The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 30-14, Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Here are the game’s winners and losers:
- Let’s start with the obvious. On a day in which Patrick Mahomes showed that he too is a mortal man by throwing two interceptions, it was the Chiefs defense, led by yes, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, as a whole that spearheaded the victory on Sunday. While the defense did allow 502 yards (it was on the field for 83 Jaguars offensive plays), it did find a way to force five turnovers—four interceptions of Blake Bortles and one forced fumble and recovery. “I thought there was a great game plan,” head coach Andy Reid said after the game. “Guys executed, drove on the ball, and had pressure on the quarterback for what seemed like the entire time, which is a plus. I think that’s why.”
- Had it not been for Mahomes’ existence, you may be able to make a case that linebacker Dee Ford is the best player on the field right now for Kansas City. Ford was once again a force to be reckoned with Sunday, many times unblockable. He compiled five tackles, one strip-sack (forced fumble), three quarterback hits and one pass defensed. Ford’s emergence as an impact player, of course, comes with an unfortunate timeliness—he is due to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Ford continues to make general manager Brett Veach’s decision on 2019 tougher each week he is on the field.
- And it was not just Ford. The Chiefs pass rush got home time after time on Sunday for a total of five sacks—in addition to Ford, Allen Bailey, Chris Jones, Terrance Smith and Xavier Williams all recorded sacks of Bortles. Bailey had three quarterback hits, and Justin Houston, who had a strong first half but left the game due to a hamstring strain, recorded two quarterback hits. Bortles was never comfortable, and it showed...
- ...as Jordan Lucas, Steve Nelson, Orlando Scandrick and Jones all recorded interceptions. Jones’ pick went for six points and included a shimmy-shake cut of Bortles.
PICK SIX ! Bortles avec une belle passe pour Chris Jones, et le défenseur marque le TD après l’interception ! #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/rRJlMjuT0Q— NFL France (@FirstDownFR) October 7, 2018
Jones’ score made the game 20-0, and the Chiefs hardly looked back.
- More needs to be said of Lucas, who woke up Sunday thinking he’d only be playing special teams, as he usually does. Injuries to Eric Murray and Armani Watts forced Lucas into the lineup, and he played exceptionally well. Lucas gained 49 yards on an interception return in which he gracefully weaved through numerous Jaguars tacklers. Scandrick had a nice day in coverage, recording four passes defensed. “We physical,” Scandrick said, per Brook Pryor of the Kansas City Star. “I don’t think they physical. I think they want to pretend they’re physical when everything is going good. But I think we’re a really physical team. I think we played a physical style of defense.” I sense a small, out-of-division rivalry developing between the Jaguars and the Chiefs.
- Travis Kelce had the best day for the Chiefs on offense, proving, as usual, to be a reliable target. Kelce had five receptions for 100 yards and in doing so was the only Chiefs’ skill-position player to break 100 yards on the day. That’s 15 career 100-plus-yard games for Kelce and his third in five weeks on the season. In case you’re wondering, Tony Gonzalez had 26 in his career as a Chief.
- I enjoyed the battle between Tyreek Hill and Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey after their back-and-forth this week. Both had their moments, and Ramsey brought the “smoke” from the opening kickoff forward. Hill occupied Ramsey, which allowed the Chiefs to do enough to win, and he had his moment, a 36-yard reception as part of a four-catch, 61-yard day.
- The Chiefs offensive line deserves a ton of credit for how they handled the Jaguars front seven.
- I like that Andy Reid made this quote after the game regarding all of the penalites: “When two good football teams play each other, you can’t let the emotions get to you. [Jacksonville] is a team that is going to come in and be physical and try to push you around in your own place. You can’t do that either. You have to put your foot down and do it the right way. We have to learn from that. You surely cannot be ejected from the game, that’s not smart football. That’s a lesson you can learn. First of all, no one’s going to push us around, anywhere, but also be smart about it.”
- I’m not sure the rhyme or reason for it, but Bortles is very much a loser away from Jacksonville. Entering the game, Bortles had a 59.1 passer rating on the road to a 101.1 passer rating at home. Bortles was 33 of 61 for 430 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions against the Chiefs. The interception thrown into the hands of Jones was awful. “Bad Bortles” showed up in Kansas City.
- I know there will be some talk on this during the week, and though I like the attitude behind the personal fouls, Kareem Hunt needs to be more careful and the Ford (two unsportsmanlike penalties) and Jones (punching the thigh of a Jaguar on the ground after an extra point) ejections cannot happen. We saw with the amount of injuries Sunday that the Chiefs need their stars on the field. Getting pushed around is unacceptable in my eyes, but so is being no longer eligible to play, especially against AFC contenders like the Jaguars.
- Why did Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone choose to go for it on fourth down early in the game down 10-0? Furthermore, why, if halfback TJ Yeldon was running all over the Chiefs (eight carries for 50 yards, or 6.3 yards per carry, in the first half) choose to get away from the run and end up throwing the ball more than 60 times?
- As Chiefs safety after Chiefs safety went down on Sunday, you saw how important the roster spot Eric Berry is occupying could be in games that may be closer than this one. If it’s not going to happen for him this year, get him healthy on injured reserve and get someone up who may be able to contribute.
- We won’t have the exact numbers until early this week, but it sure seemed like the Jaguars tackles, left tackle Josh Wells and right tackle Jeremy Parnell, were having an awfully tough time against Chiefs outside linebackers.
- Telvin Smith...yikes
Jaguars LB Telvin Smith was very assumed by Chiefs chatter today pic.twitter.com/KWGvcbG08P— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) October 3, 2018
Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.