FINAL SCORE: Kansas City Chiefs 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 2
In the battle of 2-14 teams from a year ago, this one was all Kansas City. The Chiefs became the first team since 1993 to hold a team to exactly 2 points. The only reason Jacksonville even got on the scoreboard was due to a missed assignment in picking the rush on a punt. That kick was blocked and the ball bounced out of the back of the end zone to give the Jaguars their only points.
WHAT WENT RIGHT?
The Defense – New defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s aggressive scheme could not have have worked better. The defense dominated this whole game, putting incredible pressure on Jacksonville’s quarterback, former Missouri Tiger, Blaine Gabbert, all day. Kansas City racked up 6 sacks, including 3 by Justin Houston, who just abused rookie right tackle Luke Joeckel. The defense laid an additional 10 more hits on Gabbert throughout the day.
The Chiefs also picked off two passes on the afternoon, including one by Tamba Hali for a touchdown. The Jaguars’ record for fewest total yards in a game (117) was in jeopardy until their last long drive of the day. Jacksonville finished with 178 total yards; 77 came on the their final drive against several reserves.
The Red Zone Offense – In 2012, the Chiefs ranked dead last in the NFL, only scoring touchdowns on 27% of their red zone opportunities. On Sunday, Kansas City went 3-3 in scoring a touchdown from the red zone. Quarterback Alex Smith look poised and comfortable in the pocket, something former Chiefs signal caller, Matt Cassell, never seemed to manage on a regular basis. This was very encouraging.
Dontari Poe – The Chiefs first round pick in 2012 looked like a force in the middle of the defensive line. Poe recorded six tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a tipped pass. He wreaked havoc throughout the game.
Eric Fisher – The young right tackle got pushed into the backfield a couple of times early in the game, but made adjustments and improved quickly. He still has some work to do, but he outplayed Joeckel all day, which was very exciting.
Clean Play – The Chiefs were only whistled for 3 penalties totaling 20 yards. Kansas City also did not turn the ball over after being -23 in turnovers in 2012.
Punt Returns – Dexter McCluster returned 7 punts for 80 yards. That 11.4 average on punt returns is a very solid number, that would have finished 9th in the league last year among punt returners with 20 or more returns.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
An Impassive Second Half Offense – After being very aggressive in the first half, the Chiefs seemed to slip into preseason mode for the whole second half. This might have been by design in an effort not to reveal any more offensive wrinkles than necessary, but it made for a very unimpressive performance in the second half. The Chiefs only accumulate 121 yards on offense in the second half and no offensive touchdowns.
Jamaal Charles Injury: The Chiefs star running back got popped a little late on a play in the second half and had to sit out much of the second half with a quad injury. It didn’t look to be very serious but losing Charles for any length of time would be worrisome for the Chiefs.
The Jacksonville Helmets – Yikes! Those things were hideous. The Chiefs never changing uniforms and helmets can be boring, but better boring then getting stuck with those atrocities.
The Dallas Cowboys visit Arrowhead next Sunday at noon CDT. The game will be broadcast on Fox.