honest. Things seemed to taper off down the stretch, which is something this version of the Chiefs doesn't appear to be able to afford. Reid has to keep his foot on the gas this year, regardless of whether he wants to or not.