10a. K.C. has beaten the Jags three times since November and eight straight overall.
11. And how about reigning league and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes? On his 28th birthday, the Chiefs superstar passed for 305 yards and a pair of TDs. It was his 42nd career 300-yard game, most by any player in his first nine seasons after he surpassed Dan Marino and Matt Ryan. It should be noted, Mahomes is in his seventh season – two games in, to be specific – and made all of one appearance in his rookie year (2017).
Kelce made an impact in his first game of the 2023 season, scoring a touchdown on a 9-yard reception from quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the third quarter.
Here is the play and make sure to listen to the call from CBS Sports broadcaster Ian Eagle.
“Kelce finds a blank space for the score,” Eagle noted. That was an under-the-radar reference to Swift, who has a song called, “Blank Space.”
This was an ugly win for the Chiefs, but a win nonetheless. Kansas City turned the ball over three times in the first half, and was penalized 12 times for 94 yards. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor accounted for five of those penalties, and was briefly benched after two holding penalties in three plays. Kansas City’s defense was solid all day, and held Jacksonville to 0-for-3 in the red zone. Travis Kelce and Chris Jones both made impacts in their season debuts, as Kelce caught a touchdown and Jones recorded 1.5 sacks.
Surrounded by his happy teammates, Jones sat on his black folding chair without a shirt, just a red-white-and-yellow Chiefs ballcap on his head. He held an iPhone in each of his hands, one to control the trap music he played through the Chiefs’ large portable speaker and the other to read the reviews on social media apps of his magnificent performance. In one of the most memorable days of his eight-year career, Jones led the Chiefs to a much-needed 17-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing so well that everyone on the team acknowledged he was the biggest reason the Chiefs avoided a bleak 0-2 start.
“He makes us 1,000 percent better, if I’m being honest, just his presence on the field,” linebacker Nick Bolton said.
“I mean … crazy,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “I’m glad he’s on my team.”
“He, obviously, influenced the game in a positive way for us,” coach Andy Reid said. “That was a heck of a job by him.”
What it means for Chiefs: Kansas City’s defense is starting to become notable. After always playing a secondary role in the Chiefs’ championship stories, the defense has stepped up considerably, allowing 23 points across two games against very good offenses in Detroit and Jacksonville. Oh, and Chris Jones? He had 1.5 sacks with a tackle for loss.
Overreaction or reality: Reality
Brown’s impact has been felt in the first two games of the season on the offensive line. Jawaan Taylor has allowed just one pressure in 88 pass-blocking snaps through two games, but had five penalties in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars (he got flagged twice for false starts, and twice for holding, and one for illegal formation). The Chiefs actually sat him for a bit after the fourth penalty.
Donovan Smith has allowed seven pressures through two games and three quarterback hits, with a pressure rate allowed of 7.8%. Those numbers aren’t good, as the only reason Smith hasn’t allowed a sack is because Patrick Mahomes gets rid of the football quickly.
The Chiefs have a tackle problem. Brown wasn’t perfect, but he was rock solid on that offensive line for several years.
Around the NFL
Sunday’s result also marked the fourth consecutive one-score defeat for L.A. dating back to last season, including the wild-card loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in which the Chargers held a 27-0 lead late into the second quarter.
Head coach Brandon Staley scoffed at any idea of last year’s playoff defeat affecting his team in 2023.
“I’m not worried about the Jacksonville loss — the Jacksonville loss hasn’t carried onto the season whatsoever,” Staley said during his post-game press conference when a reporter brought up the game. “If you’ve seen our training camp or you’ve seen the way we’ve played in the first two games, it hasn’t had an impact on our team whatsoever. Our team is connected, our team has played its heart out in two games, and we’ve lost two tough games. It has nothing to do with the Jacksonville game and if you ask anyone in our locker room, it has nothing to do with the Jacksonville game. And that’s just the truth.
“It’s a convenient storyline for you and for everybody else, but it’s not the truth. We’ve lost two tough games but the guys in that locker room, the men in that locker room they are finishers and they have what it takes and we’re excited to prove ourselves.”
The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-2 for the second consecutive year. What’s more concerning about the Bengals’ start this year is their two losses have come in the division. Their Week 1 loss to the Cleveland Browns was a thrashing, as Cleveland’s defense won that game.
In Week 2, the Bengals played a depleted Baltimore Ravens team without four key starters (CB Marlon Humphrey, LT Ronnie Stanley, OG Tyler Linderbaum and safety Marcus Williams).
The Bengals’ offense showed signs of life in the second half, but everything on that side of the ball remains a struggle. The more significant issue is that Joe Burrow appeared to re-injure his calf muscle, which caused him to miss almost all of training camp.
Even if he can play in Week 3, there is no chance he’ll be close to 100 percent healthy. And the Bengals need him to play like an elite quarterback to have a chance. It’s time to be concerned about the back-to-back AFC North champions.
The New York Giants tied their biggest come-from-behind win in franchise history, rallying from 21 points down to beat the Arizona Cardinals 31-28 at State Farm Stadium on Sunday. It was a thrilling victory for the visitors, except that it came with a dark cloud cast by the possibility of losing star running back Saquon Barkley to an ankle injury.
Barkley, who scored two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving), will undergo an MRI on Monday in Arizona to determine the severity of the injury and how much time he could miss, sources told ESPN.
Barkley’s ankle was swollen after the game, but the initial thinking, in the words of one source, is that “it’s an ordinary [sprain], rather than a high-ankle sprain.”
It was clear that Barkley was in pain as he took a cart to the X-ray room after limping off the field. X-rays on the ankle were negative, according to sources.
Having lost Aaron Rodgers for the season on Monday, Zach Wilson took over the starting reins for Gang Green on Sunday and threw three interceptions while getting sacked thrice in a 30-10 defeat to the host Dallas Cowboys.
Still, Wilson and his head coach found positives in his performance, which was hardly the only factor in the Jets’ lopsided loss.
“Yeah, absolutely man,” Wilson said Sunday when asked if he felt better suited to be the starter than he was in his previous two seasons. “I feel like I’m seeing it well, I really do. And it’s really unfortunate to show that as an offense, because we’ve got to be better, I need to be better. But we’re right there, and so we’re going to go back, and it’s a long season, we’re going to go watch this film and see how we can improve. Everyone trusts and believes in each other, and we all love each other, so we’re excited for the challenge.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Wide receiver Skyy Moore: After not catching any of his three targets last week, the second-year receiver needed a bounce-back game. He converted 3 of 4 targets into a touchdown and a 54-yard catch and run to help win the game for the Chiefs. You could see the excitement and relief as Moore redeemed himself this week — and hopefully, that will carry him through the rest of the season.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones: It was an impressive return for Chris Jones after missing all of training camp, preseason and the first week. The Chiefs got their best defensive player on the field in Jacksonville, and he didn’t want to leave it. His impact was felt from the first snap — whether he was creating pressure himself or disrupting plays for his teammates to finish. It is just a different defense with Jones on the field. He finished with 1.5 sacks and a batted pass, closing out multiple drives, including the final Jaguars’ possession. The closer is back, and he’s elevating this entire team.
A tweet to make you think
This is genius— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) September 18, 2023
But how the hell has no one thought of this https://t.co/DcFqIUeQH3