The Kansas City Chiefs rebounded from their disappointing season-opening loss as they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-9 in Week 2. Star defensive tackle Chris Jones and tight end Travis Kelce made their 2023 debuts in this matchup, and both made considerable impacts. Jones recorded 1.5 sacks, while Travis Kelce caught a touchdown.
This was not a very clean win for Kansas City. The Chiefs were penalized 12 times for 94 yards, and right tackle Jawaan Taylor accounted for five of those penalties. Kansas City also turned the ball over three times in the first half, but overcame that sloppy start to gut out a victory. Patrick Mahomes tied a career high by completing passes to 11 different receivers, and finished with 305 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Isiah Pacheco rushed 12 times for 70 yards, while Kelce caught four passes for 26 yards and a touchdown. Skyy Moore bounced back from his nightmare-ish Week 1, and led Kansas City with 70 receiving yards and a touchdown on three catches. Kadarius Toney, who really struggled with drops in the opener, finished with 35 yards after catching all five targets.
For the Jaguars, they struggled with efficiency on offense. Jacksonville didn’t score a touchdown, went 3 of 12 on third downs and a back-breaking 0 for 3 in the red zone. Trevor Lawrence completed 22-of-41 passes for 216 yards, while Travis Etienne rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries. Christian Kirk was the star wideout for the Jags, as he caught 11 passes for 110 yards. Calvin Ridley, on the other hand, caught just two passes for 32 yards.
There’s plenty to break down from this game. Let’s dive into it.
Why the Chiefs won
The Chiefs proved to be the better team in the second half, and the improved play was good to see considering how ugly the first half was. The Chiefs came out of the locker room in the third quarter and immediately marched 81 yards down the field on seven plays while Kelce scored his first touchdown of the year.
Additionally, the Chiefs defense stood out. Third downs were a death sentence for Jacksonville’s offense, the Jags went 0 for 2 on fourth downs and didn’t get into the end zone once. The front seven stuffed the run while the secondary held Ridley in check. The Jags recorded just 271 yards of total offense. It wasn’t the sexiest win, but 1-1 is a lot better than 0-2. These were the fewest points scored in a win for the Chiefs since Week 9 in 2021.
Why the Jaguars lost
The question for the Jags entering 2023 was if the defense could be good enough and not let down the offense. After all, Jacksonville has a prospective franchise quarterback, a young shifty running back and plenty of weapons all led by a Super Bowl-winning offensive mind. However, the offense fell flat on Sunday.
The Jaguars went 3 of 12 on third downs and struggled to move the ball all game long. Even when the Jags got into the red zone, they couldn’t find the end zone. There were at least three plays were Zay Jones or Ridley just couldn’t get their feet down for six points. The Chiefs have the Jags’ number. Jacksonville is 0-3 vs. Kansas City, but 9-1 vs. everyone else in its last 13 games.
Play of the game and turning point
Up eight points with 4:18 to burn in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs offense took the field. Mahomes skillfully led Kansas City 77 yards on 10 plays to seal the deal, and that drive was kept alive with this third-down conversion to Moore. Certainly one of the plays of the game.
Call of the game
Ian Eagle deserves an award for this. You see, there have been some rumors circulating regarding Kelce’s personal life, that he may or may not be involved with a very famous musician. Eagle, knowing this, used a song title from the woman in question during his touchdown call.
The Chiefs will return home next week to host Justin Fields and the 0-2 Chicago Bears. As for the Jaguars, they will stay in Jacksonville to host the rival Houston Texans next Sunday.